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?”
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.
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! 🙂
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.
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! 🙂