1. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    How do YOU know if writing is right for YOU?!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Birmingham, Apr 15, 2013.

    Notice that I've made sure to write YOU in big letters. I'm not asking how you know that writing is right (or not) for people other than yourselves. What I'm wondering is about the personal experience of each and every one of you regarding yourselves. Each one of you chose to write. Each one of you, or most of you, faced challenges. What, if anything, happened to you to make you doubt yourselves? What happened to make you reaffirm your position that you should stick to writing? When, if ever, your doubts have disappeared and you've fallen to one or another side of the fence on the writing issue?
     
  2. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Reaffirmation is not on the cards for me. I write because I enjoy it. During my writing time, I may let it lapse, not because I've ceased to enjoy it, but because I want to paint.

    I enjoy painting - there's a lot to discover. Then I'll drop painting for a while and go flying.

    For me, writing isn't the be all and end all. Life is multi-faceted and I do what I enjoy as and when I fancy doing it. No doubts. :D
     
  3. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    I've never felt the need to "reaffirm" any sort of position in regards to writing. It's just...something that I do. Something that I love. I don't write to share a message with the world or because I think it's going to be a good career choice (I would be sadly misguided of the latter were the case). I chose to write at a young age for a silly reason, and I continued to write at later ages because I absolutely fell in love with the process. While I may have doubted my skill as a writer in the past, I've never considered the idea of just...not doing it anymore.
     
  4. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    I apologize for not reading the question through (or reading it but failing to notice it accurately). I have loved writing fiction since i was 4 years old, so i never really questioned if it was right for me or not.
     
  5. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can't say I've ever doubted myself in a writing capacity. Not that I'm fantastic, I just love it. I love going back to first drafts and then fast forwarding 19 edits to look at my latest effort and seeing the progression. I have to say it gives me more encouragement rather than dragging me down.

    Even when I finished my first book and got 30 odd rejection letters I didn't let it bother me. Maybe in my heart of hearts I knew it was crap. Having said that, I knew nothing of query letters or all the other criteria in the run-up to admitting a manuscript so maybe it was never even opened. I had it on a floppy disc, there was no email back then so I printed off vast piles of A4 so many times and simply posted them. Probably killed a few trees in the process. Oh well. This one is better anyway!
     
  6. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    I don't think this is at all what the OP is asking. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that he went out of his way to express that it's not. All he wants to know is why you, as a writer, for yourself, determined that you should be a writer. He isnt' trying to reflect back onto himself or onto others, or to presume that, because most or some writers have determined it one way, that other writers should/must be the same. He's simply asking for input, probably trying to get a casual, friendly conversation going.
     
  7. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or maybe he has hit a wall, frustratedly asking himself whether he is cut out for this life and needs the motivation to get back on track...
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That question has never entered my mind. I love it, so I do it. I guess that's how I know it's "right." I appreciate almost all forms of art, but for as long as I can remember, there have only been two - music and writing - that I love so much that I couldn't imagine not participating in them. I can't draw or paint, and have no particular desire to. I can't dance. I can't sculpt. But I must sing and I must play my guitar and I must write. I must do these things even if I'm not good at them. (Over the years, I have gotten pretty good at them, so I'm happy.)

    If it were a question of whether writing is "right" for me, then there would be the possibility that it would be wrong, and then life would have no purpose. What would I do then? Take up double-entry bookkeeping? Cliff diving? Bird watching? Punkin chuckin'? Building ships in bottles? Ostrich farming? I don't think so.
     
  9. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    I don't see how explicitly asking others why they write is going to encourage him to write. Frankly, I don't care why you, or any of the other writers on this site, decided to write. You can all be determined to be best-selling authors that write because they want to make a living off of it and have no real passion for the craft whatsoever (not to imply that that's how anyone or everyone is on here; just giving an example). It's not going to make me want to write for that reason, or make me think that I'm writing for all of the wrong reasons. I'm going to continue writing for whatever reasons I've had in the past, until, for some reason, I've determined that my reasons are insufficient, which I highly doubt I'll ever do.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    nothing... in 1980, at the age of 42, when i decided to see if i could 'be a writer' and started writing a novel, i knew it was what i was meant to be... i never stopped writing and never had the slightest doubt in all the decades since...

    n/a... see above...

    n/a... see first answer...
     
  11. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I haven't a single doubt in my mind that I'm here on this planet to write (and do other things, play and compose music for my band, train combat sports, shoot, be an amazing lover etc. but first and foremost to write). It's because the notion of quitting writing feels about as realistic as quitting... I dunno, eating? Sure, I get a bit insecure at times about whether I'm as good a writer as I could be, but that just pushes me to better myself, gives me the proverbial kick in the ass that everyone needs now and then, but my belief in the stories I produce with KaTrian hasn't wavered since day one.
     
  12. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I never doubted if it was right for me or not. I've been making up stories since I was old enough to speak. Every time my siblings and I played together I was automatically put in charge of coming up with a premise for whatever game we played. It's like questioning if I should be an artist. I just am. It's who I am.

    I have had times I seriously doubted my abilities. Then I learned every craft has a technical side and a creative side. I knew I had the drive for it and the creativity for it so I kept at it and trusted I would get better. Part of it is learning to be open to constructive criticism. Be willing to examine your writing with a critical eye but balance it. Find what needs to go and change it, keep what's good and improve on it.

    If you love it and feel strongly about it then don't give up. :)
     
  13. Kendria Perry
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    Kendria Perry Member

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    What, if anything, happened to you to make you doubt yourselves?

    Several things, mostly personal (suicide, etc.), but it happens when I read my writing numerous times and begin to think it's crap.

    What happened to make you reaffirm your position that you should stick to writing?

    When someone else tells me my writing is good, or when I write an awesome sentence, which happens rarely, but when it does, boy does it feel good.

    When, if ever, your doubts have disappeared and you've fallen to one or another side of the fence on the writing issue?

    I write because I have stories to tell and I'm not good enough at drawing to make comic books or graphic novels. Of course, the fact that people seem to like my writing doesn't hurt...:)
     
  14. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Like I was given a choice.

    The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its supreme purpose through him.
    - Carl Jung
     
  15. Buffy
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    Buffy New Member

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    my experience

    I decided in grade 3 I wanted to be a teacher because they got all the birthday cake. However, by an administrative error, I ended up studying Classics and Archaeology at university instead. I am now working at becoming a writer. I maintain two blogs (one on becoming a prolific writer, and one on fitness), as well as building up a series of articles and trying to get my first YA trilogy published. I just know writing is right for me. :)
     
  16. alexa_
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    alexa_ Banned

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    When I realized that for me to express my thoughts in pen, not orally is simpler, I decided to take up writing seriously. It became my passion later.
     
  17. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I've always had a story 'going' in my head, ever since I was a child, and I've always been a voracious reader. I guess it was a natural progression, to write the stories in my head into book form. The biggest pleasure for me is knowing that I have 'created' characters who would never have existed otherwise. My characters are now as real to me as any characters I've ever read in anyone else's book.

    I have no other motivation to write, other than enjoyment. This doesn't mean my stories are fluffy—in fact they're not—but I enjoy telling them. I am also an artist and musician, but nothing, NOTHING has ever given me as much pleasure as writing.
     
  18. TechnoGoth
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    TechnoGoth Member

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    For me writing is about passion. I've always loved doing it and always wished I spent more time doing. So, I've devoted myself whole heatedly for the last few months.
    Writing is poorly paid, hard, tiring, thankless work. If you don't love doing it then there really is not point in doing it. Why else would anyone subject themselves to staring blankly at page for days trying to figure out what comes next.
     
  19. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    For me, if i did not write i would explode. I have too many stories in my head to not write. already this morning i came up with yet another book, and i am sketchign the characters as i speak. i have had some stumbles to begin with, but if i cannot write i draw in order to get my frustrations out. then i come up with a new idea and move on.
     
  20. gia
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    gia New Member

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    Writing - my trusted oldest dearest friend

    There is a picture of me somewhere age two holding a book and a pen with a beatific smile on my face... age four I knew what a metaphor was, age ten had two short stories published, went to creative writing courses for seven years... my teacher did not believe me and accused me of plagiarism of something he hadn't read but surely existed somewhere, so my first novel remained in my head. I've told bedtime stories to whoever wanted to hear them and was the designated story teller and entertainment producer ever since I could speak properly :) I've read one to three books a week for as long as I can remember with the exception of seven long years when I mainly tried to please someone else who did not read or had any respect for books or writing. For twenty five years I only wrote letters and journals, but the stories were always in my head and I always referred to writing as something I would be doing till the day I die. I was born with it, everyone said so, I always knew it.
    It is titanic work, it barely brings rewards, it is mostly criticized and misunderstood, but I grew up and I know now that none of it matters, because for me writing in itself is the utmost pleasure...
    Gia
     
  21. Suffering-is-Beauty
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    Suffering-is-Beauty Member

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    I can tell you that this line was definitely not misunderstood. If I write a hundred novels and no one likes them, I won't care. the personal satisfaction of finishing a novel is more than enough to encourage me to never put that pen down.
     
  22. Logik
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    Logik Member

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    It's an intrinsic motivation for me. Sometimes I can substitute it with something else, like painting or making music, but usually I enjoy writing the most.
     
  23. Anthelionryu
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    Anthelionryu Member

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    I suppose this will be strange to most but I spent most of my life not being really interested in anything. Whatever music that was on the radio was fine. Whatever show that was on the TV was fine... except sports... not really interested in those either. I'd spent all my time working and raising my kids and everything else was just chores and honey-dos. Life was just blah... up until last year. That's when I finally just got bored with myself.

    I decided I needed a hobby but surprisingly hobbies are real hard to figure out when nothing interests you. Then I remembered back to some pleasant experiences I'd had in high school and college in English classes. I'd been complimented by the teachers/professors on papers that I'd written. I stunk at everything else in English but apparently I could write a story. And I remembered enjoying the feeling of someone appreciating my effort.

    Then I got to thinking about what I do at work. I often write long emails of explanation and I pour over them to make sure every little detail is correct and can't be misconstrued in any way and I realized that I really enjoy doing that. Ironically, I'd been doing what I love to do in a small way without even realizing it.

    So, that was it, I decided to take it up as my hobby. I started writing a novel and the words just flowed. Within a period of about two months I'd written about 25 thousand words. I had my wife and my adult kid critiquing it for me. They were both enjoying the story. Although my wife is such an avid reader that she was getting ticked at me for feeding it to her piecemeal. She wanted the end and I wasn't even half way there.

    In any case, that was the point when I first realized that I was a writer. Maybe not a good one yet but I was definitely a writer. I had gotten so engrossed in writing that story that time just melted away. And based on my kids critiques (cuz my wife's a reader not a writer so her critique was like, it's good, write more) I spent hours editing and improving the part of the story I'd written. And I loved that too. But that was also when I realized I needed a better education on writing. So I signed up for a Creative Writing course at the local college. And, surprise, I'm loving that too. This is such a strange experience for me and I'm enjoying the hell out of it. :)
     
  24. g_man526
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    g_man526 Member

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    I don't know, but it's the only way I know to express my creative impulse, or at least the one that works best for me.
     
  25. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Anthelionryu - that's a great story in itself. Glad you discovered a real interest to keep you creative and engaged. I'm so happy for you. Good luck with your course.
     

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