1. Kevin Gordon
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    Kevin Gordon New Member

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    A REALLY strange first post.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Kevin Gordon, Dec 17, 2013.

    Hello All,

    This is my first (And likely only) post on here. Don't worry I am not trying to sell you anything or con you into giving me something. I just have a simple question I would like to ask.

    How do you crush the desire to write? I have little (Read No.) talent. I struggle with basic punctuation, grammar and spelling. I am DEEPLY DEEPLY lazy. And would rather spend my evenings watching videos on you tube, posting on forums or even just watch my cat lick its genitals than write.

    But every morning I wake up WANTING to write. I think about it all the time. I go to bed and dream about it. But I do not have the ability or will do anything about it.

    The worst part is that I end up making myself feel awful for continued failures at achieving my dreams. I end up being eaten alive by my own feelings of guilt and inadequacy. I am beginning to hate myself simply for being me. It's really starting to get me down now.

    So as I know that I am incapable of fulfilling my desires, does anyone know of a way I could douse it? If it didn't involve prescription medications or illegal narcotics then that would be helpful...but not a deal breaker.

    In the interest of full disclosure my life outside of this is more or less perfect, I have a wife and children who I love and can support happily on with my day job as a Software Engineer. A job I enjoy and find rewarding, well as much to the extent as anyone find the realities of their employment.

    There are further bullet points but the only constitute minor issues.

    Which nicely brings me to the end of rambling post. Thanks for any advice or help you may offer and apologies to any moderators I may have upset by posting this in the wrong place.

    Merry Christmas
     
  2. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    Why not try just writing a couple minutes in the morning? Your punctuation, grammar, mechanics, etc. seem just fine in what you just wrote.
     
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  3. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Just read a bunch of how-to books and you'll be golden! I'm sure someone around here has a list of them floating around somewhere... :rolleyes:
     
  4. PBrady
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    PBrady Active Member

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    Not sure what you're complaining about.

    Your spelling isn't that bad. Nothing a spell check couldn't sort out.
    Your grammar isn't too bad. I have seen a lot worse from PhD students.

    What will probably cure you is to post a couple of musings, scenes or sketches. If they get trashed from here to eternity then that will cure you :)
     
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  5. lex
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    lex Contributing Member

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    You probably have - and could cultivate - the ability: your post above is 327 words and doesn't seem to be particularly badly written. (True, "the only constitute minor issues" should probably read "they constitute only minor issues", but you know this already).

    The will is another matter.

    You need some kind of psychological help, in that case. A writing forum may not be the best place to seek that. But good luck, anyway. :)
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Why would you ask this in a writing forum, where most of us are doing our best to improve our writing and often encourage one another when someone is down or stuck? Using a little reverse psychology to try and generate an outpouring of encouragement and support?

    If you want to write, write. If you don't, don't. Make a choice and then make it work.

    Problem solved.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Many who flirt with the quill give it up when they discover how much actual work goes into creating a decent manuscript.

    On the other hand, others become slaves to the craft, and find themselves compelled to improve their grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and storytelling skills.

    Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!
     
  8. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    • I have little (Read No.) talent

    How do you know? Talent is only potential. Another name for it is aptitude. And that means only that you have the ability to learn. No one has an instinctive knowledge of how to write fiction for the printed word, and the nuances of it aren't covered in our schooldays English. And in any case, there are “no talent hacks making a living with their writing, so they must know something most of us don’t. Maybe you're one of them.

    Don’t sell yourself short. You’re asking the question because you obviously want to write but don’t know how. So I’ll tell you a deep dark secret: neither does anyone else when they leave high school (and other than people who major in it, neither do most collage grads). The difference between them and you is that they don’t know that.

    Here’s the thing. Did you pass English? If so, you’ve learned the general skill called writing that readies you to either continue with formal education or learn a trade. And you’ve already demonstrated that you can learn the various nonfiction compositional skills. But you’ve not tried learning the skills of writing fiction for the printed word, so at this point you don’t know is you do or don’t have talent for it.

    So, given that, let me toss you into the deep end of the pool. Look at this article on one method of placing the reader into the character’s point of view.

    If it makes no sense and you find that what the man tells you boring then you’re right and writing may not be for you. But if you find it interesting…

    Then try this one on what makes up a scene, and apply the same question.

    • But I do not have the ability or will do anything about it.

    Or maybe you’re missing the knowledge you need to do something. Everyone wants to be. But it's all in the becoming. After all, your math classes didn’t make you a mathematician. The TV you watched didn’t teach you to be a screenwriter or a director, so obviously there’s more to it, as there is in every profession.

    There are books on the subject of writing just as there are for medicine, and cooking. Try a few on for size. Or, as a sample, you might look at some of the articles on writing in my blog. They’re very basic, and written to give the flavor of the various elements to writing fiction for the printed word. If you feel like you're backstage, and find yourself saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?” then you have both interest and aptitude. If not, your question is answered.

    Given your situation, if you want to pursue things a bit further you might like Debra Dixon’s, GMC: Goal Motivation & Conflict. It’s a very gentle introduction to the elements of writing fiction, and deals with structure and nuts-and-bolts issues rather than delving into areas of style and literary content. The price is reasonable. too.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    kevin...
    sounds like you definitely need some psychological help... and sooner rather than later, since it has to impact badly on those you love eventually, if it isn't doing so already [which i'm willing to bet it is]... nothing this strongly felt can be kept from those you live with, as they will sense something is wrong and feel it's their fault, if you don't let them know it's not...

    so, for the sake of your family, if nothing else, please hie thee to a therapist/counselor/family doctor/shrink asap!

    and while you're working with a professional to resolve your emotional impasse, if you want to try writing, i'll be happy to take you on in a mentoring capacity and we can see what your ability level is and/or can be brought up to, if you want to go ahead and start writing... my motherly nagging may help in that regard...

    love and healing hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
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  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    In light of @mammamaia's comment above, I have deleted my other post in this thread. I echo her concerns that this looks like something far more serious than a perceived inability to write.

    My apologies for my initial misreading of the OP.
     
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  11. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Really really strange first post indeed. You come to a writing forum and asked both published and aspiring writers alike how to quit the craft?

    Sir, I do not give you the pity you don't deserve.

    To put it simply, you're hiding from yourself. You think your ideas may be genius but the one person who says it may need work devastates you, so with the lack of perfection you call yourself talentless and lazy. Just sit down and write, read what you enjoy reading, catch inspiration, organize your ideas, and write. Practice it from the bottom to the top.

    Everyone can do everything. Some are born to, and others like myself, we're born with a dull blade that we must sharpen with practice and will. You WANTED your wife, family, and your job you have (a job I myself would kill to have) and you didn't just keep WANTING, right? Right, you went and you put in the effort, you had the will to go get them. Writing is something you WANT to do, so tell me, what is stopping you from making the time to pick up a pen?
     
  12. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed with mostly what everyone said.

    But did you ever think maybe it wasn't writing you wanted to do but to tell a story?
    There's a hundred different formats and ways to achieve the formats.

    Either that, or you want some sort of accomplishment in your life but maybe have never had to deal with real obstacles (such as your own self) to achieve them.
    Modern society can suck in that spectrum.
     
  13. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Hello and welcome to the forums, where we happily spend hours trying to do the exact opposite of what you are trying to do. :rolleyes:
    Let me just say, I am sorry for your predicament. It sucks having the urge to write but conflicting interests elsewhere and a lack of confidence within yourself. I know that one well. But as others have said, when it comes to the basics you are not struggling. As JayG pointed out, writing fiction is a different monster, but nothing that cannot be learned through the right training. If you want to write, any of us are capable of helping--some more-so than others--but if you'd rather drop it altogether, I can't really help you because I'm crazy enough undertake the craft of writing.

    I must completely echo what maia said. If you are as disturbed by this as you let on, then talking with someone about it may help you discover yourself a bit more. Maybe talking to your wife? I might suggest sitting down and allowing yourself to just finish a few stories to get them out. Write a little bit that comes to mind and let your creativity flow some. Heck you could even keep a journal if fiction doesn't float your boat.

    Whatever you decide to do, you are welcome here and we can help you with most writing issues you bring forward. A to kill the urge to write, I doubt any of us have managed to figure it out. :rolleyes: Take care of yourself and take a good honest look at your motivations. You say you hve a good life, maybe something inside you just needs to express itself. Talking with someone who understands you usualy helps.

    As maia says, love & hugs, also peaxe &and blessings.

    Andrae :cool:
     
  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Do you like to read at least? Reading a lot will help with your grammar. It doesn't even have to be fiction. It could be essays, articles, etc.

    Still, at the end of the day, all writers need discipline. If you can't sit down and write, then writing may not be for you.

    By the way, the next time you're on Youtube, you should try watching a video about writing (there are plenty of them). Maybe one of them will be of some help.
     
  15. Vante
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    Vante New Member

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    There's a lot of good information already posted up there, OP. So I am going to leave behind the following two nuggets for you to chew on:

    "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. " - Theodore Roosevelt

    "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." - Mahatma Gandhi

    If you can be true to yourself while applying the underlying messages in the above two quotes, you will find the solution to your problem.
     
  16. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    too much information drivel (me)
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  17. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    Write something and try and sell it. Crushes a lot of people.
     
  18. Evarnae
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    Evarnae New Member

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    From what I've read I feel as if you're contradicting yourself. You say you have this intense desire to write but at the same time you would rather do anything than actually sit down and do it. What do you really want? Do you want to write or do you want to watch youtube videos all night long? You say that you've given up on your dreams because you've felt the sting of failure before, does this mean that you once felt that writing was your calling in life? If so, the fact that you want to do anything required to douse your passion for your writing sets off major alarm bells to your psychological state.

    To answer your actual questions - there's almost nothing you do to destroy something that obviously means so much to you, if you've become so depressed and fallen into self hatred and your passion still runs hot then it's not something that can be turned off like a tap. If you want to write so much, why don't you just write? Why hold yourself back from something you want so much that it dominates every thought? Even if your grammar and punctuation are abysmal (though from your post, they seem above average) and you feel you have no talent, that's no reason not to write. Talent is meaningless and incredibly overrated, what makes a good writer is skill learned through determination, patience, a willingness to try, and most importantly, passion.

    If you feel so guilty, untalented and lazy as to not even try to be what your heart wants so fiercely then you need to seek help. Even just talk about this with your wife or your friends. Really think about why you want to get rid of your desire to write, what is it about writing that is so unsavoury to you? I know you said this will probably be your only post here, but please come back and tell us how you're doing and what you decided. Good luck with everything, I hope you find peace with your decision :)
     

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