Monday, April 9, 2012

The Intimidation Factor

Have you ever looked at a book and thought, wow that's amazing? Have you ever experienced that sweeping sense of despair when you look at your own WIP and think, why can't it look as pretty?

I've often felt both, and I think it's part of the writer mindset. We are constantly being told (by crit partners, friends, the media, or ourselves) to work on the characters, tighten the plot,check grammar, create a platform that will draw readers before you even have an agent. It's exhausting. And I think after a while it wears us down to where we think we'll never have it as good as those published writers with their gorgeous book covers and royalty checks.

So to combat this feeling, when reading I try to find scenes where I think something has been cut, or where a scene had to be condensed into a paragraph to shorten the book. It's really fun, actually. And it reminds me that these published writers were once like the rest of us: unpublished and praying to every possible deity that they'd find the right agent/get a good review/win the contest/become filthy stinking rich have the public be moderately interested in what they have to say. And, as I said before, it's just fun.

Happy Monday! Look! A puppy!
A fluffy, white puppy wearing a red and white, striped shirt.


  1. It's true! My favourite books, the ones that sweep me away and leave me wanting more, I always end up thinking "I'll never be this good." My approach to dealing with those feelings is reveling in the published books that are really poor and thinking "I write *so* much better than this; if this book can get published, surely mine should be able to, too." There are a surprising number of them, considering. And not even just things like character strength or whatever else is quoted as negative for books like Twilight - real, quantifiable things like language and writing and plot consistency.

    I bet a lot of published authors of bestselling books still look at other bestsellers and feel that same intimidation; I doubt it ever really goes away. But at least you've got that sort of third-party validation at that point in the fact that your own book's in print.

  2. I know exactly how you feel! I felt way better about my writing after reading The A Circuit. And I agree, I don't imagine bestsellers ever truly get over that feeling of intimidation. Especially when the giants like Anne McCaffry and J.K. Rowling are out there.