1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Jealousy of other writers

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Hubardo, May 9, 2014.

    A thread for you to post after you've been reading really good writers and think to yourself "I could never be this good!"

    :D
     
  2. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I was unpacking some boxes after moving and found my Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes anthologies. I thought to myself that nobody will ever be as good as those two.
     
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  3. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I read This side of Paradise by Fitzgerald. That's an awesome and enviable book IMO.
     
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  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I remember thinking this after I read 'Wind-Up Bird Chronicles' by Haruki Murakami. Also, after I finished 'Kafka on the Shore' I wept, both because it was over, and because of the essence of that book, which is just so deep. It's books like those that leave me speechless. I'm deeply impressed by all my favourite books, and their authors are masters I try to learn from. Charlotte Bronte, Phillip K. Dick, Alexander Dumas, Ivo Andric, Kim Stanley Robinson, Frank Herbert and many more.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
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  5. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Started the thread because of Tad Williams' Dragonbone Chair. The prose is poetry, and I don't know how much editing he does but it seems like much of the writing comes to him naturally. I don't even WANT to write like him, but I know that if I tried, I couldn't.
     
  6. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Never been jealous of another writer. A few writers have expressed jealousy of me, however!
     
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  7. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I get that feeling whenever I read William Blake. I don't really write poetry, but when I read his, it feels like he's putting into words exactly what I feel and in ways that I could never pull off; so simple, yet so perfect:
    Gary Farmer's brilliant recital of an excerpt from Blake's Auguries of Innocence.
     
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  8. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Is thinking you couldn't write something as well as someone else actually jealousy? I couldn't write a lot of things that other people write as well as they do because we're different people, but that doesn't mean I envy their lot over mine or wish I wrote their work in their stead.

    If someone wrote something you think perfectly, doesn't that make it easier, rather than harder, for you? Now that those thoughts have already been succinctly expressed you can work from that new basis to reach higher and delve deeper.
     
  9. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @MLM, I get your point, and I think the same way: I wouldn't want to write Blake's poetry. However, I do want my writing to represent my vision as well as his writing represents his vision. That's what I'm jealous of, his capacity to express himself in his own way.
     
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  10. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Ok. Never had that problem myself. Don't really have any advice.
     
  11. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pretty much every one of Chickenfreak's sentences.
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Not many people know about him, which is a shame. Definitely an underrated writer.
     
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  13. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    When I read a good story, I think, "I wish I had written that." When I read a great story, I think, "I wish I could have written that." A kind of jealousy, I guess.
     
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  14. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I've sort of done the jealousy thing and moved into the hopefully more productive - admiration.

    I've been reading Mary Stuarts in Time Descending by Georgiana Peacher. She is batty, wonderful, incoherent, wonderful, absurd, amazing and sometimes just full of it. But her vocabulary, her freedom of language, how she just lets herself go - wow.
    Now if I could learn from that but add my own spin, like coherence -:rofl: - That I would love.
     
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  15. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hear you there, Garball.
     
  16. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Two of my all time faves. When I was working in my first job in accounting, all kinds of crazy hours and a boss we called "Spot" behind his back (anyone old enough to remember the TV show "The Munsters" will get it), the one thing that kept me going was my morning Far Side.

    But, as to the OP, no, I never get jealous of other writers. Admiration? A desire to be as good? Yes.
     
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  17. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    I agree with @peachalulu & @EdFromNY that I feel admiration for some writers, a desire to be as great as them some day, but I wouldn't describe it as jealousy. When I was big into poetry Langston Hughes and Lorine Niedecker were crown jewels to me, probably still would be if I revisited their works. Saul Bellow, Jane Austen, H. Rider Haggard, Alan Paton, Philippa Gregory...each one made me feel like I could never write as well as them, but I'll be damned if I won't keep trying! :)
     
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  18. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    @Garball and @EdFromNY - oh, you guys are spot-on. I love both cartoons and quite a few others as well. I remember eagerly awaiting the 'funny papers' every Sunday.

    The thing that is particularly good about Calvin and Hobbes is the author/artist's ability to be 'funny' but also to draw impeccably well. That strip was pretty much top of the pyramid for me. Mind you, I also loved Pogo (back in Walt Kelly days) and BC and The Wizard of Id, too. Peanuts? No, not so much. Okay there was 'wisdom' there, but it never tickled me the way these others did. And Doonesbury always made me laugh, but I was never a fan of the artwork. There was no way to 'guess' what was going on in the pictures.

    Yeah, I could feel jealous about great strip-comic authors. I wish I could do that. Ach well. My next life, maybe...
     
  19. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    Heh, this is rapidly turning into a Far Side appreciation thread! I love Larson's stuff. Genius. My fave: "anatidaephobia: the fear that somewhere, somehow a duck is watching you."

    But on topic ... I'm with the majority on this. I never read something and find myself jealous of their ability. I appreciate it, learn from it, and respect it utterly because it deserves it.

    I do find myself jealous of others' publishing successes though. Like those multi-million advances for books which I think I could've written if I'd only had the time. Sigh.
     
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  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    "Calvin and Hobbes" is genius. I also liked "Bloom County."

    For poetry, Robinson Jeffers and Walt Whitman are my favorites. Jeffers' poetry bleeds into my prose a lot, actually - I suppose you could say I'm jealous of him. His use of language is amazing.

    I'm jealous of Anthony Burgess. His ease with English, his massive, instantly-available vocabulary, his cutting wit... he was a master of prose.

    Nabokov and Bellow were prose masters, too. So were John Updike and John Hawkes - I'm jealous of their skills, even though I don't like their subjects.

    I suppose I'm jealous when someone writes great sentences and paragraphs - better ones than I do. I don't find myself jealous of other people's characters, settings, concepts (usually), or themes. I'm good with my own. I love reading great prose, though. I love when someone can dazzle me - amaze me - with a beautiful paragraph.
     
  21. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    What do you consider the genius aspects of C&H, minstrel?
     
  22. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Watterson's intuitive capture of what it's like to be a little boy. All that creativity and energy, combined with the helplessness. Calvin is endlessly diving into things over his head, loves it, and realizes, "Oops! Now what have I gotten myself into?"

    And his snowmen. Calvin made some freaky snowmen! :D
     
  23. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I keep meaning to get some early Peanuts anthologies, because I know I loved it, but when I occasionally see it in the newspaper my reaction is always "meh."

    Does anybody remember Linus and Miss Othmar and the eggshells and the teacher's strike? Or Sally and her eyepatch? Or "my heart bleeds for the snicker snack company"? I suspect that the newspapers these days are reprinting the blandest strips.
     
  24. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    I think my writing is as good, in it's own way, as anyone else's. If you don't think that why are you bothering?
     
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  25. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm personally jealous of my friend's 5 star reviews lol. She worked hard for it and deserves it, she's a very talented writer. But still, I can't help but have this niggling doubt about myself, that when time comes when I push my book out, I'm gonna get hate mail and not a single reader raving about my work as they did hers :rolleyes:

    I know it's just me being insecure lol.
     
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