I once heard a woman say that she was her own favourite photographer, because after all if she wasn't taking photographs she loved, what was the point?
It's a little different with writing, or at least it is for me. The element of freshness, of revelation, is an important part of what I love about reading a story, and I can't create that for myself (except during the writing process.) The courage of the reader; their surrender; their fragility before the inclinations of the author; their hopes and fears taken by that author and weighed, sometimes manipulated : it's all very beautifully scary. And it's missing when I read my own work. My favourite writers are those who give me that revelatory sense, sometimes over and again with the same book.
But I can say that, in general, and when I'm able to turn off my editing instinct, I do like my own stories. We're not really supposed to admit things like that, are we? But I guess it makes sense. After all, I write the stories I want to read, in the kind of language I love, with characters who interest me. If a story becomes boring to me, I simply stop writing it. And I know that no story is complete until it makes me, as its first reader, want to cry; until its final sentence lifts my heart.
(That isn't to say I believe my work is magnificent art, only that I like the stories I tell.)
My favourite story in The Coracle Sky is Wintering, although Aftermark comes a very close second because I like its characters so much. Some stories I've written over the years I will read back with a sense of satisfaction. Others I will avoid, their energy having shifted beyond what I needed or wanted at the time of writing (or their quality being frankly abysmal.) And others I will return to as a reader in simple enjoyment.
Maybe I can do this because I honestly believe the stories were given to me by something in the ether - the spirit of the tale itself, perhaps, or the so-called muse. There's no self-pride involved. Just a pleasure in story.
Do you look back with love or appreciation on the words you have written, or drawings you have made, or jewellry you have created? How do you feel about saying to yourself (or to other people), I like this. I value it.