In one of my earlier blog posts I can remember writing how if the story line was good, I can see past bad grammar and the occasional poor writing. How naive I was, how eager to give all books a chance. No longer, I now suffer the tragedy of the writer. This affliction means that I know what it takes to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and yet if I find the writing lacking I will skip past it or put the book down never to be picked back up. Life, I figure, is too short for bad books. But I was feeling guilt thinking of the effort the writer had put into their work, a story I could not finish.
I recently had the shocking realisation that there are thousands of great books out there that I will never get to read. It is simply impossible to read them all and this made me sad. It also made me no longer feel bad about not completing a book. Yep, I know the effort the author has put into it and I appreciate said effort, doesn’t mean I’m going to keep reading if the book is not for me. I wouldn’t do it with anything else in my life, so why should this be any different?
The other tragedy of being a writer is that I very rarely read a book these days without analyzing it on some level. I don’t so much compare my writing to what I’m reading, but I certainly take note on how the author describes things and uses the senses. A book that can make me forget this subconscious analysis is to be treasured and I have to say it’s been awhile since I’ve come across one. But when I do, I appreciate the freaking hell out of it and look forward to more from the author.
I wonder if this happens to actors or musicians? Dancers and artists? It’s like learning your craft makes you appreciate the good so much more while the bad makes you visibly wince, even though you know the effort that has been put into it. If I’m reviewing a piece of writing for a friend, colleague or one of my children this shines a different light on it though and I don’t mind. It’s when I’m investing my leisure time (and money) into a story that doesn’t deliver on its promises that the tragedy of knowing more makes me less tolerant of the bad writing, despite the effort and love put into it.
Anyway, have a wonderful week everyone and happy creating!