I read other blogs, as my links show. Often, I'm blown away by the stunning work I encounter. I don't think I'm a hack, but I feel other writers put me to shame with their beautiful works. And it makes me try harder. When I see the way the author can weave such a marvelous tale or evoke such strong emotion, it makes me think my work pales in comparison. Yet, I'm pulled forward, by a big imaginary hand, dragging me to my computer so I may create output as stirring as the others. I know I'll never have some writers sense of space, or other's humor. I know I may have to stretch to paint similar images that I see others create, but their works drive me to do so. I'm moved into action, spurred on by a tug at my heart or mind, pushed by a desire to match their creations. I am not trying to imitate or copy; I am trying to instill in my work the ingredients that will give the reader the same level of satisfaction and joy I feel when I read their work. At the very least, I need to feel that in my work. If anyone else does, that's a bonus.
To all the writers, painters, and musicians...all artists in all forms, I salute you and I thank you.