Sunday, August 21, 2011

So, I'm Kinda a Hypocrite....

So I've noticed a trend among writers, including (.... okay, especially) me. And I like to refer to it as the I-suck-and-shouldn't-be doing-this-because-other-people-are-better-than-me syndrome. ( And yes, this does not just apply to writing).

So, here are the symptoms: Person writes book. Person then reads another book. Person then proceeds to discredit their work and lose all motivation and or self esteem because author of said book writes "better" than they do.

The causes: Reading books by well published authors.

The cure: There is none. Your doomed for eternity and shouldn't even bother writing anymore because obviously there's no point.


So, I'm about to sound like a huge hypocrite as I give advice on something that I am (very) guilty of, but bear with me. First off, it OKAY to think that other authors are better than thus ( and in my case, I bet they probably are). BUT THAT DOESN"T NEED TO STOP US.

Instead of losing confidence in our writing, we can ADMIRE these other authors, and let them INSPIRE US TO DO BETTER. For the personal confession of the day, I'll admit that I have a huge problem with self esteem and confidence, and am constantly noticing how others can do things better than I can. And for awhile I let that get to me and pull me down and discourage me. But now I realize that I don't need to let it do that to me. When I see somebody do something that I wish I could do, instead of letting it make me feel bad about myself, I'll let it motivate me to do better.

And you can to.

So next time you sit down to read the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Twilight, you name it, and you start doubting yourself as a writer, tell that part of you to shut- up. Because sure, maybe your not published, and maybe your not the best ( or even a good) writer out there.

But that doesn't mean you can't be.

So what about you guys? Do you guys also have those days where you doubt yourself? Whose your favorite author, or whose writing do you admire the most? Answer below!


  1. I've found that the best thing sometimes is to have a writer friend or two to talk to, because you're right, this is a pretty universal thing among writers. And if there's anything writer friends are good for, it's telling you that you're not crazy for feeling that way sometimes, and to remind you to just shut up because you're not as bad as you think you are.

    That said, one author who I love but who also manages to inspire me without making me feel like a hack is Gail Carson Levine. I don't know what it is about her stories, but they just whisper to me that I CAN do it.

  2. True that, Jeigh!

    Here is a quote from Bruce Coville you might like:

    "...most important of all—never give up. You must believe in yourself, even when no one else does. People will think you are crazy. They will think you are conceited. You will get discouraged. You will think it is hopeless. You will think you are never going to get your work published. And if you give up, that will be true. You must believe in yourself, and Never Give Up.

    I know that sounds discouraging, but if it talks you out of wanting to be a writer, then you probably wouldn't have made it anyway. I know many people who are better writers than I am who will never be published, because they couldn't stand getting rejected while they were trying to break in."

  3. And every blogger giving tips is a sort of silly hypocrite. I talk about coming out of the writer-closet and being brave because admitting I'm a writer to just about anyone makes my ears bright red and the room way too toasty.

    I also start incoherently mumbling. So then I get online and prove I still have some command of the english language.

  4. Haha, thanks guys!

    Yeah, Jeigh, I totally agree! I actually have a really good friend who writes too, and when I got back into writing, it was fun to talk about our books and give advice :) And, weird coincidence, but Ella Enchanted is my sister's favorite book!

    Ooh, thanks for the quote Christine! I actually like that one a lot, especially the part about how if we give up, it makes the things people say about us true. Wait, so does the quote go all the way to the " trying to break in" part, or is it just the third paragraph?

    And, yeah, I get pretty (okay, REALLY) embarrassed when I admit to people I'm a writer (or worse, when my Dad tells his colleagues right in front of me...) Haha, that was one of the main reasons I started this blog: so I could talk about writing to people (who actually cared ;)