1. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Self-Doubt

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Scarecrow28, Aug 19, 2008.

    Like I've mentioned before, I'm in the process of writing my first novel. I'm a perfectionist, especially when it comes to my writing. And, as I work on the plot, I'm beginning to doubt both my story, my ideas, and my overall ability as a writer:(. Is their anything I can do to regain my confidence in my writing so I may continue onwards? Thanks.
     
  2. AnonymousWriter
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    AnonymousWriter Contributing Member

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    I'm in the same situation as you are.
     
  3. Scarecrow28
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    It's really hard to want to write desperately but at the same time feel like you can't.
     
  4. Tobi
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    Have you fully plotted the start of your story? If your questioning your story and your ideas you need to leave the plot for a bit and just write it, I know it'll be really hard and it probably won't be any good and will probably be deleted later when you're better, but it's something different about your story to focus on and should get some different lines of thought involved.
     
  5. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    I might just have to strip down the story and start over, building back up around the central ideas. I wouldn't like it, but it may be necessary.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Scarecrow28 and AnonymousWriter,

    I think it is fairly common for writers to have concerns about the project they're working on and doubt their ability to 'pull it off'--to write something that meets their expectations, and reaches publication (if that's the goal).

    Talking about writing is easy. Actually writing, producing the best prose you absolutely can, isn't easy. It takes time, internal motivation, and perseverance. Researching, learning how to write (some call the craft) and sitting down and clicking away. Planning, Pondering, Writing, Revising, Editing, Polishing, Submitting.

    Realize that having actually participated in learning a bit about writing (well, you're on this site ;) and I suspect you've in put more effort than that), pondered your project and have begun writing, you're farther along than a large chunk of 'writers' who only talk about it and occasionally dabble a bit. And you're obviously not satisfied with just whipping out a story and sending it off, falsely confident that some editor will see it as a diamond in the rough and will do the work to bring it up to the necessary quality.

    No one can tell you with certainty what you're working on will look like at the end. One thing that I can say for sure is that as you write, you will improve. Scarecrow28, you indicated you're a perfectionist. Then realize that you have to push through the first draft. By the time you reach the end of the novel, you'll be a better writer and can go back and edit/fix the flaws you see.

    And don't get too overly concerned about our novel being perfect. If you submit it for publication, and a house accepts it, an editor is going to work with you on it anyway. So don't obsesses about perfection. What you ultimately submit isn't going to be set in stone. Yes, submit the best work you're able to produce, but once you have, move on and write something else while your first project is seeking a home. Odds are, good as your first work was, the second's quality may be just a bit better.

    Hang in there Scarecrow28 and AnonymousWriter, do what it takes, push through the self-doubt, and don't give up. True, there is no guarantee of success, but not doing it guarantees failure.

    Terry
     
  7. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Thanks Terry :) I think I'm just going to end up scrapping everything I've done so far and start over from the beginning with only the basic plot points and build back up from their. The way I look at it, if I truly thought my plot was good enough, I wouldn't be questioning myself.
     
  8. AnonymousWriter
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    Thanks for the advice Terry. :)
    It's very much appreciated.
     

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