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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

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        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

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            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 December 2, 2019

                  10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                  10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                  Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

                  In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

                  These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

                  1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

                  Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

                  But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

                  Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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                  2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

                  You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

                  The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

                  3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

                  If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

                  Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

                  If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

                  4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

                  Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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                  To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

                  In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

                  5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

                  We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

                  If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

                  Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

                  “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

                  6. Give for the Joy of Giving

                  When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

                  One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

                  So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

                  7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

                  Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

                  Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                  8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

                  When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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                  So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

                  9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

                  Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

                  It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

                  It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

                  10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

                  There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

                  But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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                  Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

                  More About Living a Fulfilling Life

                  Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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