(From previous blog, unedited)
I posted this on Tumblr earlier today:
I feel like there is a great pressure being a writer who hasn’t read much because the greats will tell you that being a good writer means also being a good reader. And I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment, but the ones spouting this advice grew up reading, and in a way, you feel cheated because they have, not just years upon years more experience in reading and writing, but they started at a time when developing those skills becomes engrained into your talents. It’s difficult to compete with that. Knowing that you are always playing catch-up and constantly in a state of inadequacy because you started too late (they’ll say there’s no such thing, which is only half-true in my opinion) and you can’t remember the books as well as you might have had you read them when you were younger and had the freedom of enjoying them to your hearts content. I feel like it’s never enough to just set a goal and read that amount of books per year, that it might be better worth your time to practise writing instead, but then the creeping feeling of inadequacy starts weighing in and suddenly it’s all about reading again because you can’t help shake the feeling that your writing is missing something or you feel like you don’t know enough about writing or just think it isn’t good enough. So, there is this compulsion to both read and write a lot of the time. You want to create, but don’t feel up to the task until you’ve read more. It’s a vicious cycle of starts and stops that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to break. How do you know when you’ve read enough to start writing those ideas you have stored away? How long will it take to master the craft before you’re certain your writing is the way it’s meant to be? Is it possible to write leagues above your reading level? I’m not clueless about writing and I don’t typically find reading to be a challenge (except for remembering how the books were written). All I want to do is make the best out of the ideas I have that make me excited to write, and learn what I can from other authors in the process. Maybe I just dream too big.