Compare vs. Aspire

As writers, all of us have had those moments when we are reading a good book. I wish I could have written that! or Why can’t I ever write anything that good? So, why isn’t it a good idea to do that?

Comparing or aspiring?

One easy thing to do as a writer is to compare your work to that of another – especially an author who is more experienced than you or whom you admire. Why is this a problem? Because, by comparing, what can happen is that your own work is degraded in your eyes.

This can get discouraging when you realize that you can’t write like Louisa May Alcott, C. S. Lewis, Jane Austen, Jules Verne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Dickens, J.R.R. Tolkien, Alexandre Dumas, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or any author whom you admire.

(I could name more, but the list would get too long.)

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But that’s the wrong way to look at things.

The reason you can’t write like your favorite author is because you aren’t your favorite author. You are you and must write with your own style, realizing that you can’t be anyone else, but you are yourself.

“Well, I don’t like my writing style,” you may say. Well, that’s where the second half of this post comes in. Aspiration.

To aspire is to aim for something higher. To make a goal, to seek ambitiously. This is what we as writers must do. By studying the works of those authors, finding out what made them truly good and seeking to incorporate that into our own writing, we can improve ourselves without being discouraged.

If you still need encouragement, find a friend who is willing to read your work, give you pointers, tell you how much they like it, and be a fan. (Or, if you know someone who needs this, you give it to them.)

Keep practicing. Rather than be discouraged when reading great works of literature, aspire and be inspired. Writing is fun!

And remember, even the greatest authors had to start somewhere.

Talk to you later!

Molly

P.S. this is the 50th post on A Sparkle of Light!

Problems With Double-sided DVDs

A True Story. Feel free to laugh! 🙂

A few weeks ago, a few members of my family and I started watching a movie. As it was a long movie there were two things noticeable at once. (#1) one we couldn’t watch all in one sitting and (#2) it was on a double-sided DVD.

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We ended up finishing the movie after a few evenings, but to our surprise, it was only about half as long as the back of the case said it would be! We realized, between laughs, that we had watched the second half first! By putting side “A” down in the player (that makes sense, right?) we had finished the movie before we’d started it. Oops.

As if that weren’t bad enough, a couple weeks later we were doing almost the exact same thing. Watching a movie that had a double-sided DVD.

After watching for a while, it got late so we stopped it about 15 minutes short of the end of the first side of the disc. Thinking about what the back of the case had said about this movie, we realized that it was nothing like what we had watched!

We’d done it again.

At least we hadn’t finished it first, though. 😛 We couldn’t believe it! And we had even put side “1” down, like the first one had been.

Oh well. I’d like to have a good talk with whoever invented double-sided DVDs.

Moral of the story: make sure you have the right side of the DVD down! 😀

Have a wonderful day!

~ Molly ~