Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Confidence Booster?

This quote from Dean Koontz got me thinking: "Read a novel by a really bad writer whose work you despise, and tell yourself 'If this junk can get into print, publishers will fight one another for the rights to my book.'"

I cringed when I first read that, but then I thought, it's kind of true, isn't it?

If I read a really great book where I am drooling over the prose, I beat myself up about my own writing.

At least at first, before I aspire to become better. Dang-it!

BUT, if I read a book where the writing sounds equal to or worse than mine, I sit up a little straighter and somehow feel more confident.

I think there's something to that. It's all a mindset, isn't it?

That said, I would NEVER go around bad-mouthing someones writing, and I absolutely HATE when I hear other writers do that.

For example, I have heard a lot of this kind of mud-slinging towards Stephanie Meyers and her TWILIGHT series (jealous much), and I think that's just plain WRONG.

I think what Dean Koontz was getting at with his quote was the internal struggle a writer (or anyone for that matter) has with them self. And how you come to grips with your own talents and successes.

Your thoughts?


Jules - Big Girl Bombshell said...

Oh Christina, I SO agree. Everything starts with the mindset! This is GREAT food for thought!

Maddy said...

I think it's ok to compare and contrast with anything we do. I think it can keep a person inspired and motivated to better if used with a healthy mindset. If you're looking at it with bad energies (like envy), it can definitely be a toxic exercise. It's a delicate balance. But I say do whatever keeps you motivated to not only be a better writer, but a better person!

India Drummond said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with not liking a particular style of writing or a particular book. The problem is when it becomes criticism of a *person* rather than a work.

That being said, I don't publicly criticise or give bad reviews to mid-list authors. It can really hurt their career, and there's just no need for that! If I don't like a novel, I typically just move on to the next one. Taste in books is very subjective anyway.

Unknown said...

So true!!! I get the same way. I have such a hard time writing book reviews because I never want to say anything bad about a fellow writer. Ever! By the way, I may need to hire you for your jewelry skills if my book ever sells! :)

Melissa said...

I agree we should never bad mouth other writers, we all struggle, it's hard for all of us. While that is true, we can't help what we think, if we don't like someone's writing we can't force ourselves to like it. So when that is the case, it is a mood booster and Dean Koontz quote applies.

I think as long as we don't vocalize our dislike we're allowed to feel that way. While you're allowed to feel that way if you do vocalize it, it gives people a very bad impression of you and you look bad.

Ann said...

Yep I think it's true for all of us, no matter what job we do. It's human nature and as long you are civil and professioanl about it, you'll go a long way.

Stina said...

I avoided reading THE HUNGER GAMES because I'd heard great things about it and was afraid to read it. I loved it in the end, and my self-esteem and confidence remained in tack--mostly.

It really is subjective. I love SM's books, though I learned a few mistakes from them. But even if I hadn't, I would have never claimed my writing was better. Obviously it isn't since she's published and I'm not. ;)

I wonder if the anti-SM group have every queried their novels claiming their writing/book is so much better. :D

Melissa B. said...

I've been telling myself for years that there's a novel deep down inside of me, just waiting to be written. Well, someday. Perhaps. Maybe. Fat chance.