I've become quite unhappy with my writing lately. I know I shouldn't be but I am.
I think it all started about a week ago when I read Deborah LeBlanc's first book Family Inheritance. It isn't often I sit and read until I'm finished with a book. In fact, I have two started that I haven't picked up in weeks. They just don't do "it" for me...whatever "it" is. Then Thursday I read Deborah's second book, Grave Intent and became quite unhappy with my writing.
When I finished the book, I had several questions. For example, how did she weave plot, setting, narrative, dialogue and all the other bits and pieces together so well? How did she make me forget about the real world and join her characters in theirs? I'm a very quick reader...yet at times I couldn't read the pages fast enough. Most importantly, I wanted to know how to do those things in my writing. There must be some secret I don't know about right?
In chat last night, Mary happened to mention that comparing your writing to another's was asking for writer's block. And that is exactly what I've done. I've looked so much at the negative in my writing this past week or so that the joy is gone. So now what do I do?
First, I look back and see how far I've come and how much I've improved. I'm going to read the last couple rejection letters I've gotten with personal comments and invitations to send more to them. Then, I'm going to plant myself in front of the puter and write.
I think the last is most important. Writing is what makes us better writers. Just as my son gets better the more he practices the piano, I get better by writing.
I'm also going to get Deborah's third book. And I'm going to read and enjoy her mastery of the craft. Then I'm going to go write some more and one of these days my readers will lose themselves in my character's world too.