The Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, is here again! This monthly event, in case you haven't heard of it before, is a day when writers across the blogosphere post about their insecurities, worries, problems, questions, and other things that quietly undermine their writing efforts.
You've probably guessed my issue from the title.
Sometimes, I think I should avoid everything like the plague and hide in a cave when I'm working on a project. It can be so easy for another person's style to influence what I'm trying to do, or for a concept from another work to slip itself into one of my projects, or for a plot twist to emerge in a slightly-different form. Not as a conscious decision, of course, but because my imagination liked the idea and thought "Hey! Let's do it again!" without proper authorization.
Problem is, I like to read (and watch things) when I'm writing a story. I feel more creative when I'm absorbing other fiction, finding out what other people are doing in their genres--you know, actually being a consumer. Hence, the conflict between wanting to experience the good ideas but not wanting to unwittingly copy them into my own projects. It's only on very rare occasions that I actually want someone else's style to leak through into my own.
Do you find outside influences to be a problem when you're writing? Developed any methods of avoiding them from getting into your own projects?
-----The Golden Eagle