Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reading and Jealousy

Last week I read a book that I loved so much that I found myself envious of the writer's skills. Have you ever reacted in this way? It is certainly something we, as writers, face. Others are getting agents, deals, film and foreign rights. I get that form of jealousy and feel it is completely natural. I try to restrict myself from reading too much of that sort of thing. But getting jealous when reading something? Anyone ever experience such craziness?

Perhaps it's just me, but planted in that jealousy is also a desire to learn from the fantastic authors who have published before me and will no doubt publisher after me. So how about you--do you ever feel envious when reading?



  1. I do get that little twinge of jealousy and then I say to myself the author deserved getting published and so will I some day. Then I study the book as I read :)

  2. It happens quite a bit for me! I just try to remind myself that a) this writer also used to suck and it's only through practice they got to where they are and b) it takes a whole team of people to get a book on the shelf!

  3. Oh man I am struggling with jealousy with a lot of books I've read lately - usually either their amazing ideas, or their amazing writing. But yes, I do try to turn it around to learn something from it instead of just fret about it!

    Good querying tips on that other post, too. i think that is the main temptation with the query letter, trying to stuff too much into it when mostly you need to give them a character to fall in love with and a questions that MUST BE ANSWERED!

  4. LOL. I actually feel like, "Why am I trying?" and get a little discouraged.

    But then I go back and try to break it down and learn from the writer and get inspired.

    I think this happens to all of us.

  5. I don't get jealous, but I do try to study writing by people who seem to have an effective approach that draws me in. Some writers have a unique approach that there's no point trying to emulate. But others use very definite techniques that can help anyone. Most of all though I think what I've picked up is make it interesting. Doesn't matter what style you use, if it's an interesting idea on the page people will keep reading.

    Moody Writing