The other day I finished reading a book on my Kindle and thought to myself, I can do better than that! It didn't stem from overconfidence, because that is the last word anyone would use to describe me. No, it came from that tiny part of my soul, the one hidden very deep inside. It's the bitter and envious part that I try to keep hidden, but on occasions such as this, pop up uninvited.
I don't like to admit to those thoughts and feelings. Inadequate. Envious. Frustrated. They make me feel ugly. The truth is that book that I read? It wasn't horrible. It just wasn't what I typically read. The framework was all there, but I was looking for a little more depth or some unexpected twists and turns.
So I finished the book feeling less than satisfied and a whole lotta' cranky because that book had been published. Maybe it was just my mood at that time, but I let the cranky seep in and take over. I can write better than that, I kept thinking and eventually saying out loud.
Finally, after soaking in the cranky for an hour or so, a little voice popped in my head and said So do it. I thought about those words for a minute and decided that instead of complaining about a so-so book that got published, I could sit down and prove my point. Instead of wasting time and energy and emotions, I could transfer all of that into my writing. If I can think I can writer better than that, then do it.
Feeling inadequate sucks. So does envy. It's not about comparing myself to another writer...especially one who has an agent and is published. It's about focusing on my writing. It's about learning about the craft and honing my skills. I can take those feelings and instead of dwelling on them, I can use them to push myself toward my goal.
Easier said than done, but it's a start...