Garrison Keillor had a fantastic line in his most recent newspaper column:
When I was in college, I read Kafka and Camus and tried to write like them, in flat non-American English, as if written under the influence of a migraine, until it slowly dawned on me that I was missing the basic experiences that had formed them. Enduring high school is not the same as growing up Jewish in Prague or fighting in the French Resistance.
He’s onto something there. I think many young writers go through that phase. 😆