1. myonebadhabit
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    myonebadhabit Member

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    I want to be a good writer

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by myonebadhabit, Oct 13, 2008.

    I want to be a good writer. I don't even care what genre. I have been very isolated since I got out of highscool. I hated school. Often I would be writing journals of thoughts and I would skip class for it. I don't want to go back to school. It was really dreary. I fear that writing for myself, and with all the time I have on my hands, has caused me to hate my own words. I no longer get excited about my finsihed works. I have only a few people to show everyday, my therapis and my parents. Poor things, have to endure it. I never tried showing people on the internet. I am very self- concious about what people would say. I also dreamt of being a soccer player, baseball, musician, sometimes actor, and whatever else you could get so good that you are well known for, but only starting to realize that those dreams are rudimentary, "like chasing the wind." To quote solomon from the Holy Bible. Am I losing it? Your opinion might bounce off me like skipping water and then again it might discover me like pop rocks on my tongue.
    Hmm what should I ask to make this thread worth a damn? ....Has anyone else experience this? hmm?
     
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  2. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually you sound a lot like me. I've been mostly a shut in since graduating highschool, partialy due to social anxiety and depression. Also, we have wanting to be an actor at one point in common. :p Though I think my biggest problem was simple not knowing what I wanted to be until recently. So I've chosen to be a writer since I always like creating stories in my head. I figured this way I'd get paid to do that and could set my own hours of work. Besides, I would drive myself crazy trying to do the whole nine to five thing. :p
     
  3. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    A lot of people think being a good writer is hard. It isn't. You only have to do one thing, and it is both easy and enjoyable: read. The more you read, the better you write. It's simple, and there really is no substitute for it. If you have never read a book in your life, I promise you: you suck. It's a matter of first understanding what to do, and then understanding the intricacies of what NOT to do...
     
  4. myonebadhabit
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    myonebadhabit Member

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    Wow, I was really just starting to lose it and didn't think anyone would care. But thanks. I too have had depression and social anxiety. Perhaps writers thrive off this because they know all to many characters and their worth. Maybe? But yeah I have read. So don't shoot me.. I should read more. I have found that the bible seems to be the only thing that doesn't make me extremely agitated. And yet the agitation that the bible does cause because I have been known to take it quite seriously to the point that icecream was a slight- sin. But yeah I should read more. Any ideas. I might just go pick it up today. I really don't know any good books that are out right now. Even if it's yours I might still do it. Lol
     
  5. TheAdlerian
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    TheAdlerian Senior Member

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    I agree about the reading. I disagree with it, but a famous Fantasy author I know from the web says that he hasn't read a fantasy book in decades and decades. He doesn't want to get influenced.

    Anyway, I think that you have to want to entertain people. It's not about you so much as the reader. If suddenly you found yourself charged with telling kids with cancer entertaining stories you'd come up with something, eventually you'd forget about yourself.
     
  6. myonebadhabit
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    myonebadhabit Member

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  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Myonebadhabit,

    I am not sure what your writing goals are, but writing is hard. But what is hard for some folks is easy for others, while on the other had different aspects of writing for others are deemed by them to be hard.

    Maybe a direct explanation to clarify what I muttered through in the last paragraph: Some writers find spelling and grammar fairly easy, while others do not. Those that stuggle with grammar might have loads of ideas, strong ones with potential. No two writers are the same.

    What it does take is dedication and time. Only for very few does success (and different writers would debate what 'success' is--and each writer has to define that for himself or herself) come immediately.

    And there will be knocks along the way. Not everyone will like your writing. If publishing is your goal, you may have to submit and risk rejection by editors and agents. The synonym one uses for when an editor passes, declines, rejects a manuscript really doesn't matter. It's not a judgement of the writer, or necessarily even the piece itself. There are plenty of reasons--maybe the subject wasn't quite right, or they just accepted a similar piece two weeks previous and thus what they would have accepted three weeks ago, wasn't right for the moment, etc., etc., etc. Even published, successful writers have critics who think what they write is garbage, a waste of ink and paper (or electrons).


    I would suggest that you do give writing a shot, and set goals. Small ones, steps along the path to where you would like to eventually end up. There will be strides forward, and there will be setbacks. Anyone telling you otherwise, I think, isn't being fully honest.

    As far as reading, there is so much out there. I think you'd need to give some more focus from folks here before they could give on-target suggestions.

    Hang in there and good luck and don't hesitate to jump right into discussions and efforts here. This place is a pretty friendly and helpful one.

    Terry
     
  8. Scarlett_156
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    Scarlett_156 Active Member

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    Being a good writer is in fact very hard. Being a mediocre writer is easy--all one needs is some type of degree, and the world (to use a cliche) is your oyster. Being a terrible writer is the easiest thing in the world. (And it's "experienced this", not "experience this".) : \

    If being a good writer was easy, then there would be absolutely no need for this type of website, or any class devoted to writing, or writing workshop, etc. People who wanted to write would, and would get published, and everyone would be happy... erm, except of course for those who had to read all that terrible writing. Do you want for there to be no difference between bad writing and good writing? Should those dividing lines disappear? (These are serious questions.) I mean, yeah: The internet has made it so much easier for a bad writer to assault our sensibilities with his or her writing.

    But have you ever noticed that sites that feature bad writing lack popularity? (Hm....)

    If you want to write, you should. If you want to be a good writer, practice and get a degree. If you want to be a great writer, then you will have to learn, practice, and pay some dues. And be lucky. There's no substitute.

    Believe me: Everyone who knows what writing is wants to be a writer. It's a great job to have! It's also a wonderful hobby. Either way, write as if your life depended on it.

    I hope this was helpful. yours in Chaos, Scarlett
     
  9. myonebadhabit
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    myonebadhabit Member

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    Thanks Scarlett. One of the more exciting replies I would have to say. LoL
    Write like your life depended on it. I like that and I do. I promise, I do. But it's not worth it anymore. My idea of success is writing what everyone will like. Have you heard of anyone that didn't like Catcher in the Rye? If you have let me know. Then maybe my idea of success will become what almost everone likes. But yeah Thanks TWervin for all the usefullness.
     
  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You shouldn't worry about what everyone will like. Everyone is different in their likes and dislikes. My advice is to just keep on writing. You will definitely get a lot better.
     
  11. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you read a lot?

    The most common characteristic of good writers is that of being avid readers. I didn't see any comments in your original post about what you enjoy reading. Why is this important? People usually write about those things that interest them. The answer, then, to your original question about becoming a good writer actually lies within yourself. Write what you enjoy reading. Don't try to write "...what almost everyone (else) likes."
     
  12. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I despise Catcher in the Rye, and I know plenty who do. Success is not about being popular, though I doubt you'll find many who would turn such an oppurtunity down. Success in writing is not being popluar, though again, it would be nice.
     
  13. Scarlett_156
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    Scarlett_156 Active Member

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    No writer becomes popular by just writing once--sure, there are as many writers who are only known for one work as there are "one hit wonder" bands, but in both cases the artist had to work and work (and effing work). There are lots of bands who are popular who never had a single hit, but they didn't stop playing and touring. There are lots of writers who never get published, but they don't stop writing. Why would should it matter to you personally if you become popular or not? To my mind that is a neglible consideration.

    If writing isn't fun for you, then you should definitely not write.

    In order to produce A Catcher in the Rye, Mr. Salinger had to write a lot. He wrote and submitted work. His work was rejected, but he didn't get discouraged. He kept writing, and kept submitting. Eventually he was published. (Becoming popular didn't really agree with him, go figure.) A Catcher in the Rye, regardless of whether people on this board find it personally agreeable or not, continues to sell at the tune of hundreds of thousands of copies a year--go figure.

    If you love to write, then you should write. If you can finish your work and realistically feel that, in comparison to the work of others, it is superb or at least adequate, then you should at least consider seeking publication of your work.

    Why should you write?

    No reason. If you don't feel motivated, then don't do it. If you do--then write as if your life depended on it. xoxo
     
  14. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    If you write someting, and you enjoyed reading it, chances are there will be other people who will also enjoy reading it.

    There are so many types of writings out there that people enjoy, I think it is impossible not to find a nitch you enjoy writing.

    Homely Christian topics are also popular. Many Christians make a good living writing for that nitch. My sister is a pentecostal and she enjoys reading weird stuff, but she finds Christian authors that write clean weird stories.
     
  15. myonebadhabit
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    myonebadhabit Member

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    I never wanted to become popular for fame or for money. With writing and music I just wanted to connect with people. I don't usually go writing my thoughts on forums but it might fill that craving of wanting to connect.
     
  16. myonebadhabit
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    myonebadhabit Member

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    I really appreciate how you enterwine reading and writing with your reply. It's cool how you worded that because it reminds me that for every reader there was a writer. And for every writer, God forbid, there should be a reader.
     
  17. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    It's fine to be self concious about your writing, it's a very personal thing. But concerning the above, the want or dream to be whatever, each one of the professions you chose would put you in the line of a lot of public opinion and criticism. It sounds a little more like a want to be free of your anxieties and be accepted, rather then a want for the profession. To write, and really do it, you need to believe that you can do it. Whether you're good or bad or whatever, you have to enjoy it and if a fear of criticism is going to cause you ridiculous amounts of mental anguish then you've got to find a way to overcome that, or pick another profession.

    Writing is tough, you get rejected a lot, you get flamed, you get knocked and bashed about and if you're not enjoying it and not thriving on it - then you're just causing yourself pain.

    I believe, as harsh as it sounds, that not everyone has a book in them, not everyone can write and not everyone is good at it because it takes determination and dedication and lots of other -tions! :p To be good takes hard work, hard words, hard decisions. But if you're willing to take the knocks, to learn from people and believe in your own ability then you've got a chance of being a good writer. :)

    You've got to write for yourself first, for your own enjoyment. What happens after that is anyone's guess - so go for it, if it makes you happy. :D
     
  18. Scarlett_156
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    Scarlett_156 Active Member

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    ^^^ Word that.

    "Not everyone can write"--actually, very few people can write. The internet (God bless its hairy little feet) has enabled large numbers of purposeless and talentless people to be able to importune the world about whether or not they can write, or will write, or should be allowed to write--or whether there is some obscure architectural niche that may provide a small space for their small writing. I mean, just look at... you know, that one guy. I forget his name. He was pretty good. Or was it a lady...? I forget... *wanders off mumbling*
     
  19. Azated
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    Azated New Member

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    Sounds like me :p

    Im a complete geek. I love computeres and im skinnier than super models, although im not anorexic. Im depressed to :p

    My theory: The bigger the dream, the bigger the fall when you fail. (means dont dream)

    Anyways, it sounds like your a bit depressed. Find somthing you enjoy, although it might be hard. Find a good book you love and re-read. Then, if it's a series, re-read the series. Afterwards, make a story similar to the books. Then re-draft a couple times and you have a finished product based on something you enjoy :p
     
  20. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Depression and social anxiety speaking here too.

    Always wondering if my work is any good or is worth it. I know I write well, but if other people don't give a rip about it, then what does it matter? To me truly good writing is the writing that other people want to read. People tell me I write well, but darned if any of them can stick around and read it for long.

    I don't have anyone to show it to in real life, not even my family or psychologist. So you're one up on me there.

    Wondering if one is a good writer is almost a universal feeling among writers at times, it seems.
     
  21. myonebadhabit
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    myonebadhabit Member

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    A lot of good comments. Thanks. It steams me sometimes, to think that everyone has the answer but me. :mad: We all have good advice. It's a shame that our advice is probably best for ourselves. That's not to say that I haven't learned anything from all of the things said. I did. :)
     
  22. Tweek
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    Tweek New Member

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    Personally, I think that depression and anxiety disorders are likely to be disproportionately higher amongst budding writers and other creatively minded people. I suffered with depression and anxiety a few years ago. The anxiety was so bad that I was pretty much a recluse for a year (not including therapy visits). I've known all along that the cause for my anxiety was my imagination. Without giving too much away, I used to come up with intricate plots how people I'd never met would be out to get me. I'm pretty sure that if I had taken the time to document them, they could quite easily have been padded out to novel proportions.

    I've also read somewhere that writers are more likely to be drug addicts or alcoholics (due mainly to their inherently sensitive nature and an urge to stop thinking). Personally, I can't see this ever happening to me, but I do wish I'd stop thinking sometimes.

    I don't think I've answered any of your original questions, but I hope you can identify with what I've said anyway.

    Good luck!
     
  23. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, ad infinitum. A formidable vocabulary and mastery of one's language can be had for the price of a library card. English is not my first language, and the library was my church.
     
  24. pookyw
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    pookyw New Member

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    Re: Writing to be a good writer

    I have to agree with this - in fact, I was watching a video on YouTube of Stephen King yesterday and he said exactly this - if you want to be a writer, you have to read everything and if you don't want to read everything, you can't be a writer. So good advice.:)
     
  25. Khilo
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    Khilo Member

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    Write what you feel like writing, honestly.

    For me, when I really get going, it feels like the words just flow out of me, and I lose track of time, and I just get really into my works. If you're in the mood to write, do it. Pick up a pen and paper and just start writing, and words will come out. You may end up writing feelings, or a story may come out of it, or whatever.

    My best advice to you is to continue to read, and to write, to the best of your ability. The fact that you want to become a good writer is good. It will help you to become better. Keep that feeling alive, and you'll eventually get to where you want to be.
     

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