8.10.2011

And now you'll see how insecure I really am

Today I read a really dumb book. I mean, I don't want to be catty or anything, but I really didn't like it.

I read the blurb and thought, "Okay, well, I think I know what's going to happen, but hopefully there will be some good old plot twists to shake up the norm."

Oh, plot twists, where art thou? It played out exactly how I thought it would.

No surprises. Cliches galore. Contrived plot. Stereotypical characters.

It was torture. TORTURE I TELL YOU.

Now, you may be asking why in the world I kept reading if I didn't enjoy it, so I'll tell you: it's good for my self-esteem.

Yeah, I know, that sounds really catty, but let me explain a little better by telling a story. One day I was trying to revise part of my story but I wasn't feeling it. Everything I did felt wrong and I was writing in big, fat, smelly, ugly circles. I decided it was not my day to write, so maybe I should do some reading, because we all know reading inspires writing. Right? We know this. We do this.

I grabbed the first book on my shelf, which just happened to be Hunger Games. Here's a little advice: If you're feeling crappy about your writing ability, don't read Hunger Games. Just don't. My self-esteem, clinging to the edge by a few shaky fingernails, took a lumbering dive into the abyss and I spent the rest of the day stress-eating and sporadically crying.

I love to read awesome books. But sometimes, I don't mind reading a mediocre book, because I can see where it's not working and what I would change if it was my story. Then, my self-esteem can push the Wild Berry Skittles to the side, scuttle away from the edge, and say, "Hey, I'm not doing such a bad job after all! I'm on track! I'm okay!"

Also, after I read it, I was so fired up that I threw down 1,000 words, BA-CHOW, in no time flat. So next time you're reading a book you're not so hot about, try to see the educational aspect in it.

And let's save the Hunger Games for the more stable days, shallll we?

9 comments:

Ruth Josse said...

Thank goodness for crap. And thank goodness for literary gold to bring us back to earth.

There's definitely some books that drive me into depression because there is NO WAY I will ever be able to write something like that. Oh well. So, have any awful books to recommend for my self esteem?

Juliemybird said...

I remember that Hunger Games day. A right mess.

Hey, you know how we're twins separated at birth +/- some years? Well. This proves it. I DO THE EXACT SAME THING. As you would say, "Get out of my head!"

Red Boot Pearl said...

That's awesome, I have issues, if it's not living up to my reading expectations I shelf it...because I get too ADD to focus on the story. I will definitely try this though...and I totally feel ya about the Hunger Games scenario.

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

WORD. I picked up a book in my genre hoping for some inspiration. The book was so boring and bad, that I felt GREAT about my own book. You're right, awesome books (though I love them) make me feel a little inadequate and unmotivated.

Anonymous said...

You make an excellent point - there is much to be learned from mediocre books about what NOT to do - really good books can read as if everything has just fallen into place, and the skills to be gained from reading them can remain elusive.
Robyn Bavati

Michael Offutt said...

I've read a lot of crap in my life...

Rachel said...

Haha, this exact same thing ( kinda) just happened to me! I was reading this book the other day that was TERRIBLE. It was cheesy, no character growth ( not to mention I wanted to punch the MC a lot. Hard), and the plot really wasn't.... good. But I kept reading it. And thinking about how I would make it better if I wrote it :)

Christine Tyler said...

LOL. I'm about to read the Hunger Games. I'm hoping to start it next week. Now I'm not so sure...

Christine Tyler said...

JK. Hilarious post though, and yeah, I do think it's a good idea to give your brain a break and read something a bit simpler (or okay, poorly written), than your own book.