1. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Senior Member

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    I feel scared.. to write.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MatrixGravity, Feb 27, 2011.

    When I say scared to write.. I mean.. I'm supposed to be composing a complaint letter..
    And i'm so scared to write it on my own. I don't know how to explain it but I feel like..
    I won't be happy with the finished product. I know that i'm probably fully capable of taking on a task like this, and it'd be perfect to test my writing capabilities, but i feel like.. something bad will happen if i write something myself. I'm afraid of failure i suppose. I'm afraid of sitting down, writing something, and then looking back at seeing how deplorable it is.
    I feel like if it comes out bad.. i'll be very disappointed in myself. I've devoted much time to learning how to enhance my writing, and for my piece to come out a train wreck would be hard for me to bare. It's very hard to convey exactly what i'm trying to say but.. bottom line..
    I'm afraid of writing. I'm afraid of doing it myself. I'm afraid that i'll write it, and it'll be poorly written and absolutely horrendous.
     
  2. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    We all feel that way when we start out. You just have to put the fear aside and write it out anyway. The good come out with the bad. The bad just gets cut out when you edit.
     
  3. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    We are always our harshest critics, I am certain it is not as it seems to most. Like all things painful, it hurts less the more you undertake it, you have to start writing and keep writing.
     
  4. Spring Gem
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    Spring Gem Member

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    Fear feeds into itself. The more you fear something, the worse you think the consequences will be if you fail. What's the worst thing that will happen if you write a crappy letter? I don't think you will die from it, and everything else can be tolerated or improved upon.

    You won't lose your fear if someone else does the work. We can encourage you. We can critique what you write, but you have to write it first. You seem to expect it to be perfect on the first draft. I promise you, it won't be perfect as soon as the ink hits the page. You will have to revise it, probably several times. It won't be perfect when you turn it in and neither will anyone else's.

    If you think professional writers don't have the same fears and doubts that you do, you need to read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, especially the chapter on ****ty first drafts. If you google the term you'll find copies of that chapter on several websites.

    Hope this helps.
    Lavern
     
  5. AxleMAshcraft
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    AxleMAshcraft Member

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    I don't know if your looking for advice, but if you are then I think I might have some (although it might just be me).
    Computers: They are amazing, versatile, great for organizing ect. But they have one downside (at least to me). They make everything look so official and "finished".
    My suggestion: Hand write it, get out your ideas no matter how out of order they are. No matter if your the only one but you can read it, write it as messy and fast as you possibly can. Throw out spelling, punctuation or grammar if you want, or if it's just habit then keep it in. Do the whole "I'm going to add a whole paragraph here, so I'm going to write it in the margins with a huge arrow to where I want to put it" thing. Maybe even write it upside-down on the paper or something, anything to make it seem less daunting or finished.
    THEN type it up, get everything in order and make it look pretty.
    Print it, and totally rip it to shreds with grammar, punctuation, added ideas that are the most important thing you have ever thought to add ect.
    Type.
    Then look at it and try to convince yourself "Hey, this is pretty damn good and no one is going to make me think otherwise."
    PS. It's always nice to have those friends that you can send anything too and they will say "It's good" even if it's horrible. It does nothing for "constructive criticism" or "strengthening your writing" but it bumps up your self esteem. :)
    Does that help or just complicate it more? Hopefully you get un-scared :D
     
  6. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    I know exactly how you feel, but if you're afraid of writing because you're afraid of failing then you've already failed. Simple as that.
    Don't scare yourself into thinking that the first draft of your letter or anything else you write has to be 100% perfect, it doesn't. That really is the quickest way to fail and convince yourself you're not good at writing. The first draft is the basic idea of what you want in your letter and then you can improve on it from there and so what if it takes 5 or 6 drafts before you're happy with it, just take your time and make it the best you can.

    "No one can write a bestselling novel in one sitting, it just doesn't work that way."

    I hope that helps, good luck :)
     
  7. IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer
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    IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer Member

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    In addition to the "usual" fear of writing, it doesn't help that it's a complaint letter.

    You are likely, at least subconsciously, are trying to write well enough that your audience will enjoy what you've written. After all, this what most of us do most of the time. But since it's a complaint letter, you also know that you've "failed" to write it "well enough" that your audience will like it. Because no matter how well written it is, it's unlikely that anyone is going to be happy to receive a complaint.

    Make sure you're not subconsciously judging your writing on whether you think your audience will be happy with it or not -- since in this case, the best you are going to be able to do is mitigate their unhappiness.
     
  8. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Senior Member

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    I appreciate all the input but.. I think im just going to give up. I can't even write a god damn complaint letter.
    That's how lackluster my writing skills are. I've gotten rid of some of the fear, but my problem is..
    I can't think of the way to get it onto the paper. I don't know ANYTHING about faulty equipment.
    What the hell would somebody usually write about? I mean, you're supposed to be complaining about something.. The only problem is, i can't think of anything. I've been getting into fights all week long with my mom because of this god damn letter. The deadline is coming up, and we've still got nothing.
    I think i'm just going to have to use one off the internet. i really can't come up with anything.
     
  9. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    How old are you man? Stop being a drama queen and write the darned paper. With the energy you've spent on posting about it, you could have had it done already.
     
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  10. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    The reason you're writing a complaint letter is because you've used a service or product that has not lived up to the expectations that has been promised.

    Why should you feel scared or afraid to write this letter and why should you get into arguments with family members when it was a clear let down by the company that provided the product or service.

    I've recently written a complaint letter myself so I can give you a few pointers. First of all make a list of all the issues that you want to address in your letter.

    Second, make sure you present the letter in a professional manner, its hard to take a letter seriously when its been hurridly scribbled on a piece of paper.

    Third, start the letter with an opening paragraph describing the reason why you feel you were let down, (i.e. a holiday didn't live up to expectations). Put all of the issues in seperate paragraphs and use persuasive langauge to make your point known. Finish off the letter with a final paragraph giving a summary of how these issues have affected you.

    Remember to use the correct Yours faithfully or Yours sincerly when you end the letter.

    And finally remember that you have done nothing wrong and you have no reason to feel scared or ashamed that you want to make a complaint.
     
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  11. joelpatterson
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    joelpatterson Member

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  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    to the op:
    why did you post this same thread in more than one place on the site?
     
  13. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Senior Member

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    Really? I don't recall doing such a thing. If I did i'm sorry.
    Moving along.. I've written a rough version of the Complaint letter and i'd love for somebody to proof read it and modify it for me and see what they could add onto it.


    "I’ve recently purchased an Ipod touch from my local Bestbuy dealer. When I turned it on, the battery was full and after a short 10 minutes, the battery was completely drained. Afterwards, I tried to restore the battery with the charger that was supplied with it, and the problem still continued to persist. I am appalled at this product’s subpar performance. The label clearly indicates that it runs for at least eight hours once it’s fully charged, and the most I’m getting out of this is ten minutes. I demand you either issue me a refund, or you replace the product immediately with no extra charges. "

    That's all i've gotten so far.
     
  14. Chronopunk
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    Chronopunk Member

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    Why are you writing a complaint letter instead of just returning the thing?
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm confused about two things:

    First, is this complaint letter a classroom assignment?

    Second, you say that you've been trying to learn how to enhance your writing, but that you're afraid to write. But, really, the only way to enhance your writing is by writing. No other preparation is really going to help much.

    Think of learning to play the piano. You could read about piano playing, and listen to lots of recordings, and read about strategies for learning to play, and ways of playing, and go to the symphony, and go to lectures, and talk to piano teachers, and watch other people play. But no matter how much of that you do, you will _still_ be really, really bad the first time that you sit down at that piano. Nothing, absolutely nothing, substitutes for experience.

    But would you really expect that anyone, even Beethoven or Horowitz, would be any good the very first time that they sat down at a piano keyboard? Or the second, third, or tenth or twentieth time? If they were lousy, would you expect that that would tell you anything about how good they'd be later? Of course not. Skills have to be learned with practice.

    Similarly, if you haven't been doing a lot of writing, your first attempts at writing will be lousy. That fact means nothing. It does not tell you whether you will be good, or bad, or mediocre, at writing.

    No matter what you _intended_ to do, you have not been working on your writing unless you have been writing. So, start writing. Write lousy stuff. Write more lousy stuff. Write hundreds and hundreds of pages of lousy stuff. And over time, you may start to notice that your stuff is getting less lousy. And after you write a few hundred thousand words, you might start to get an idea of whether you can someday be a good writer.

    Your first piece does not tell you that. Your first piece tells you absolutely nothing. It's one step on a long, long path. So stop fearing it, and go write it.

    ChickenFreak
     
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  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it does sound like homework...
     
  17. Paris_Love
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    Paris_Love Member

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    The 1st draft is always terrible. But you will never be able to improve upon your 1st draft if you never even write that.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. -FDR
     
  18. Paris_Love
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    Paris_Love Member

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    Sounds fine to me. Have you tried calling tech support? Or is this a writing assignment that you are working on?
     

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