My reading list grows exponentially. Everytime I read a book, it'll mention three other books I feel I have to read. It's like a particularly relentless series of pop-up ads.
-A.J. Jacobs

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What the What...Newly Reformed Tiffany

Have you ever read a book that has made you doubt your abiltity to be a writer. That feeling that creeps up inside your chest and settles there telling you that you will never make it. Ever. Like, the fact that their writing is: Just. That. Good. That you feel like you should throw in the pen and give up while you're ahead?

I've had quite a few of those books, but some of those top authors that manage to evoke that feeling of inadequacy out of me are Suzanne Collins, Ellen Hopkins, and Laurie Halse Anderson.

They are amazing writers. And with each of their books that I've read, I've torn through the pages, fallen in love with their characters, and felt like I lost a family member when the series or book was finished.

But instead of using their books as inspiration, I used their books as a way to punish myself and tell myself that I wasn't good enough, nor would I ever be good enough to write a book made of that much awesome.

And I've finally realized that my mentality is just plain stupid. I don't know what their journeys were like into their writing career. How many books were turned down before "the right" one hit, how many times they felt at the bottom of the barrel and "not good enough." (And if they had the I-Wrote-And-Sold-My-Very-First-Book-Within-A-Month Syndrome, then I'm covering my ears, and I don't want to hear it. La la la la la...)

My mentatlity was putting such a strain on my creativity and the ability to write for fun, so I decided to end that. I will continue to read those amazing authors, but instead of allowing it to bring me down, I am going to use what makes their books so riveting to my advantage, and put that same passion in my books. And when it's my time (if it's my time -- oh wait, do you have to have a complete book to have that time ready for you?) then great. No more writing to find an agent. No more following all "The Rules". No more beating myself up constantly.

Let me introduce you to the new and improved Tiffany Neal.


Nice to see you.

*deep breath*

I feel good. Or maybe it's the black and plum hair dye seeping into my pores and damaging my brain. Either way, I'll take it.

7 brilliant remarks:

DL Hammons said...

Hi "new and improved" Tiffany! Are they going to put you on an aisle display and run an ad? Maybe a BOGO?
:)'s great to see you charged up and ready to go! I'm happy for you.

Christopher said...

when you need some confidence just read some really really crappy books, then you'll say damn i should have been published long ago if this drivel was

Summer said...

I've always thought it best to write for yourself first and foremost, and because you love it--not just because you want to see your name in the bookstore. That's a natural outpouring, but over time it'll come to lack soul.

Congrats on the break-through. I'm sure you'll get your time. :)

Tina Lynn said...

Nice to meet you :)

Tiffany Neal said...

DL - BOGO ad...brilliant. That will be next!!

Christopher - Yeah, I try doing it, but it brings out another one of my multiple personalities and gets me all sorts of pissed that they ARE published. I MEAN, REALLY? THAT GOT PUBLISHED...Ahem, I mean, great idea! I think I'll try it out...

Summer - I know, right. I guess what got to me is the fact that I had seriously zero clue what I was doing this time last year, and I wanted to be knowledgeable, but then that turned into reading TOO many blogs telling me how to do it, what to do, what not to do, and it seriously corrupted my writing. From now on, no more of that. You can be my sponsor to keep me on that track. :)

Tina - Hi! Maybe a smackdown some night this week? I need it. Ooooh or that character chat that I owe you?!?

Kristen said...

Errrrmmm then don't read Ellen Hopkin's story of getting pubbed. She sold Crank with only the first 75 pgs complete, un-agented for her first few books I believe.

Now, that aside. Stop. Deep breath. YOU ARE A WRITER AND A DARN GOOD ONE AT THAT. You are right, you can't compare your "PATH" *snort* to publication to someone else's.

You are just as good as Ms. Hopkin's in my book (and I'm not just saying that because I'm writing a book with you either ;)

I'm glad that you're let's finish our book :)

Sara McClung ♥ said...

yay! don't you love the positive break through moments? Welcome to your new outlook :)