Reading more makes you a better writer.
I hear that everywhere I go to for writing advice. Read, read and read. In your genre, out of your genre as long as you are reading.
I mean, I do love reading, getting lost in stories, characters and worlds away from reality. Even though I am quite a fussy reader (I need the action to get going in the first chapter or I have a bad habit of losing interest) I do enjoy a good range of books.
But I find reading books as an aspiring author does not always have the desired effect. It does help me write better due to just the fact of seeing how these books are set out and edited, etc. Yet sometimes I will be reading a book and just think:
My writing sucks compared to this.
And that is a bad, bad thing to think. I will then generally go into some weird kind of down-time where I slump about the house going on and on about how terrible my writing is and how can I even think of trying to self-publish my own stuff (my family can attest to this!).
When I was in one of these glum moods my mother sent me an email with a link to cheer me up. This is the link (and well worth looking at): Things I wish someone had told me about being an artist.
It is about being an artist, but I feel it still applies to writers. It was mostly the first ‘thing’ that got me.
‘Don’t compare your work to others. Compare your new work to old.’
This really struck me. The novella I am writing at the moment is based on a story I wrote when I was fifteen. Obviously it is majorly updated and a lot of it has changed, but compared to that piece I wrote then I can see a MASSIVE improvement in my writing.
I don’t think I can judge my work for myself. I only see the flaws. But I am still confident that my writing and stories are good enough to put out into the world and be read. I love writing and these down times won’t stop me any longer!
So, if you ever find you’re having a moment of uncertainty, remember that you shouldn’t judge your writing to someone else’s because you don’t write like them and that is a good thing. If we all wrote the same the world would be a very boring place.
You write differently to others, but that doesn’t mean you are worse.
That is my motivational speech for the day! Even if it gives one person a needed boost, I will be happy.
Word Count: 4745
Status of First Manuscript: Writing First Draft, Deadline by midnight tonight! (Total Word Count so far= 31,909)
January E-Book Review: 40% read
Do you ever have down times? How do you get yourself out of a confidence-breaking funk?