I'm not saying that these books are anything actually like my WIP. Because they're not. Really. But there are similarities that are easy enough for me to notice. Maybe they take place in a desert or maybe the main character gets debilitating headaches. Either way, reading a book like that is kind of a glimpse into the book my book could be.
And it freaks me out.
Every published book has something good to it--something that makes people like it and makes them want to buy it. So a lot of the time, when I'm reading these kinds of books, I lose all perspective. It goes something like this:
Hey, this is kinda similar to my book. Cool.
He/she/it wrote my book! D:<
And he/she/it wrote it better than me~!
And he/she/it is published!
Why am I not published?!
*cries in a corner*
Unfortunately, my sense of melodrama tends to stick around until I finish reading the book. It's difficult to be rational and remember why I love my book when I'm in the middle of being seduced by another.
So I guess I just wanted to remind everyone: don't be irrational about your WIP, especially when it comes to published books. Your WIP might be like something, but it's not that thing. It will never be that thing--your story will be brilliant and sparkling all by itself. So don't go changing your writing in response to similar books, okay? That would be stupid, because you should always be writing what you want to write.
Now that the PSA is out of the way, tell me, how do you feel when you read published books that share an element with your own WIP? Do you take as a challenge to write something similar, but better? Or do you have a mini-meltdown like me? Tell me in the comments!