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8 Admired Books That Were Disliked By Their Own Authors

8 Admired Books That Were Disliked By Their Own Authors

Writing a full-length novel is a labor of love. Most authors who manage to put together a best-selling book often have mixed emotions about their work, but they often come around in support of their book in order to promote it.

However, other times when writers churn out a book, they may actually loathe the work and its content. The disliked book sometimes becomes a best seller, and then the author is saddled with talking about a work they never really enjoyed themselves. So if you have writer’s block, or cannot see the value of a writing project you are working on, remember, you are not in bad company.

The following authors went on public record disowning their work.

1. Anthony Burgess – A Clockwork Orange

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    Later made into a well-regarded film by Stanley Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange depicts a dystopian British future full of sex and ultra-violence. Burgess himself hated what the work became, claiming that he had written the work in only three weeks.

    He disliked that the message of the book was taken by society as “glorify[ing] sex and violence,” which was not at all Burgess’s intent.

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    2. Ian Fleming – The Spy Who Loved Me

    007

      Fleming wrote this book in an attempt to make the much-beloved James Bond into a secondary character, trying to send a lesson about Bond’s misogyny. His aim was to caution against the hero-like worship of Bond. The work was widely thought of as a failure and received mostly negative reviews.

      While the book went out of print during Fleming’s lifetime, the 007 series’ popularity brought it back to life after he died.

      3. Franz Kafka – Metamorphosis

      290-metamorphosis

        Kafka had an almost obsessive compulsion to burn stories immediately after completion. In Metamorphosis, Kafka writes, matter-of-factly, of a man who wakes up one day that he has transformed into a large insect. The work is dazzling and unsettling, and draws parallels to how Kafka feels about his writing.

        He disliked his own works so much that he made a friend promise to burn them upon his death. The friend chose to publish what remained instead.

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        4. Stephen King – Rage

        rage

          The content of Stephen King’s Rage lends itself to dislike by the author and by society at large. Written by King when he was just 17 and published many years later, the work depicts the story of a high schooler who enters his algebra class, kills his teacher and holds his classmates hostage.

          After a spate of school shooting culminating in The Columbine Massacre in Colorado, King sought to remove his text from publication, as he worried it was being used as inspiration for violence. The novel was one of few that king would later publish under his real name, Richard Bachman.

          5. A.A. Milne – Winnie the Pooh

          winnie-the-pooh-book_1724

            Milne was an author of adult fiction, but saw success with Winnie the Pooh, originally a set of stories created for his young son. The stories were simple childish narrations of what his son’s stuffed animals might say and do if they came to life.

            Before the Pooh, Milne had written seven full-length plays and 25 novels, but he would always be remembered – much to his chagrin – only for the cuddly Pooh and his friends.

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            6. Alan Moore – V For Vendetta

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              Moore had a contentious relations with his publishers at DC Comics, one that would sour his feelings about two of his most-widely read comics, Watchmen and V For Vendetta. Moore expected to be the owner of the copyright on the two works, and DC promised to allow him that right once the works went out of print, something the comic book company never planned to let happen. And didn’t.

              In reaction, Moore tried to have his name removed from the work, failing entirely.

              7. Kurt Vonnegut – Breakfast of Champions

              breakfast

                In a collection of his short stories called Palm Sunday, Vonnegut graded his some of his own works. Several of his lesser known works received D’s, but his widely-acclaimed Breakfast of Champions received a C.

                Vonnegut was at times disillusioned by his own writing, once even saying, “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”

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                8. Jeannette Winterson – Boating for Beginners 

                boating for beginners

                  A novel of magical realism, Winterson wrote Boating for Beginners simply because she was broke and needed cash. In the work, the male protagonist accidentally creates God while trying to build a boat. This leads the protagonist to write books dictating how to create God.

                  The works incur God’s wrath, and so forth. Later on in her career, Winterson would try to quash the novel, and she would mostly succeed in getting it out of print.

                  So whether its because of copyright issues, because of the reason the author originally wrote the work or because society missed the author’s message or the arc of their career, many times, authors dislike their works so much that they try to get them pushed out of print.

                  Never fear, authors! Books are living things, and your relationship with them may well change over time.

                  Featured photo credit: Jena Bhone via flickr.com

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                  Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                  Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                  You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                  Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                  1. Work on the small tasks.

                  When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                  Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                  2. Take a break from your work desk.

                  Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                  Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                  3. Upgrade yourself

                  Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                  The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                  4. Talk to a friend.

                  Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                  Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                  5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                  If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                  Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                  Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                  6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                  If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                  Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                  Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                  7. Read a book (or blog).

                  The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                  Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                  Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                  8. Have a quick nap.

                  If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                  9. Remember why you are doing this.

                  Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                  What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                  10. Find some competition.

                  Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                  Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                  11. Go exercise.

                  Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                  Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                  As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                  Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                  12. Take a good break.

                  Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                  Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                  Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                  Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                  More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                  Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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