A few days ago I read another person’s blog (wished I remember whose) and they said that they used to predominantly write poetry and they’ve somehow unwillingly switched to story writing now, they still dabble in poetry from time to time but it is no longer their focus. It’s funny but I’ve got the opposite problem, I’ve written stories since I was ten years old, in fact novel length stories and even a few sagas but in the last few months I can’t seem to focus on stories anymore (I noticed it’s been since I started reading fiction more) and poetry is coming more than easy for me.
Why this happened I’ve no clue, but I suspect it has something to do with me reading other peoples stories and their style affecting the way I think about my stories to the point I have probably lost my courage to write effectively. I think reading fiction for some writers may be dangerous and detrimental to their own story writing and style, if we enjoy non-fiction more but want to write fiction; maybe it’s best for us never to dip our hands into focusing on other peoples novels?
Whatever I write in story mode seems to be bland and boring, less interesting than what I can read; yet a few years ago when I hardly ever read fiction my stories were interesting, exciting, different and a lot more people commented positively in my work, these days I am getting a lot of frowns and a lot of “what the Hell happened to you” kind of comments.
I tend to over think things, so reading other peoples work makes me analyze them and start comparing myself to them, which is dangerous in any situation to any person.
The problem is, I am starting to enjoy fiction as a reading source, to the extent I am searching high and low for good books I can sink my teeth into, it’s become as big as an addiction as my lust for non-fiction books and the more I read, the less I write.
I am trying to steer myself back into reading non-fiction only, but it’s difficult.
If I want to write stories I’ve noticed it’s coming out in very short prose forms these days, writing in a normal story telling way isn’t working anymore; especially lengthening the stories to a novel size.
Poetry is easier for me these days; in fact I can throw out a poem every fifteen minutes on average and I am desperately trying to teach myself that it’s quality of work not quantity, which seems to be what my subconscious is doing – focusing on quantity, not quality.
I believe the old saying that all writers are mad, because of this… I certainly feel mad.