Over at his blog Domination of Black, Laird Barron has posted a list of twenty horror writers worth reading. Both my bride and I are pleased to have made the list... and I'm also glad for the nudge to order up books by a few folks whose names are becoming increasingly familiar to me but whose work I've not yet sampled.
Cracking the spine of an unread book, discovering a new and vibrant voice waiting there on the page... that may be a little moment when you stack it up against life's big picture, but it's one that always sends a jolt up my spine.
Of course, sometimes it's the kind of moment that makes me want to break my pencils, too, but that's the risk you take when you you're a writer and you read the really good stuff. You can't help but stack up your own work against it. And, in the long run, that can serve as motivation to raise the bar on yourself a little bit -- or try, anyway -- which is a great approach to getting the job done.