That’s what I moaned to my husband upon finishing E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Because—seriously—how can my writing live up to that?
It’s original. It’s funny. It’s witty. It masterfully captures what it’s like to be a youth latching onto big concepts, trying to sound adult. (Whereas as an adult, the big concepts are quashed under daily tasks like chauffeuring kids to after-school activities and getting oil changes and vacuuming—it’s only young people who have time to wax philosophically.)
It’s not the traditional girl gets boy.
All of which makes me think: why can’t I write like that?
No reason, of course. I can come up with original storylines. I can be witty. I can capture what it’s like to be a teen. I can explore beyond romance. I can offer…well, moments of mirth, if not an entire book. I can do it too.
And if my strengths don’t tend toward lighthearted and upbeat, that’s okay. Dark and passionate works too. We can’t all be E. Lockharts (see also We Were Liars). Some of us need to be Gillian Flynns—or better yet, Galadriel Watsons.