Apparently I’m not allowed to enjoy media anymore.
Well, that’s not entirely true. This week my kids and I are watching the Lord of the Rings. Yes, the extended versions. I’m still enjoying that. I just started reading Elle(s), a fantastic comic dealing with a girl with multiple personalities… maybe? I’ve backed a bunch of projects on Kickstarter that are starting to arrive, and I’m itching to read them.
But then I watch a movie and… I notice how this storyline never tied up. Or I notice how the protagonists didn’t earn that emotional victory. Or I notice how the author is overusing certain words.
I’m constantly evaluating my own writing. How does this emotional arc work? Does the protagonist actually protag? Do the plotlines all converge nicely? I need to evaluate so I can make my stories the best they can be.
And then when I take in other media… I continue to do the same thing. And more and more, I’m finding myself disappointed.
There’s two sides to this. First, it means that I’m enjoying other media less.
Second, I’m thinking that if those things can get popular or find an audience… well, I should be able to do the same, right?
So just a quick note today to warn you: If you pursue writing, you may find yourself being one of those bitter people saying nothing good comes out of books or movies or whatever anymore. Please, don’t become that person. I do still enjoy plenty of media, just not as much as I used to. It takes reminding yourself to find joy where you can. Laugh where you can. You don’t have to be bitter!
But what you find yourself not enjoying something… analyze it. Figure it out.
And then use those lessons to strengthen your own writing.