I’m a writer. I’d like to think of myself as a decent writer who loves telling horror stories. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following me for a while now. I’ve been thinking about what will happen once I’m published lately. I realize you need a publishing contract first, but you can’t be too prepared, right? 😉
The answer I came up with is readers will compare me, and my writing style, to some of the more popular horror writers. We’re talking King, Koontz, Matheson, Lovecraft, Maberry, and the list goes on and on. The thing is no matter what genre we write, the same thing will happen. It’s the natural thing to do. Write Paranormal Romance? You may be compared to Sherrilyn Kenyon. You get the point.
Think of what the guy who had to guard Michael Jordan thought. He was the best in the game. If you were intimidated, you lost. Too cocky and Jordan would burn you. All you could really do was try your best and forget anything else. That’s what we must do with our writing, try our best and forget anything else.
If we, as writers, get caught up comparing our words with anyone else’s, we walk head first into the danger zone. I’ll never write like Stephen King, just like Stephen King will never write like me. But that’s what readers want to see on the cover of our books. They look for those endorsements. You know, the ones where a famous author gives their seal of approval, gushing over the words within. The more famous the author, the more credibility we give the unknown author. It’s okay, I do it too. I’m just as guilty as the next reader.
This may intimidate some writers. Others probably haven’t thought about any of this. The fact is no matter what we do, our words/books will be compared to others. I don’t know about anyone else but I welcome those comparisons. We’ll never know how good we really are without them. Sure, if we walk with giants we may get crushed. But we may just discover that’s where we belong. If we are committed to excellence, those comparisons shouldn’t help, or hinder, our writing. They may, however, be a good measuring stick.
When we’re published we will be thrust out amongst those literary giants. We can stand and stare as their oversized boots race toward us, or we can walk along. I don’t plan on cowering or being awestruck. That’s where I want to be. Walking with giants.