Reading a successfully written, published novel wakes the monster in my head, the one with green eyes and green warts. I cannot help being jealous of the writer who has reached this goal that I still struggle toward.
This monster has teeth, too. They eat at my confidence, make comparisons with other author's work as I read, always to my detriment. I try over and again to slay the jealous monster, but somehow it survives each attack.
I don't want this poisonous comparison to spoil my reading, nor to defeat my determination to write. But more and more, I have scars from the green monster's bites. Perhaps I can use Charli Mill's Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge prompt this week to pull the monster's teeth:
March 9, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a monster story. You can pick any perspective, even that of the monster. It can be literal or symbolic; it can be heroic or realistic. Think about the shifting roles of what is a monster and who is a monster-slayer. Consider how easily we give the label to others or to fears we can’t name.
My monster deserves no consideration. It must die!
Green MonsterThe monster has teeth that tear at me in the dark. "You're obviously missing something the successful writer needs, or you'd have a dozen books on Amazon now, instead of three partly-finished novels and a co-written memoir, half outline and half disorganized notes in a file-cabinet drawer."
Plugging my ears doesn't help. I close my Kindle, and it hisses again. "That last book was a good one, wasn't it? We especially liked that last phrase you highlighted. Genius, really. Not at all like your stuff."
Only one way to slay this monster: finish the fiction, polish the memoir, PUBLISH!