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?