Have You Ever Had Author Envy?

Free image courtesy Lacie Slezak on Unsplash.

This question can easily be summed up for me in three words – All. The. Time! It doesn’t matter if it’s a phrase, the setting, or the plot, there will always be times when I wish I had written it myself.

I used to get moments when the writing or the plot from other authors was so good, it caused insecurity. I would compare my writing against theirs and feel like an amateur. My writing was vague, my plots thin, and my characters not fully formed. I wondered why I even bothered. I wasn’t good enough.

As a writer of Gothic fiction setting is very important, and when I read authors who describe setting so beautifully, I tear myself away from the book and absorb those words, and read them again, in awe of the author’s talents.

I’ve found that the more I read, I could emulate these authors in my own unique way. By continuing to practice my craft and learning by their examples, I began to establish my own writing voice. Once I accomplished that, I became more confident.

Yes, we can continue to have author envy, but like any other art form, we can appreciate their books for what they are – individual expression.

Who knows? When our own writing voices are out into the world, maybe one day an upcoming author will envy ours. 😊

Have you ever had author envy? What do you admire most about an author’s work? Have  you established your writing voice?

4 thoughts on “Have You Ever Had Author Envy?

  1. I do get author envy. I recently read a Pepper Basham book and admired how her sentence structure varies without it seeming contorted. I try to do that, but often my sentences fall into one of two structures. One of my goals is to improve that aspect of my writing.

    1. Debbie Johansson 01/03/2023 — 4:43 am

      That’s one of the things I like about reading – learning from other authors. Some people’s writing is sheer poetry. I’ve never heard of that author before, so thanks for the recommendation, Priscilla. Best of luck with your writing goal! 🙂

  2. For me, the most important aspects of fiction are story and characters. Without them, the most beautiful writing seems flat. I think story is paramount for Gothic fiction too. But of course, the more we read, the better we’re becoming as writers.

    1. Debbie Johansson 02/03/2023 — 10:02 am

      I completely agree with you on story and characters. The two have to work together as they feed off each other. Thanks for stopping by, Olga! 🙂

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