Can't Stand To Read Anything You Didn't Write? How To Fix It... (Or What To Do When You Find Yourself Becoming An Ego Maniacal Author In Love With Your Own Work.)
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>I can't stand to read anymore because I can't get interested in anything that isn't my own writing. Anyone else have this problem? Do you have any idea how to fix this?
Yep. Same thing.
I used to write Sci-Fi because I loved reading Sci-Fi. But after a while I hated reading Sci-Fi. Could only read Sci-Fi I wrote and no one else's. I'd be all "They shouldn't write it this way" or "If I had written that, I'd have done...". That was in the 1980s. Then because I was writing Sci-Fi but got too annoyed every time I read Sci-Fi, I started reading Fantasy.
Well, guess what happened? I started nit-picking Fantasy apart. I loved the IDEA f Fantasy stories but I couldn't find any I really liked. I'd like characters from this one and plot lines from that one, but never everything from all of them. Soon I was saying "I wish there was a story about..." or "I wish someone would write a character who was..."... I wanted to see Gypsies in Fantasy, who were treated like real people instead of being stuck in as some mumbo-jumbo magical being trope. I wanted to see the Elves of the rest of the world (outside of Medieval times; outside of Europe). What were Elves like in ancient Persia? What were Elves like in the Yukon goldrush? Why are there no transvestite main characters? Transgender yes. Transsexual, yes. But ransvestite? Not a one. Why are Fairies always frail females? Why does nobody write blood-thirsty, human eating monster style Fae like existed in Scottish folklore? There were no novels out there to answer these questions. It frustrated me. I wanted to read these stories but no one had written them.
I had no trouble finding Sci-Fi I loved reading, but whenever I wrote Sci-Fi, I'd get too hung up on comparing mine to theirs and couldn't read it.
Then the solution hit me...
I LOVE reading Sci-Fi, but every time I write Sci-Fi I get too picky in comparing it to my own and stop reading it.
I love the IDEA of Fantasy and WANTED to read it, but couldn't find anything I actually enjoyed.
Read Sci-Fi and write Fantasy!
I know every one says to read the genre you write, but for me that advice just doesn't work.
Well, in the end, today, I write Fantasy novels. All those characters I wanted to see but couldn't find? I write them! My main character is a transvestite. He travels with Gypsies. (yes he is the correct pronoun for a transvestite - if you didn't know that then you don't know the difference between a transvestite and a transgender person.) The Gypsies are REAL Gypsies - NOT belly dancing travelling nomad thieving half naked sluts, but rather stick moral, half bred children of Muslim mothers and Jewish on the run from murderous anti-semites. In Persia. And Canada. In a world plagued with blood-thirsty Faeries. All those settings I yearned for but were not out there? I write them!
So, now, I write Fantasy and never read any Fantasy other than my own - yes, I do read my own books. My fave book, is Screaming Unicorn, I've read it a dozen times plus now. I am my own biggest fan. LOL! :P
But here's the thing... now I can read all the Sci-Fi I want, no problem! Now that I'm no longer writing Sci-Fi, I'm back to reading every Sci-Fi book I can get my hands on.
So, for me, the solution was to write one genre and read a different genre... thus I'm still being ever more obsessed with reading and re-reading my own novels, because I've absolutely fallen in love with my 3 main characters. :)
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