There is a very fine line between loving absolutely everything a particular author puts out, and absolutely hating everything they do. I, for one, have yet to find that perfect balance. When it comes to many things in life, I am very “all or nothing.” I’m either all in or not at all. Everything with me is very black and white with hardly a middle ground.
Now I know that’s not a perfect personality trait. Not by far. It has its limitations and its strong suits. For example: over the course of 2021 I worked hard to remove myself from many online communities and services. It took a solid two weeks to contact online shopping companies to just get my accounts deactivated.
Why? Because I’m attempting a No-Buy Year for 2022. I can’t say I’ve been all that successful, because I know I’ve fallen short of my own goals already. However, I am most definitely more mindful of what I choose to bring into my home and what I leave out of it.
That brings us to today’s topic of discussion: authors. And books. And writing. In my quest to become more minimalistic, I have included books as well. While many minimalists prefer practitioners to give up things like books, I can’t justify that change for myself. But what I can do is be more mindful of who I choose to read. Let’s take a look at the three main reasons as to why I no longer have favorite authors.
1. Writing styles can change
The more I read certain authors stories, the more I’d come to realize that I really didn’t like their writing style. Which saddened me greatly because I know for a fact that at one point I wanted to write exactly like them. While I still have yet to find my own writing style, I know I no longer wish to emulate others.
And that’s a very good thing for anyone to recognize.
We have to come into our own when it comes to what genres we write, and how we write. Just because someone’s been a published author longer than you’ve been alive (or writing yourself), that doesn’t mean you have to like everything they put out. In fact, it’s better if we don’t; it will teach us to read with a more critical eye.
This brings us to reason number two.
2. There’s no way anyone can truly love every story they write
Without calling this author out by name, I’ll just refer to their novel series as “The Reimagined.” Mind you, I went through a period in 2017 and 2018 where I adored fairy tale retellings. For some reason, I didn’t realize just how many more options there really were out there. So I stuck completely with “The Reimagined.”
So much so that I’d wait patiently for the next book realize. I liked the idea of the overall arc, but that you could reach each book as a stand-alone novel. This author also helped further fuel my desire to write, so I can’t completely discredit them if they managed to do that.
The more I read of “The Reimagined” series, the more I realized how disappointed I was in the quality. It felt as though the author lost interest in it all, and was only continuing on because they had a book deal and readers who wanted more. I can see how that would be a very hard decision make: to break with a novel series that’s already fully realized/agreed upon and not finish.
Like I said earlier, I’m very “hot and cold.” I know it would take a lot for me to quit halfway through. I don’t know if this particular author ever felt that kind of pressure, or if they actually lost interest. That’s just the feeling I got from “The Reimagined” overall.
3. They may say or do something you don’t agree with
Finally, I no longer have favorite authors because someone may say or do something I don’t agree with. We’ve already seen this happen with some pretty big authors over the last few years, most notably J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer (I’m certain there are more, but those are the two that stuck out).
Social media is, without a doubt, tricky business. The modern traditional publishers want to see that you have an online presence in order to gauge your marketability. At the same time what’s said on platforms can make and break careers of all types.
I firmly believe that consumers of entertainment forget that the creators behind their favorite things are just as human as they are. In a world that greatly approves of fandoms and idolization, that same world doesn’t easily tolerate a difference of opinion.
All of the above is why I worked so hard last year to limit my online footprint. Why I only have a single Twitter account and Pinterest. Not only so I’ll have more time to hone my writing skills, but that I can have a more open mind about who I choose to read.
Choosing to read, or not read, an author can be tricky business, especially in 2022. It can be hard to separate your beliefs from theirs, unless all you’re looking for is a good story. And isn’t that all we really want? A good story?
“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”-Carl Sagan-