Becoming a writer changes you. This is a warning and preparation.
I have noticed that the more I study and learn about sentence structure, plot, and gimmicks I analyze the books I read more. That is to be expected, but I am finding I do not enjoy some of my favorite stories anymore. The books that have amazing stories but are written poorly or simply are less impressive to me. I read those books and think “did this author not study as much as me? Why did the editor even let this pass?”
And it makes me sad sometimes. I don’t want to lose my love of reading to be a writer. And I don’t think I will completely, but I am getting pickier. And that means I have less books I want to read. But when I do find a new book that excels my standards, I find euphoria once again. And the wait to find that book makes it all the sweeter doesn’t it?
Writing Under the Influence
Those books that you can still get really excited about also say something about you. Those books are going to be the genres you will do best in. Those books will shape your writings to the next step. They help you to understand what kind of writer you are.
But reading good books can also hurt your morale if you are an anxious person. It can be scary to see how far you are from perfection. But just like when you are taking in all the writing tips and tricks information, you have to take a step back. Don’t expect your writing to ever be perfect. There is no one way to write a sentence. There are multiple amazing words that could go there. Sometimes which word you use is completely up to you and helps to define your style. So learn from the greats, but walk your own path.
Change isn’t a bad thing. It represents growth and that is always a good thing. It can be scary and get overwhelming at times, but keep at it. Besides, once you get into a good habit of writing, it is only natural that you will have less time to read. Be glad that you are on your way to being an author. Remember, you are a reader if you read. You are a writer if you write. And you can still be both.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema