Brooding about so-and-so-author-who-just- came-out-with-book-four-in-four-years kills any chance of worthwhile writing.
In a weak moment, googling this author and reading her blog might seem inspirational. Judging her books trash, acknowledging they do seem to be selling by the tens of thousands, convincing yourself that doesn't change their trash-status...
Hmmm. The adrenaline is flowing. Words might even be flowing across the page.
But more likely, you will be slumped over the keyboard feeling like your own writing is trash and you'll never finish another book.
Using the rush of feeling that comes from thinking about the success or failure of other authors to drive your own work may put words on the page in the short term. In the long term it results in shallow, contracted writing.
Word that speak deeply about the human condition flow from a self solid in its identity and purpose as if no other writer ever picked up a pen, or tapped keys on a keyboard.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
Occasionally, I share what makes me happy, pictures of my garden, recipes I've made, events I've attended, people I've met. I'm always happy to hear from readers in the blog comments, by email or social media.