1. KatieValino
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    KatieValino Member

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    Crippling Self Doubt

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by KatieValino, Feb 25, 2014.

    I think this is in the right place o_O

    Anyway, so as the title alludes too, and I am hoping some of you can relate to, I suffer from crippling self doubt when it comes to my writing. It is not to the point that I cannot accept critique, in fact I encourage it and I demand brutal honesty because I think I am waiting for someone to crush me. To make me see just how rubbish I am at writing and expose me for the fraud I am.

    I have no idea why I demand so much from myself, I LOVE writing, with all my heart. I have done it for as long as possible, mostly for my own amusement, yet for some reason I just feel the greatest fear that actually, I really do suck at it, and do not deserve to write anything EVER AGAIN!

    I need to get the stories out, but at the same time I fear what I write is just rubbish. Do you guys feel this way? Demanding excellence from yourself and never being truly happy with what you write?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In a word, no, I do not feel that way. Not that I think my stuff will ever garner me accolades or fame, but I just don't let the doubt cripple me. Everyone was rubbish to start. Everyone. All humans who have ever scripted verse or prose were rubbish at the start. Some of them, many of them, remained rubbish on into publication. I've read books that I wouldn't use for kindling because I respect the fire too much to offend it so.

    Be that the case, then no, I have no crippling doubt. I have only determination to improve, and the actions that give fruit to that determination. If I die with only that in my hand, it will have been worth the while.
     
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  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm sure every writer has doubt. When I read Kafka's diaries, I was surprised at how often he doubted himself and his abilities as a writer. So you're definitely not alone here. That being said, it shouldn't stop you from writing. You will get better as you gain more experience. It's only a matter of when.
     
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  4. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Don't doubt yourself. For every person out there that loves what you do, there will be someone that hates it, it's a fact of life so for yourself, be a lover, not a hater!

    But ... I can understand partly what you mean. I'm working on a section that, no matter how many times I re-read and edit, I just keep going back to re-read and edit again and again as whatever I do to it, *it* just doesn't work.

    But, never doubt yourself and never give up. xx
     
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  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    We were all rubbish at writing when we began. Some of us, who are still in the beginning stages, are still rubbish. Critique can be hard to take, but it's necessary. Without it, we might go blissfully on, thinking we're geniuses and our works are timeless classics, and we'd be wondering why nobody wants to publish them. Critique will tell you you're rubbish and specifically why. You can learn from it. Next time around, you're not rubbish, you're just bad. Get more critique, better critique, and pretty soon you're not bad. Maybe you're even good.

    I'm not really sure why people think that, because they can write a complete, grammatically-correct sentence, they're excellent writers of fiction. It takes more than that. Nobody thinks that, without practice, they can sit down at a piano and dazzle an audience with a gorgeous performance of a Beethoven sonata. You have to learn to play the piano first. ("I want to play a Beethoven piano sonata." "Well, can you play the piano?" "I've never tried, but I've watched someone do it. How hard can it be? You just push the keys with your fingers. Let me on that stage!" Absurd, of course. But why should it be different with writing?)

    Real writers become artists at every level. Not just sentences and paragraphs, but scenes, pacing, climax, denouement; and at a still higher level, character, conflict, and theme. Writers have to understand things like foreshadowing, irony, symbolism, metaphor, and on and on. That's a lot to learn and master. Nobody pops out of the womb with mad skillz at all that! :)

    So take it easy. Virtuosity doesn't come easily or quickly. Do the work. Read good books like a writer does, studying the mechanics of how they work, not just enjoying them. Read a couple of decent books on craft. You'll get there. :)
     
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  6. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    doesn't matter what people think of your work, just do it because you like doing it.

    I write stuff down to get it out of my head, and i want to be better at expressing it. I couldn't care less if someone loves it or hates it. Be selfish with yourself and generous with others.
     
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  7. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    My crippling self doubt is somewhat compensated for by the fact I'm stubborn as a mule.

    I will improve. :D
     
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  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I say channel those feelings into a character. And focus on the concept, you are where you are with the writing but you aren't standing still, you're improving. If I didn't think that, I would probably worry more about the flaws in my writing.
     

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