1. PaperBird
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    PaperBird New Member

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    New and slightly intimidated

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by PaperBird, Nov 19, 2008.

    Hello! I'm Kate, 20 years old and a Graphic Design student at university. This is my first post here and I've just joined the site. I don't know where to start or why i randomly decided to join but here goes! :D

    I've always been more of a visual person, I'm an artist (digital, traditional, fine art, drawing painting, graphics, etc).. But I can't deny that I've always had a love for writing, I'm absolutely terrible at it, but I enjoy it all the same.

    My family have always been the type who aren't interested in things like art or literature, so growing up I didn't bother with books much, and when I did, I hid them under my bed because I knew my parents and sister would give me a hard time. (According to them, why read a book when you can just watch tv?) so I was always embarrassed about that type of thing. But I've always enjoyed how books gave me that escape from reality that art does, it takes me somewhere else for an hour or so. And because of this, I've always wanted to write my own book, or even just my own short story.

    But the thing is, I'm not confident at all. I've got all these thoughts flying around my head but I can't put them down on paper, I can't put them together to form a story because I have no confidence in my ability to write. The frustrating part for me is my limited vocabulary, I start to write but sometimes I can't fully describe what I mean with words. Which then makes me feel like an idiot and leads to me thinking 'Eh, why bother? leave it to the people who can actually string a sentence together' lol.

    But, I'm determined, I've got so much to say and I want that chance to say it. Which is why I joined this site, I'm hoping I might learn alot from the folks here as well as gain more confidence to actually write something =]

    Anyway! This was really long, thanks for reading.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hi Kate, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    Whether or not you are terrible at writing now is less important than how determined you are to be a better writer.

    Posting your own work should not be the very first thing you do here. It is really worthwhile to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize reviewing as a critical writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  3. thatdaftmackem
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    thatdaftmackem New Member

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    Hi Kate! Welcome :)

    I know how you feel. My parents (dad especially) think that me writing is a waste of time. But I just cant help it...It's what I do and what I like. We shouldnt have to change for anyone.

    Dont worry about confidence. I myself have just started this whole post, review, post thing and it's really helped my writing. The problems you mentioned I have/had as well.

    Let me give you some tips:

    Unable to put thoughts on paper: To get around this you must plan. Plan your novel or short story. Lay the foundations before you start making characters. Jot down all thats in your mind as your going; it doesnt have to be neat, you can just do it in note form.

    A limited vocabulary? I'm sure your being a bit harsh. Well it is said that the best way to learn how to write is to read. Reading will inevitably improve your vocabulary. Learn from the masters I say. ;)

    DONT leave it to the people who 'can actually string a sentence together'. If you couldnt do that then you wouldnt be here in the first place. Anybody here will say this: your writing will get better the more you write. Practise makes perfect.

    Good luck, hope to see some of your work in the future. ;)
     
  4. godfollower
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    godfollower New Member

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    Welcome Kate!

    We're friends now, right? And friends do favors for each other, right? So would you do me a big favor and read this out loud to yourself:

    "I am an amazing and unique person. I may have flaws, but I also possess strengths and abilities that no-one else can exactly match. Now I'm going to write a story that no-one else can write, I'm going to live a life that no-one else can live, and I'm going to be someone that nobody else can be."

    Thank you very much. Please don't feel patronized, I'm just narcissistically passing on one of my personal mantras(And as far as vocabulary, I had to look up narcissism right now for spelling, I've got quite the limited vocabluary myself.).

    But in all seriousness, I hope you share my opinion that you are a talented person(I guarantee you can draw better than me, lol). Confidence is the key to overcoming most obstacles, along with courage to face challenges that you aren't sure about.

    Your family did not support your reading? I am saddened to hear that. I am sure they are wonderful people, but that is an uneducated opinion. Just like my uneducated opinion that ballets are not worth my time. I've never been to one, so how do I know? One of of my many flaws.

    Welcome to the Writing Forums, I can't wait to read some of your work!
     
  5. R J Parkinson
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    R J Parkinson Active Member

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    Well, it sounds like you came to the right place!

    If you have a good look around this forum, and learn to navigate a little, you'll see that there are a great variety of people on here, from all walks of life, with infinite styles.

    As already mentioned:
    The strong recommendation, is that you get to know your way around a little, and comment constructively on pieces that you're drawn to. If you see something which you feel might make a piece better, in your opinion, whether it's technically right or wrong, then go ahead and type it.

    In my opinion, confidence issues should be put to one side, while you pick up the trail that leads to the learning curve; it's as steep as you choose it to be, but inevitable.

    Another thing to bare in mind: this is a forum, not Big Brother!

    Whatever's in your mind, is going to fit in somewhere.
    :)
     
  6. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    Hi Kate. Welcome to the Forums. Confidence is simply a project to be worked on. Spend time surfing the site and dip in when you feel like commenting on something that interests you. You'll know when the time is right to 'show' yourself, initially through critiquing, then with a piece of your own. Take your time and enjoy your creative journey. :)
     
  7. PaperBird
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    PaperBird New Member

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    Thanks so much for the welcomes! I will definitely make sure to follow the rules and stay out of trouble, haha. And thank you all for the tips, I think when I get more comfortable with my writing with more practice, I might feel more confident. I guess everyone had to start somewhere, I'm in the middle of a short story as I type :)

    I've been looking around the forums and I've found alot of really helpful things already so I'm sure this will be the first step!

    kate x
     
  8. Anthony James Barnett
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    Anthony James Barnett Contributing Member

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    Welcome aboard, Paperbird. May your stay be long and fruitful.

    Anthony
     
  9. The Sheriff
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    The Sheriff New Member

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    Hello Paperbird,

    It looks like a lot of what I was going to say was already mentioned by the other wonderful people on this website. Its unfortunate that so many parents, mine included can't grasp writing. DO NOT let this bother you, you say you are shy, and embarrassed when you really have no reason to be. I don't mean this in a negative way about your family, but I would be more embarrassed to have their attitude about reading vs. watching TV myself.

    So far as confidence is concerned understand something, the ONLY difference between you and Mark Twain or any other literary writer is they are published and you as yet, are not. BOTH of you are writers, we ALL are writers. This is very important for you to believe and accept.

    You will be much happier if you write to please the most important person, yourself. Don't concern yourself with what other people think or say about your writing or the fact that you do write. You like it, you do it. I won't beat around the bush on this you will need to develop a thick skin to some responses -people especially those that don't understand- can be mean. Ignore it. You'll be much happier and your writing will show it.

    Now we can move on to the writing advice. All those thoughts in your head are good, but only if you get them on paper. As a fledgling writer I would say don't concern yourself with the particluars like how to describe things etc, just write write write. Just like with a lot of things, the more you practice the better you will become. I would suggest taking 15 minutes every day and write. Whatever comes to mind, just get stuff out. Don't worry about subject matter, spelling, or puctuation nothing just get the thoughts out you can re-write and correct those things later.

    Another help especially with the vocabulary deal is reading. Read as much as you can. Anything, everything and when you do, have a dictionary next to you. Every word you come across that you don't know the definition, look up. It will be a little slow going at first but this is a great way to increase your vocabulary. I'm 40 and I still do it.

    Well, good luck and keep at it. I hope this helps.

    Jim Arness
     

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