Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Good, the Bad and the Elf Shoes

It's difficult to find something to say when I'm at one of those moments where I feel my writing is very sophomoric. It could be because I'm reading plenty of well written books and articles, and I think "ooh, that's good." And then I read my own and I think, "man, that sucks!" A teacher in college told us that it was best to read bad books in order to build confidence. You won't read "The Great Gatsby" and then be able to write something so eloquent. You need to read lots of Danielle Steele and think, "I can do much better." But I can't read bad books. They're insipid and put me to sleep.

I reread a travel article I've been working on--it was great a couple of weeks ago, but now I just hate it. Too much description. But I think I came up with a good opening idea for my book. It's still a rough idea that I just jotted down and needs to be worked on, but at least it's there. But I've got to keep on writing. It's the only way to improve. And I was actually impressed with a travel story I submitted the other day. It was one of those where I showed it to others and they all had the response I was looking for, that "wow, that's good!" reaction. So I must be getting better.

Oh--my elf shoes arrived in the mail. I'll be wearing them to work for Halloween. Hopefully it'll liven up my co-workers a bit!


Blogger Michael Tompkins said...

I echo that same exact sentiment. Reading Danielle Steele or Nicholas Sparks or Nora Roberts makes me cringe when I think that I could be reading Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Poe or really anything with a lot more depth and substance -- soul as my buddy calls it in music. When I was writing my first novel, I found myself reading This Side of Paradise and The Sun Also Rises a lot, and rereading. There is a distinguishable difference between wanting to be better than what's published and be great. I just couldn't imagine Fitzgerald at Princeton reading crap. My idea, or really an ideal, is to raise the level of thinking and writing by looking at the bar above, not the one below.

By the way, I enjoy the blog. I just don't get a chance to visit as much as I should.

9:46 AM  

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