1. Hubardo

    Hubardo Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    569

    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

    Garball Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,835
    Likes Received:
    1,333
    Location:
    S'port, LA
    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.
     
    peachalulu, FrankieWuh and jannert like this.
  3. Poziga

    Poziga Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    283
    Location:
    Slovenia
    When I read This side of Paradise by Fitzgerald. That's an awesome and enviable book IMO.
     
    Carthonn likes this.
  4. jazzabel

    jazzabel Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    1,691
    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
    thirdwind likes this.
  5. Hubardo

    Hubardo Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    569
    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

    MLM Banned for trolling

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Never been jealous of another writer. A few writers have expressed jealousy of me, however!
     
    cutecat22 likes this.
  7. T.Trian

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,247
    Likes Received:
    1,456
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    123456789 likes this.
  8. MLM

    MLM Banned for trolling

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Kansas City
    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

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,247
    Likes Received:
    1,456
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    @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.
     
    123456789 likes this.
  10. MLM

    MLM Banned for trolling

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Ok. Never had that problem myself. Don't really have any advice.
     
  11. Okon

    Okon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    390
    Pretty much every one of Chickenfreak's sentences.
     
  12. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,489
    Likes Received:
    2,994
    Location:
    Boston
    Not many people know about him, which is a shame. Definitely an underrated writer.
     
    jazzabel likes this.
  13. stevesh

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    648
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    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.
     
    jannert likes this.
  14. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,921
    Likes Received:
    2,526
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    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.
     
    sunsplash and jazzabel like this.
  15. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,756
    Likes Received:
    763
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    I hear you there, Garball.
     
  16. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,869
    Likes Received:
    2,781
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    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.
     
    sunsplash likes this.
  17. sunsplash

    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Between the Magic City & the Conch Republic
    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! :)
     
    Catrin Lewis likes this.
  18. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,673
    Likes Received:
    9,521
    Location:
    Scotland
    @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

    FrankieWuh Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    Deepest Darkest UK
    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.
     
    Catrin Lewis and jannert like this.
  20. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    9,431
    Likes Received:
    6,055
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    "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

    MLM Banned for trolling

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Kansas City
    What do you consider the genius aspects of C&H, minstrel?
     
  22. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    9,431
    Likes Received:
    6,055
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    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

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    11,816
    Likes Received:
    8,470
    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

    Nightstar99 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    136
    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?
     
    nhope likes this.
  25. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    5,146
    Likes Received:
    2,878
    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.
     
    peachalulu and Poziga like this.

Share This Page