Today’s post is a bit of a delve into my mind sort of piece. You get to see how I react to reading books that I personally find to be a good deal better than the ones that I’m writing. Maybe not entirely in terms of the story (I rather like where my Dreamstate arc is headed) but in execution, and control over the language.
So, I think I talked about this once before, when I had finished reading Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series; but that’s okay, because it’s still relevant. I have finally gotten around to reading Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane—not the whole thing, mind you, but I’ve started. Starting a book is the hardest thing for me to do. Once I’ve cracked the first few pages, I’m hooked, but I need a special want to pick up something new and interrupt my already annoyingly full day. Anyways, back to my original point: I find it terribly alarming when I’m reading something that I’m very much aware is better than anything that I can write.
I know that I’m comparing myself to individuals who have spent decades mastering their craft, while I’ve only been at it for a couple years, but that doesn’t really ease the nerves all that much. If I were to ever break into a mainstream scene, I’d be compared to them by the public, in the same way that I compare my writing to theirs. Not because they’re all that similar, but because people like them have set a standard, and now I feel like I need to reach that point to be where I want to be. I’m talking purely in terms of skill of the craft, not monetary or chart success. I’d be content enough just knowing that I could do something, rather than having the rest of the world know it too. Not that I wouldn’t say no to the rest of the world wanting to read my writing—but quality comes first.
It’s not that I’m threatened, or inherently worried that somehow their being better at writing than I am means that I’m bad, it’s just when I place myself next to a classic, it’s harder to see where I shine. I’d imagine this is what the people who’d put out albums right before the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper felt like. There’s an equal parts mixture of panicking and feeling inspired to accomplish what the more experienced writers have accomplished.
Needless to say, I’m enjoying the book and will continue back into it as soon as I’ve posted this online.
In other me news, I’ve been given another five star review on Amazon for one of my books. I do like when I get those—they’re rare, but that just makes them all the more sweet. Dreamstate II is still going along more or less as I have planned. The content is smooth going and I’m having quite the good time. It’ll be nice to be finished though, I really do have a few other projects I’d like to work on/ get back to working on. A few of them I’ve had set aside for a number of months now, and I have all sorts of ideas to fix the problems that made me ditch them in the first place. Writing is going well and I’m having a really good time doing it right now—not much more to say besides that.