A writer’s bitter sweet moment

Books on bookshelves have always been wonderful and intimidating. They stare at me with deadly smiles.

On one hand, I’m glad they exist. I want them to pull me away from reality. They can take me anywhere away from here. I can find a lullaby in another’s worries. Sounds strange, but it works every time.

On the other hand, they’re deadly. I study their words, their sentence structures, and their plot. I learn how they introduce and kill their characters. I understand why certain details get told. And I also compare them to my writing.

Does my story introduce characters in the same way? How does my plot compare to theirs? Am I killing off this character right?

Those are dangerous questions though. I shouldn’t be asking them. I know I shouldn’t put myself, who has never published before, against people who have published for years. But the questions have become natural; they never stop.

For a while, I thought it was okay to read and compare. I believed I was learning the most from them and improving my stories through their writings. Which to a point, I am, but I’m also destroying myself.

There are times I believe that I’ll never publish a book. There are times I sit down and stare at the words in front of me with disgust. I can’t write like them. My words don’t sound the same. How will I get published?

Those thoughts are wrong. No writer should compare themselves to another. No one can tell my story the way I need to tell it and I cannot tell someone else how to write their story. All writers are artists that have their own natural beauty.

But it’s difficult to remind myself this. Sometimes I feel like I need to write “I am a valid writer” up and down my arms until it’s believable again. It’s something I must repeat until it’s embedded into my brain.

I don’t think the positivity will always stay though. The feeling might go away after I publish. Until then, books are a bitter sweet memory of something I want to become.

4 thoughts on “A writer’s bitter sweet moment

  1. This was a great article to read, having just experienced a similar feeling. Thanks for stopping by my blog and connecting!
    I do enjoy studying the books I read: plot, voice, characterisation, setting etc and learn so much from it.
    I just want to be that good too, and now!!!
    But I’ll settle with ‘still learning and finding my own voice’ and the rest will happen when it’s time.
    The best reminder I had when this happened to me was to compare myself to the writer I was a year ago.
    It’s reassuring finding other writers treading a similar path 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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