The question from Let’s Talk Bookish for April 29-June 5 is “Choose Your Own Adventure” which I take to mean that its a freebie. In which case, I am writing about:
These are my personal opinions. I do not expect anyone to agree with anything here, and in fact, I’m certain that many will disagree and / or even hate many of the things I’ve written below. Sorry about that, but you are always welcome to express your own opinions – be they contrary or comparable – in the comments section. So, with that out of the way… let the controversy begin!
What made me think about this topic?
Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly bookish meme created by Rukky @ Eternity Booksand is now hosted by Aria @ Book Nook Bits! Each Friday, there is a discussion topic for bloggers to write about, and this week I think that “choose your own adventure” means it is a freebie, So… there are no prompts. So, I’d been thinking about Writing Inspiration Vs. Intimidation. My prompts are:
I’m sure many of us book bloggers have thought about writing our own novels. In fact, some of the blogs I follow are by published authors. That made me think. Do book reviewers have what it takes to write novels ourselves? Do reading novels – both good and bad – inspire you or intimidate you regarding writing your own book? If a book is not all that enjoyable, do we think we could do better? If a book is really great, do we think we could write something that could be just as good?
Do book reviewers have what it takes to write novels ourselves?
Aside from the already published authors who also review books, I guess that depends. Obviously, we reviewers know what we like and what we do not like. The more experienced among us know how to pinpoint exactly what works or does not work in a book. But I do not think that means we automatically have the ability to write our own books. If we translate this into another field, we know that – for instance – food critics may have the taste buds to determine if a dish is good or bad, but that does not automatically make them a chef. I’m sure, however, that there are both food critics and book reviewers who have sometimes tried something and quickly said “oh, I could do better than that.” They might be deluding themselves, but it certainly must come to mind from time to time.
That brings me to my own writing. Regular followers of this blog know that I used to write poetry, and I’ve actually had some of my poems published. I can therefore hold out some hope that I have some writing talents (added to this, before I retired, I was employed as a grant writer for the non-profit sector). Strangely enough, I no longer have the urge to write poetry (it can be very emotionally draining), I do not even read much poetry anymore, and I could never presume to review a book of poetry.
Do reading novels – both good and bad – inspire you or intimidate you regarding your own writing?
As I said above, when we read something that we think is not such a great work of fiction, I’m sure we’ve thought we could write something better. Obviously, for those with the creative bent, that could be an inspiration to try to do just that. On the other hand, when I read a book that is beautifully written, with a compelling story, I wonder if anyone could do better, and I’m humbled by the author’s talent. In addition, poets who succeed in publishing a whole book of poems really do intimidate me, and no, they do not inspire me to try my hand at it anymore.
Are you inspired or intimidated at the idea of writing your own book?
It seems to me that I’m both inspired and intimidated. I doubt I’ll try to publish any more of my old poems. I think the best of those have already had their time in the limelight, and what’s left is mostly drivel.
As for a novel… confession time here. Yes, I am working on writing a book. Yes, it is true. Mind you, I have not written all that much (but I’m not intending on writing a long work, in any case), but I’ve had the idea in my head for a very long time. Now that I’m retired, I’ve decided I will work more on it and see what happens. Every time I read a book that I have to DNF I do think that I could do better with my own novel. That does not always inspire me to write, but it does encourage me with the idea of writing my book. However, then I come upon a book that is an overwhelming 5/5 stars and I think to myself “how can I do that?” Frankly, that scares me, and I wonder if I have it in me to actually write something that readers will not toss off as garbage.
This also makes me remember that I’ve gotten more than my fair share of requests for reviews that I’ve refused because they sound so bad. I mean, if the email does not encourage me to read their book, how could their book be any good? I think I have pretty good instincts about this. For the most part, when I’ve agreed to read someone’s book when they come to me unsolicited for a review, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. On the other hand, when someone presses me so much that I finally give in and reluctantly agree to try their books, I’ve had to either DNF the books, or ended up finishing them, but rating them fairly low. So I also worry if I even have the ability to catch the attention of my fellow book bloggers! Mind you, that means I need to finish writing my novel, get it edited and proofread, and then I’ll have to try to get it published (or maybe even self-publish it), so I think there’s time for that.
By the way, although I’m pretty lazy about working on my book, I have signed up for a week long writers workshop that will take place in July in Ireland! I’m very excited about it, because one of the mentors is none other than the author Heather Webb, whose career I’ve been following faithfully since I read her first book.
Thanks again to Aria for keeping this up and for doing Link Parties for these discussion posts!
There you have it!
Are you thinking of writing a novel? If so, do other authors’ works intimidate you or inspire you to write your book?
This post is also my 8th entry in the 2022 Discussion Challengehosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!