The Sweet Smell of That’s-not-so-horrible


You know that couple in your circle of friends that’s almost sickeningly in love with each other? You love them together, you actually kinda ship them, but at times you also enjoy one without the other.

That’s what reading and writing are to me. They go best together, but at times you want to enjoy one without the other. Just, with reading and writing, it’s just not the same.

There are times in my writing life when I have absolutely no motivation to read – and vice versa. The text flows, I’m happily tapping away with no additional stories filling my head and possibly distracting me from my own. It’s all good. Until I start reading again and find out that it makes me a better writer. My vocabulary expands, my sentence structure improves, I’m almost not entirely horrible.

So, a couple of days ago, I picked up Libba Bray’s The Diviners and it’s so good. I love the setting, love the premise, love love love the way she writes. And find my own writing lacking. Why can’t I write like that? Why isn’t my story-telling prowess this juicy, this delicious? Well, because I’m not Libba Bray, of course.

Each writer is different, tells differently, considers different parts of a story to be important. There are differences in quality, of course, but different readers enjoy different writing styles, find different aspects of a story important. A friend of mine got bored with Rowling’s Potter a little, because she repeats certain aspects of the wizarding world, while I find all bits and pieces wonderful and worth repeating if it’s in Rowling’s narrating style.

Difference is what makes literature (and life) so exciting. So, I’m going back to my document after having read a couple of chapters of The Diviners to continue my own story. And, yes, I struggle with phrases, I curse the grammar, I pull my hair and doubt my talent, but I still love the process. A process that will hopefully make me a better writer.


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