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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 October 20, 2020

                  How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                  How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                  You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                  We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                  The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                  Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                  1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                  Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                  For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                  • (1) Research
                  • (2) Deciding the topic
                  • (3) Creating the outline
                  • (4) Drafting the content
                  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                  • (6) Revision
                  • (7) etc.

                  Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                  2. Change Your Environment

                  Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                  One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                  3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                  Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                  Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                  My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                  Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                  4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                  If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                  Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                  I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                  5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                  I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                  Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                  As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                  6. Get a Buddy

                  Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                  I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                  7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                  This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                  For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                  8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                  What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                  9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                  If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                  Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                  10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                  Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                  Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                  11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                  At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                  Reality check:

                  I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                  Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

                  More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

                  Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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