Not a day goes by where I don’t read an article, short story, book or tweet and think to myself, Oh man, that’s so good. I wish I’d have written that. The disease is called Writer Envy and I have it. BIG TIME. There are signs everywhere, like when I can’t put down a book because the story is so riveting (The Rule of Four). Or when I retweet someone else’s witty one-liner (like this).
This got me thinking: Is it healthy to have Writer Envy? Shouldn’t we all have it? Isn’t it in our nature, as writers, to be a little envious of great writing? I have to think that we weren’t on the constant lookout for great writing we’d never mature as writers. So I’m glad I suffer from Writer Envy. I hope it’s an ailment I carry with me the rest of my life. My only hope is that one day someone reads something I wrote and thinks, Oh man, that’s so good. I wish I’d have written that.
So here’s my question to you: What writers cause you to suffer from Writer Envy the most?
(Note: My top two are Kurt Vonnegut and Dave Barry. Hands down.)