May the fourth be with you.
Having got that out of the way, it’s appropriate really, because today my insecurity about my work is going to crop up again, and this time, it’s the realisation that I don’t like today’s books.
That’s a sweeping statement of course, and it would be more accurate to say that I turn over about one in twenty books on the Waterstone’s in-store display to read the blurb, and turn back 99% of those because the blurb doesn’t attract me in the slightest.
And these are the published bestsellers with professional blurbs.
This thought cropped up while I had an exchange with one of my author friends about blurbs, how difficult they are to write, and how amateur most of those we see in the Goodreads ads and giveaways appear to be. The continuation of that thought led me to considering that if I don’t like the current genre of published books, it’s not surprising I don’t write books that appeal to traditional publishers. Maybe my books only attract a niche within their intended niche as a result. In fact, do I write books I’d like to read – and do I read enough books that ‘most people’ enjoy?
Occasionally we get to do an X meets Y flash fiction challenge. Star Wars meets Casablanca led to Paradisio – I could do that. More recently Star Wars meets Minecraft had me scurrying to Wikipedia to find out exactly what ‘story’ Minecraft was, since I knew it as a world-building game. Which is kinda what it is, although of course there’s more to it than that. Quite often the options I get in the X meets Y challenge I have to pass on, because although I may have heard of them, I have no further idea what they’re about.
The trouble is, I can’t keep up with all the exciting things going on, and read my TBR, and write.
I suspect I’m a budding old fogey. I suspect I should make more of an effort to keep up with contemporary tastes.
Either that, or just carry on writing what I know, the types of story I like, and hope others like it too.
How do the rest of you insecure writers keep up to date?