1. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Not liking own writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by colorthemap, Mar 20, 2011.

    Simple, reading my own writing I just don't like it.

    Has this happened to any of you? How did you get around it?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    Write what you want to read. It sounds like you might be worrying too much about some invisible 'audience'.
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I feel the same way. I look at my stuff and wonder what the point is.

    Sometimes just putting it down for a good long while does the trick. Other times, examine the characters or the plot and find the culprit.
     
  4. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    It's not the topic it's the writing in its self, could just be my mood but I don't think so.
     
  5. Georgew
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    Georgew Member

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    I can relate to this problem. I think the cure is to just stop being overly sensitive about your own work. Try and look at it from a readers perspective and or get opinions from others it will help boost your confidence in your work.
     
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I know of at least two professional writers (one personally) who say that sometimes half the battle is just looking at their current projects. You are not alone.
     
  7. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    i think I just need a brake from writing.
     
  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Just do some more reading. Honestly. Read something you wouldn't usually read and enjoy it.

    Speaking from my own experience: when I was 15 I was a H.P. Lovecraft fanatic. Even going as far as to subconsciously copy his word choices, and attitudes. It wasn't because I wanted to be Lovecraft, I just knew his stories, poems and letters so well his personally seemed to seep into mine. And I wrote like him, even going as far as using his ideas and themes too. But when I was just turning 16 I found I couldn't think of new stories, and every other idea I had didn't seem good (read: Lovecraftian) enough. So, on the off chance I got a copy of V. by Thomas Pynchon from off of Amazon and read it, and I adored it. Only then did I start to branch out and read people other that Lovecraft and horror writers. I am now growing out of Lovecraft, and I don't think I've read him in months. Something only a few years ago I would have thought sacrilege.
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Exactly. I never thought I'd love mystery, yet I'm reading mysteries like never before!
     
  10. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It might also bee a self confident issue. A lot of writers and artist feel that way.
     
  11. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Oh yeah! And Romance - I read Norwegian Wood a few weeks back and loved it.
     
  12. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Nah, I think I'm just writing rubbish lately as I have been quite tired.
     
  13. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's tough. I've had days like that too. I've also heard of published writers who aren't happy with their own work, even after it is published and well sold. So don't think you're alone.

    Best advice would be to keep writing, even if it is rubbish. You'll get better with practice. Maybe you've gotten enough experience to know that you're inexperienced. Kinda like when you learn enough about a subject to know that you don't know anything about it.
     
  14. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    This is possible. Sometimes it helps to take a break. I got swamped with schoolwork in grad school, and didn't even touch my book for a few months...which tells you things were really bad, because it's something I've always made time for no matter what. :p I came back to it later with a bunch of fresh ideas.

    I have the feeling of just not liking my writing sometimes. I think putting it aside and then rewriting it a few times usually helps me get what's in my head onto paper. The real challenge for me is just making the words on the paper properly express the vision in my mind.
     
  15. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Isn't that so true, and I guess I'd get more in if I wasn't so bloody secretive about it.
     
  16. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    Secretive? Why?
     
  17. joelpatterson
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    joelpatterson Member

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    Shhhh! It's a secret!
     
  18. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    I'll have days where I am cracking up at my writing. I'll come back to it a few days later and wonder what the hell I was thinking laughing at that crap. You are always your worst critic. Having said that, I think it's always important to get a second opinion.
     
  19. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Yes, a second opinion is a good way for someone else to tell you that your writing sucks.

    Of course, if they are good, they'll tell you what you need to fix.
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't read my first drafts much so don't know I tend to write them not looking back and then rewrite them when I am done.

    The way I look at it my first draft is supposed to be rubbish so I have no great expectations and there is nothing in the rewrite that can't be fixed. If I don't like it I change it.

    Aside from what might be the above useless advice I don't truly relate - I enjoy reading my work but I don't read until I have out it down for a couple of days and when I read it through first I read as a reader noting what if anything pulls me out of the story.
     
  21. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used to hate everything I wrote. Then, in March 2009, I told the group of regulars following my work that I was taking a month out. In April I locked myself in the gym for an hour a day (now my second passion) and when I came home I would sit and write 2,000-4,000 words on the type of story I wanted to read, rather than writing the type of story the readers expected of me. I told myself before I even began writing it that no one else would ever see the story.

    I finished the month with a 100,000 word manuscript of utter crap. But it was fun and I liked it. Some of it was even well-written (not much, of course). Writing something without worrying about what someone else was going to think of it when I was done gave me a lot more freedom with it. This is how I write all the time now (except I write more slowly, giving the actual writing process a lot more thought). Strangely, writing for myself is what seems to have gained my newer reader's attention in the first place; they're more successful than those whose plots were altered to please others.

    Once you find a way to start writing something you like you'll have more fun with it. The above was my way of finding something I genuinely enjoyed working on; once I found something fun to write I started writing better. Not saying that it'll work the same for you but it did for me. :]
     
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  22. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yoshiko is right - my books include all the things I want to read. I have blast writing them it is fun to sit down with my characters and help them tell the story. Reading them is great because it was what I want to read/
     
  23. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I feel the same way as you do. When I look at what I have written I usually think it's crap. I used to flatter myself with having a good vocabulary and easy to express myself with words (and everyone tells me so, even the schoolteachers did) but when it comes to writing I suddenly feel Im repeating the same words over and over again, without knowing how to express whatever I wanna say with other words. I feel limited wordwise, but maybe it's because of me reading too little actually. I start to believe that the secret (at least in my case) lies in reading more, a lot more. And also different genres that I usually read. Maybe it's even a confidence-issue... In some things in life I feel really confident but usually, and especially about writing, I feel terribly self critical and like I cant measure up to my own standards. I hope it's just a question of practising. Dont give up because of this, even I have heard about published (and even famous) writers never being happy with their own work, despite getting enormous appreciation and acknowledgement for it from readers and critiques. Maybe you should try and have someone who's opinion you really trust having a look at what you've been writing, even though it feels scary. But maybe it's better if it's not a parent or someone too close to you as they might be less objective.
     
  24. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    It happens to me. So far, it happens in one of two situations:

    1. I am reading something I wrote ages ago, when I was a much worse writer and inexperienced. In this case, all I do is groan and forget about it.

    2. I have finished writing a chapter of my current project or a new scene, and feel gloomy because I am convinced I did a bad job because I cut some corners or something. In this case, I just stop writing, turn off the computer and go to bed. When I look at everything the next morning, it usually turns out that it wasn't quite so bad, and a little editing and polishing makes it pretty good.

    This is exactly my philosophy also. I write the story that I want to read.
     
  25. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I enjoy writing characters who think a lot and I frequently tell the story with a heavy focus on their internal life mixed with action.

    At times, I'm in the mood for a pure action story and will buy a book like that to totally enjoy. Meanwhile, I find it fairly boring to write nonstop action scenes. I find that ironic, but it's just the way it goes.
     

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