It happens often. Mostly when I am struggling with my novel and I read a magnificent work of fiction. I drop the book, my arms fall to my sides, and I stare at the ceiling knowing for certain that I will never be that good.
Many of my writer friends have shared this same thought. We compare ourselves daily and when we read a gold trimmed version of our favorite classic we are overcome. I get the feeling you, dear writer, may also struggle with this.
Part of the problem is what I bring to the table. I was not educated in Oxford nor was I a war correspondent for the Toronto Star during the Spanish Civil War. My life experiences are dull in comparison. But this is not the problem. The problem is that I consider even for a moment that someone else’s life is better than the one I am living now. I forget that everyone has a tale, whether tragic or otherwise, to tell.
C.S. Lewis wrote C.S. Lewis Stories. Hemingway wrote the way only Hemingway could. I bring my own experiences and thus tell a story the only way I know how. This is what I must remember. I must reach into myself and write out of who I am. You must do the same.
The world of literature would be boring if bookshelves were stuffed only with novels about Harry Potter or Baker Street.
Write your story.