In a bold and insightful piece by writer Monica Byrne, she discusses how, as an emerging writer, she created a list of her favorite authors titled “My Idols.” But she scratched that out, then wrote “My Models.” Then, finally, “My Peers.” Why?
… I realized the difference between admiration and idolatry. How I placed the famous writer’s innate talent beyond my grasp. … There was nothing essentially different about me and my capabilities, except time and practice. However, I notice a strong culture of idolatry in American literature that restricts writers’ sense of possibility for themselves—as if their idols produce nothing but genius unapproachable work; and also, as if it’s not even conceivable they could ever be as good. But it’s just not true.
Read the entire piece—inspiring and honest. And when you’re done, check out these other essays on writing over at the latest Glimmer Train bulletin:
- The Blank Page by Melanie Lefkowitz
- Having Children Might Actually Help Your Writing by Brian Gresko