If you’re creative at all, you’re well familiar with the feeling of hating your own work. At some point you’ll be 100% convinced that everything you’ve done is garbage. It’s not fun. It’s also probably not accurate. More importantly, just because you hate your work doesn’t mean anyone else does or will. Need proof? Here are some famous writers who hated their own work…
Anthony Burgess regretted A Clockwork Orange, claiming the misinterpretation of it (partly from the way it was presented in the film) would “pursue me until I die,” and also calling it his “little squib of a book” in his introduction to a later edition.
Stephen King thought his book Carrie was such a waste of time that he threw the manuscript away. His wife fished it out of the trash and encouraged him to keep trying.
Leo Tolstoy ended his life regretting and being ashamed of having written both War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Tolstoy scholar Pavel Basinsky claims it’s the Russian way to renounce everything they’ve done before. It might also be the writer’s way.
Speaking of Russian writers, Vladimir Nabokov got so disgusted with Lolita that at one point as he was working on it, he fed the pages into a fire. His wife, Vera, saved as much as she could and Nabokov ended up completing the novel.
Peter Benchley so regretted the paranoia toward sharks caused by his novel Jaws that he because a shark conservationist. He claimed in an interview that he could never write a book like that again, having learned about what sharks are actually like. Maybe hating your own work isn’t always a bad thing.
How do you cope when you hate your work? Share in the comments…
To find out more about these and other writers and the books they’ve written and hated, check out LitHub and Goodreads.
As we head into the holiday season, it seems like a good time to post something fun. I snagged this from A.M. Molvik’s Ramblings. Feel free to share on your own blog (leave me a comment to let me know if you do). Enjoy…
1.Do you get sick while reading in the car?
Unfortunately, yes. I can’t even look at a text on my phone without feeling queasy. It doesn’t help with reading, but I do recommend ginger for the nausea, if you’re also prone to car sickness.
2.Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you?
James Joyce. I can’t think of another author like him.
3.Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.
This is a bizarre question, like asking someone to choose between ice cream or a painting of Elvis on black velvet. Are the two even related?
I’m going with Harry Potter, but since HP needs no defending, here are 3 reasons why everyone should forget about Twilight already:
1. It was written by someone who doesn’t like vampires and has no interest in them, other than the ones she writes about. Never read a book by someone who has no respect for the subject.
2. It presents stalking and abuse as “romance.”
3. It’s not so much a story, as propaganda for the author’s religious and moral beliefs. Do yourself a favour and read something else.
4.Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it (besides books…)?
If I bring a book along, I usually just hold it (unless it’s small enough to fit in my purse). If I do bring a larger bag to accommodate a book, I’ll also usually put my purse in there (easier than picking out just the stuff I need), maybe a bottle of water, my hairbrush, a camera–whatever I think I’ll need while I’m out.
5.Do you smell your books?
Not really; I think I’m immune to book smell.
6.Books with or without little illustrations?
Illustrations are always fun, but not necessary.
7.What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?
A lot of books I read as a kid. I’ve recently re-read some of them and have been disappointed (Gordon Korman, I’m looking at you).
8.Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!
I’m not sure how funny this is, but growing up, I didn’t have a lot of access to books at home other than the Encyclopedia Britannica (yes, I’m that old), Greek history books, and a few of my older sister’s novels. So one of the books I would read (more than once) was the Donny Osmond Mystery (Donny Disappears!)
The really funny part might be that I still have it.
9.What is the thinnest book on your shelf?
A Dover Edition of Daisy Miller by Henry James (Dover Editions all tend to be slim).
10.What is the thickest book on your shelf?
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth.
11.Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?
I’m currently published. Find out more about my dark fantasy novel, Love Lies Bleeding, and my free ebook, Blood Magic,here.
12.When did you get into reading?
I’ve loved reading and books longer than I can remember. When I started kindergarten, my first question to the teacher was when were we going to the library. The kindergartners normally didn’t use the school library, but I was so excited to see the books that they ended up making special arrangements for my class.
13. What is your favorite classic book?
Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky.
14. In school what was your best subject?
English. I basically took every English class my high school offered, and then majored in English Lit in Uni.
15.If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?
I might try reading it again, but if I really hated it I’d probably just keep it on my shelf as a reminder of the person who gave it to me.
16.What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?
I think it’s great when people branch out and read new things instead of different variations on a favourite theme. That being said, I do recommend the (non-YA) Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. It has magic, a dystopian future, shifters, witches, vampires, and a kick-ass female main character.
17.What is your favourite word?
Meander. I love both the rhythm of it and the meaning. Susurrate is also a good one.
18.Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?
Who doesn’t love applying labels to themselves? Just call me a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie.
19.Vampires or Fairies? Why?
Vampires, always. I like fairies, but fangs beat wings.
20. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?
Shapeshifters interest me more. Angels can be okay if done right.
21.Spirits or Werewolves? Why?
Werewolves. Spirits are fine as minor characters, but as a main they’d be unsatisfying to read about and impossible to relate to.
22.Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?
Forbidden love, I guess. Love triangles always make me question why they don’t just try a poly relationship.
23.AND FINALLY: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?
Action packed, tyvm. I probably shouldn’t admit this publicly, but I find Jane Austen-style romances tedious. Maybe it’s the lack of Osmond brothers 😉
A series. Standalone books can be unsatisfying, but I can happily read a good series for as long as the author is willing to keep putting out books. With a series you can also go back to the beginning and rediscover things you’d forgotten, or notice something new (technically you can also do that with a standalone, but a series gives you so much more to work with).
2. Rather read a book whose main character is male or female?
Female. I’m tired of the male perspective, which has really had a disproportionate amount of emphasis put on it for far too long. I’d also rather read female authors–they usually can write all characters with depth, not just the half they personally relate to.
3. Rather shop only at Barnes & Noble (or other actual bookstore) or Amazon?
I’d rather shop online. I’m an introvert and crowds make me uncomfortable. Also, shopping online doesn’t require pants. (Most “actual” bookstores have websites too–you can see a whole list of the ones that carry my books here–just scroll to the bottom.)
4. Rather all books become movies or TV shows?
I’ll have to go with TV because that format offers the chance to fully explore a story. The Harry Potter series would have been so much better if they’d made it into a TV show instead of movies, with one or two seasons per book.
5. Rather read 5 pages per day or read 5 books per week?
This is a tough one. I like to savour books, but 5 pages a day doesn’t give you much. Still, 5 books a week sounds like it would become a chore rather than a pleasure, so I guess I’d rather get 5 pages a day and fully enjoy them.
6. Rather be a professional book reviewer or an author?
Author. Done and done. 🙂
7. Rather read only the same 20 books over and over or get to read a new book every 6 months?
If I can still re-read books I’ve already read, then I’ll take a new book every 6 months. If I can read only one new book every 6 months, I think I’d prefer the same 20 on repeat (if I get to pick them).
8. Rather be a librarian or own a book store?
I’ve thought about doing both, but I still sometimes dream about owning a bookstore, so I’ll go with that.
9. Rather read only your favorite genre or your favorite author?
Genre. Authors can stop writing, but there will always be something new to read within a genre.
10. Rather read only physical books or eBooks?
Physical books. They aren’t always as convenient to cart around, but I find them more enjoyable to read (and screens are bad for your eyes).
What do you think–do you prefer series or standalone books? Physical or ebooks? Share your answers in the comments below (and let me know if you do the whole thing and post it).
PS: Have you stopped by my book tour yet? Find out about my books, read excerpts and guest posts, ask a question, and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a sweet custom Love Lies Bleeding travel mug filled with goodies (including a little something handmade by me)!
Toronto is going through its usual series of summer heat waves, where temperatures reach well into the 40s (104F+). It’s hot, it’s sticky, it’s miserable. There’s an inescapable burning orb in the sky, buzzing insects in your face, and a pervasive smell of fake coconut (AKA suntan lotion, which is actually one of the pleasanter smells one encounters at this time of year). Summer can be rough, even intolerable, for a lot of people. Being of Greek descent you’d think I’d love the sun and heat. You’d be wrong. Born and raised in Canada, I’m far more tolerant of low temperatures than high ones, but even my ancestors had a word for people like me:
Ancient Greek Word of the Day: κακοθερής (kakotherēs), unfitted to endure summer heat (via Tumblr)
So unfitted. But never mind the heat, there’s a bigger issue with the sun: I can’t stand the feel of it on my skin. Hell, I don’t like being in direct sunlight even when I’m completely covered. No, this isn’t some sort of melodramatic goth affectation (not that I’m opposed to those). Up until age 8, I loved the sun and spent my summers outdoors, usually in the nearest pool. And then my immune system decided to start going after me instead of sticking to fighting bacteria and viruses. All of a sudden sunlight was uncomfortable, exhausting, and overall unpleasant. I don’t know if this is a common side effect of auto-immune disorders or if I’m the lucky exception, but I can relate more than a little to my vampire characters.
So what do you do when you and summer just don’t get along?
stay inside as much as possible during the day
when you have to go out, hats, parasols, and sunscreen are your friends
if it’s hot and you can’t cool down at home, the library is perfect (by the way, Love Lies Bleeding is now available at the Toronto Public Library! If your local library doesn’t carry it, ask them to start 🙂 )
movie theatres, coffee shops, museums, and art galleries are all good places to cool off for a few hours
look for nighttime entertainment and activities, such as concerts and festivals
reading is always a good (and portable) option. You’ll find endless articles about beach reads, but check out this article on alternatives to beach reading for sun haters.
Are you looking for books featuring characters that avoid the sun as much as you do? I’ve got you covered:
Blood Magic: Myth and magic collide in this FREE story about choices, transformation, and retribution: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/816146
I always find it strange that people need to be convinced to read. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love books. For me, books have always been magic, gateways to other worlds, other lives. They’re adventures and dreams, knowledge and potential, all packed into conveniently portable packages. Forget apps–no matter what you want or need at any given moment in life, there’s a book for it. How could anyone not instantly see the value in that?
(This reminds me of an old Twilight Zone episode where someone was reading a book in parts to their elderly relative, always leaving the story on a cliffhanger to keep the person hanging on well beyond a normal lifespan. #goals)
Successful people read (and they share some of their favourite books here).
Need a short story to get you started? How about “Blood Magic,” available free here, and at other online booksellers!
You can read more about the benefits of reading books here, or you can just pick up a book and find out for yourself.
Today is also World Book and Copyright Day! It’s the perfect day to start a reading habit or to encourage others to start one. How will you be celebrating? Share in the comments.
Lastly, the Copyright Act is under review in Canada. The current Act has allowed copying of copyrighted works to the extent that Canadian creators and publishers have had their royalties decline by 80% since 2012. I urge everyone to read more about it here, and to show your support for Canadian writers and creators (like me) by sharing the message on social media using the following hashtags: #IValueCdnStories #CreativeCanada #ValueGap #INDU #cdnpoli #WBCD2018 #worldbookday2018 #worldbookandcopyrightday