It’s Saturday. Cleaning day. I should be doing laundry between sweeping and dusting. Instead, I’m sitting in front of my computer. Why? I didn’t get my full ration of hitting the keys yesterday or the day before. And I feel edgy without my usual “fix.” I did finish reading a book, Faith Hunter’s Skinwalker, which was awesome. Maybe that’s why I’m holed up in my office, forming words into sentences. To reassure myself. When I read a really good writer–and I have many I admire–they often make me feel unworthy. I ask myself, “Why can’t I create a kick-ass heroine like Jane Yellowrock?” “Why can’t I submerge a reader in the poignancy of Mercy Thompson and her friends–(in Patricia Briggs’ urban fantasy series)?” When my friend and I flew to San Diego to hear Elizabeth George, (we’re both huge fans), I felt like bowing and proclaiming, “I am not worthy, I am not worthy.” But the truth is, I wouldn’t want Sharon Ashwood to write like Alice Hoffman, or for Nancy Pickard to write like Martha Grimes. I like my favorite authors because they’re each unique. When I pick up their books, I have certain expectations about voice and style. I like them because they’re them. And that’s the only thing that each writer can bring to his books or stories. His own voice and vision. So even though I admire a long list of authors, and I can learn from them, I still have to be true to myself. We each do.