One of the frustrating things as writers is when you read something that is traditionally published by an agented author and you go — well the writing and the plot is ‘pants’ — if you’re the kind of person who says something’s pants that is, but you know what I mean. Yeah well, it happens and it happens a lot and I hear it a lot, but you have to stop thinking that way.
This is art and therefore is in the eye of the beholder, or is that beauty? But whatever it is — it’s subjective, and best sellers that I think are total pants, clearly are not thought of that way by the people buying the book. And I can only dream of the success of some of these people. No point saying but mine is better, even if it might be true, because where will it get you? And who wants to see those inflated egos?
So I have come to know myself as a writer, and I measure myself against the work I respect. I have to be me, but by reading what I consider good literary fiction or well written commercial fiction (again a subjective thing, to a certain degree) then I measure myself against what I can strive to be and I will settle for nothing less.
I like to push myself to be better and so reading what I think is good, helps to push those boundaries between what is and what is possible.
So don’t get bogged under with the but I could write better than that and just… er… write better than that. And yes you might find yourself with your nose up against the glass looking in at that big old publishing world thinking — but they’re publishing that pants one and not mine? Yeah well… that’s life so keep at it, because one day you’ll be the other side of the glass.
Keep going and try not to overthink what other people are doing, only in a good way anyway when you can use it to show what is possible.
Strive to be better than you ever imagined.
That is all.