Something I enjoy about these posts is looking back on my ‘saved’ posts and re-enjoying them!
The post above is a common challenge (so much so I had to double check if I’d posted about it before Sort of)
It’s totally understandable to feel unmotivated by catching an idea similar to yours, partly its the shock that you aren’t as original and unique as you thought you were, but also the worry that your own work won’t live up to the standards of similar works.
Like many things writing I think its useful to confront with a mix of arrogance and humility. Arrogance that even though ideas are a ‘dime a dozen’ (and cliche’s are hard to avoid) your work will still be worth enjoying, and humility that the goal of good writing/art isn’t to be so unique but rather to just authentically contribute.
That said a very painful part of writing in particular is being aware of your genre, and being fairly up to speed with current fads, tropes and ‘market bubbles.’ I’m not actually sure what’s “in” right now, but generally you want to time your Harry Potter clone to maximize marketability etc etc. I say this can be painful because it usually involves keeping an eye on what’s being published in your genre which can turn a passionate hobby into a dry and exhausting day-job.
tl;dr – don’t panic about originality but don’t be oblivious either.
This is a very interesting one – Also posted about before – and like the originality issues kind of a ‘rite of passage’ for new writers. I should probably do a whole 2nd post about the topic because its kind of fun to dissect and poke friendly fun at ourselves around this subject. But its honestly very difficult. Often new (and let’s face it old) writers haven’t actually reflected much on feedback and critique and its cringingly (wow kinda surprised that’s a real word) bad when things backfire. In the meantime here are some key points I try to follow.
- Feedback is a massive effort on behalf of the feedbacker (not a word) respect it as such.
- I can think of
literally nobasically no situation (for an amateur) where you should rebut feedback. If you don’t agree, thank the person and politely move on
- Feedback is for the story on the page, NOT the one in your head OR of you personally
In a similar vein another good one from Jenna Moreci – whom I should really read a book of sometime:
In publishing news it looks like ‘The Big Five’ might become the big ‘four.’
That’s probably enough for the week that was – I need to get back into Sandman! So far sooo good.