1. Firelight
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    Firelight New Member

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    Depressed, intimidated by my own writing! Lost ability forever...?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Firelight, Nov 30, 2010.

    Hello,

    I'm new to the forum. I've always felt born to write, as if there was a genetic drive to do it, irrespective of talent. I say this for a reason, because I haven't written anything in well over a decade due to profound depression and other stupid things completely leaching my creativity and deforming it into the ground. But I always felt a need deep inside to write.

    So I dusted off my old writing and outlines and read them, and just about died. The realization that I can no longer write, not like that, the getting into the character's heads. the characterization and point of view and 'wedding' it seamlessly to action. I can no longer do it. I'm intimidated by my own writing! I read it and it reads like I could not have possibly wrote it. These days the desire to write is still there (never left), but the ability has degraded to the point I can barely string two words together, where everything was 'real' and flowed almost like something tangible before. I feel like a dried husk, with a dead talent I never even knew I had, until it was gone.

    I'm not sure what to do. Use it or lose it, and I lost what was as natural as breathing. Just stunned and wondering if it's even possible to get the 'fire' back. Is it possible to not have lost the ability permanently?

    I never had to learn anything (came by some abilities naturally). I just did it and it flowed like magic and seemed to work itself out. I'm freaked out and more than anything just want to be able to write to that ability again.

    Is there any hope? This is worse than writer's block. This is losing a part of myself.
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Don't worry. **HUG**

    Your inner writer has not died.

    Writing is an art and we all have to practice and get better. Everyone needs improvement.

    The only way to get better at writing is to write. You say you haven't written in 10 years. Chances are that's the problem.

    Let your writing side breathe, even if it produces crappy stuff at first. Focus on finishing a story to the plot's completion, then you can go back and edit to make it better.
     
  3. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Going by your post, I can see nothing wrong with your writing ability.
    You have strung more than two words together there. Come back to it gradually. Start off with something small and rebuild your writing from there and don't give yourself a hard time.
    Best of luck:)
     
  4. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm guessing there is nothing wrong with your writing ability in itself, as long as you have the confidence and emotional strength to use it.

    Can you find joy and satisfaction in writing even if it's not brilliant? If so, the time you spend writing is not wasted, even if you don't produce anything publishable.
     
  5. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Trilby's right, I thought your post was worded beautifully. :) I recently had the same problem, though, not for ten years, I didn't write for a long time then when I finally felt the 'urge' again I went back to my old stuff and was completely bowled over. The key is in the polishing - can I assume the stuff that so knocked you sideways, you'd edited a bit? In my case, the stuff that amazed me certainly hadn't started out that way, I went back and back tweaking words here and there and changing bits until it shone. But yes, the solution really is to write, start out with a new project, not something beloved you might get bad memories about - and just hack away at it until you feel a twinge, the need to change something, or a phrase that 'needs' to go in. Then you know you're there. BEST of luck!! :)
     
  6. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    This happened to me too! I didn't write for a few years and then when I looked at my old notebook full of comics and stuff, the story of Davy Jones and Olaf Smith caught my eye. I was like,"I want to write something like this again." It was my motivator. So I started writing again.

    And I've never stopped since.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    With me every new project is a struggle to start with it takes time to get to know plots and characters. It was a shock first time it happened I went from flying along with my first project. The story and characters were great. I then started project two and I had to start all over again from the start - although the characters were familiar I was seeing them from a different POV - I needed to get to know them again.
     
  8. SRCroft
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    SRCroft Member

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    Agreed

    There's no way its gone. Your mechanical skills may get rusty, and that fire and inner creativity can get stalled, but I guarantee if you write some nonsense you'll find your life experience has increased your skill.

    Just push through the inertia issue and you'll be super happy you did.

    I had the same problem. I suffer from adult ADD and when I finally got on medication, I was afraid that so much time was wasted and that I lost something. You'll be fine. :)
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'll repeat what the others said. I see nothing wrong with your writing in your post. It was considerably better written than many posts I've seen here.

    I think the problem may be in trying to go back to where your writing was before the other issues. Depression and other emotional problems change you, and your outlook is different than it was when you were writing what you were writing ten years ago. You've also lived another 10 years, with 10 years' worth of additional life experience (apart from the depression), and this, too, changes your world view. You may at some point want/be able to go back to your old projects, but first you need to get comfortable with writing again.

    Find something comfortable and familiar to write about, and then do it. Write about something you know intimately. Experiment with different approaches to find which ones best give voice to what's inside of you.

    There is a voice there. We can see it in the words of your post. Good luck and God bless.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all of that!... just sit yourself down whenever you have the time and write something new... ignore all the old stuff and see what you come up with now... the more you write, the easier it will get and you'll find you haven't lost a thing, it just got a bit stiff and creaky from non-use is all...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  11. Ragdoll
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    Ragdoll Member

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    Don't worry, I know how you feel. I'm sure you'll be able to write again, you did after all write this post =))
     
  12. Screams of Silence
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    Screams of Silence Member

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    I understand what you mean. I go through periods of depression which lead me to become apathetic towards writing, and although I haven't gone as long as you I often find my skills need serious exercise when I decide to write again. I understand what you mean by losing a part of yourself, I've felt that way before when I thought my ability had dried up. Don't lose heart, it will take work but just write and it will come back to you :)
     
  13. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    I have bouts of this myself. The longest I went without writing was 2 months and I was deeply depressed over that time. You're right it is like breathing and exercising. So you're a little rusty and out of shape with writing. But rest assured it has never left you. You're post has some cool metaphors in there...so you have it in you.

    Here's the thing, don't try to top what you wrote before in the past. Like Maia said, write new. Try different genres if you have to, real non-fiction for a while. Write whatever you are in the mood for. You don't necessarily have to write fiction.

    Maybe even dabble in a children's story. Sometimes (I know this is weird) but when I read a book, I do a book report on it to get the ideas flowing. It is a good exercise like in school, good structure too incase you don't know what to write.

    Good luck to you.
     

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