Jumping into the fiction writing world can be daunting. There are so many genres and sub-genres. There are authors who write under their own name and those who write under pen names. When considering the most overrated writers, however, there are a lot of things to understand you don’t need to do to be successful.
Poet Sharon Olds imagined the stages of her father’s death from cancer, sharing her vivid imaginings with the world in her work. This failed, miserably. Likewise, her poetry that supposedly “empowered” feminists is a a throwback to previous generations of confusion. She also has a strange obsession with genitalia, particularly that of family members – something people usually avoid discussing. Finally, while writers tend to grow with the times and adjust their writing accordingly, Olds has seen nothing wrong with her work for three decades. Sadly, there was great room for improvement in that time.
Poetry seems to be particularly well-represented on this list of overrated writers. Ashbury’s poetic works and amateur philosophy seem to reach British readers well but fall short in American circles. His writing has no specific theme or trend that is readily apparent. This leaves the reader confused and unsatisfied.
Collins attempted a unique trend – a poet as a stand up comedian. In order for this to succeed, humor has to be a strongpoint for you. Suffice to say, Collins has not achieved that accomplishment. At least he can poke fun at himself, saying he is not “a great poet.” Others on this list would be hard-pressed to do so. Most recently, Collins has been working to perfect the concept of being busy doing nothing. His focus for his work has been the creation of the work – a snake eating its own tail.
Gluck writes poetry. This can be a tricky medium as it is, but when you attempt to follow the path a great writer (Sylvia Plath) has forged before you, chances are you will fall flat. Sadly, this is exactly what happened to Gluck. Almost two decades between her first and second works, and the results were a drastic fall and no hope of redemption.
If you decide to write fiction, the way to go will not be the direction Cunningham took. His work borrows from the great authors of the past and makes the important issues they addressed trivial and lost in the writing. Cunningham, like many of the truly great writers, lacks the courage to make his own statement. This in itself is an indication of how unlikely he is to be admired on his own merit instead of overrated by misguided readers.
Taking on poetry may not be ideal for novice writers. Similarly, however, some of the techniques and paths chosen above should be avoided until you have a higher comfort level in writing and possibly some success already under your belt. So when you think of the most overrated writers, know that you can be popular without making their mistakes. Technically, you have a better chance of being popular by going in a different direction than these five chose.