1. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    Things that hinder your writing ability/passion.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by RusticOnion, Jan 15, 2012.

    I thought we should make a thread were people can tell others about the sturggles, fears and other hinderances they have overcome, or are still enduring, in their quests to become better writers.

    I think a good example of this was a few months ao when I was still in college (year 11 and 12 of High school for Americans) I attended this writing workshop with a lovely author named K.J Taylor, author of the "Dark Griffin" series (I think, maybe it was "Griffin's flight? Oh well...) Anyway, we started off with character building, world building, Yknow the basics of Fantasy writing, but eventually she ended up telling us about her fears of her published work being rejected by the public, and she became terrified of forums and reviews related to her because she knew that there would be people, uneducated or otherwise that would more than happily tear her work to pieces before her.

    I found that confession of weakness really inspiring, so I thought we should try to share, keep the thread judgement free, and have big cuddles afterwards.
     
  2. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Interesting account you gave there Rustic.
    It goes to show that the enticipation of the world of publishing is not worth the worry.
    The only thing that would hinder my writing would be emotional problems linked to personal problems.
    In other words if I am feeling too upset towards something or someone then my writing would either slow down or be affected.
    After this nothing really should affect my flow of writing.
     
  3. Heather
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    Heather Contributing Member

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    That's interesting that even as a published author, Taylor still felt wary of the reviews she may receive on the internet. I think that is something you never really lose, if you've put time and effort into creating something, noone would like to see it being ripped.

    Do you have any struggles or issues with your writing, Rustic?

    I think my main hinderance is actually finding the motivation to start writing. What with uni work, and the pile of things I should be doing (work, reading, revision, gym etc), and my enjoyment of nights out, I tend to struggle to find the time to write, and then actually motivate myself to do it when I do.
     
  4. Spiderfingers
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    Spiderfingers Member

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    Is anyone else somewhat relieved that being anxious about how one's writing is received isn't exclusively an amateur or beginner thing? It's a bit daunting to think even acclaimed authors might be subject to it, though... In any case, it must've been really interesting to hear a published writer give such a personal account of her experience :0

    For me, the biggest thing pulling me back is probably my tendency to want everything to look perfect even though I know it can't be: I just keep on redoing the same stories over and over again in slightly different ways to try and get something I'm pleased with.
     
  5. Makeshift
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    Makeshift Active Member

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    I think the fear to put anything out for review is my biggest hindrance. It's not even about being perfect, no writer is ever perfect and I don't strive towards that and I do realize I'm an amateur. It's about fearing no one will even care, everyone is posting stories here and it feels difficult to imagine someone actually seeing something in my works, something that would make them read it even if they wouldn't have to review works to post. Another hindrance is thinking too visually. Originally I thought about writing film scripts and it's hard to transform those ideas to prose.
     
  6. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm terrified of my family reading anything I write. I used to show them years ago but they would always embarrass me, or put me down, or something. Certain family members have put me down all my life, though they'd deny it. They forget they aren't the only ones allowed to have feelings, and that when they call me stupid, and incompetent and useless, there will come a time when I can't convince myself they're wrong anymore.

    My mother nearly walked in on me writing the other day and I froze, mortified, and felt my whole body flush cold. That's when I realised how truly sick it makes me feel to think of them reading my work - the only thing i have left that's mine, something none of them can criticise. It's a horrible feeling.

    I've been part of a high-paying successful anthology, and I can't tell them about it. I've been published other places too, and I'm too afraid to share it with them. I get amazing feedback at uni and I've never achieved below a first-class grade for fiction, and I can't even celebrate that with them, because I'm too scared of them tearing me apart. I shake when I think about graduation, because they'll turn up believing that my degree is useless, and therefore I'll feel useless, whilst every other kid there feels a million dollars; like the whole world is opening up for them.

    If I ever get my novels published, I won't even know how to break the news to them. Not because I'll be so stoked about it, but because I've written them in secret and there'll be no way of hiding my work from them anymore. They'll read it, and certain people will get a big smug smile on their face while they mentally note down everything they can slap me down for to make themselves feel big.

    That's what I'm afraid of.
     
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  7. SunnyDays
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    Dear Ashleigh,
    What you wrote breaks my heart. I can't comprehend what it must feel like living with family you don't trust.
    That you feel physically sick when you think about them reading your work.
    I hope something works out. My condolences.


    As for myself, I just hope people I write about won't be upset.
     
  8. James21377
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    James21377 New Member

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    Motivational issues/hitting the wall, or simply not following through with a story. I'll jot down an idea in Word, and then not edit it again (my earliest one is from June 2006). I just lack the drive to follow through and complete a piece. Also because I find it hard to leave a section untouched if I think it needs work. Only once it's at an adequate level will I move on. So yeah, I need to work on letting the writing just sit there until I have the storyline finished, and motivating myself to work on it.
     
  9. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Probably personal issues/problems. For example, at the moment and has been for a while now, it doesn't matter how much I love writing, I just don't see the point in it, nor in anything (very much 'there's no point in living or dying, so what's the point in doing anything?' - well aware I need to snap out of that frame of mind too). It can be helpful if I need to access those emotions for my writing but mostly it means I just don't write, not even about how I'm feeling.
     
  10. Random Gerbil
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    nothing stops me from writing just to write. I'm doing it right now. I'm wrong a lot and my grammar is terrible and my dialog should not be subjected on decent people. but I'm OK with the idea that, mechanically, i suck at writing.

    the thought that some people might not love my characters as much as i do terrifies me. no amount of rational thought on the ideas of subjectivity and preference will put a dent in that problem. they are my babies ._. i wonder if ill ever showcase anything i do. :/
     
  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dear Ashleigh, thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am so sorry to hear what you are going through, but I know all too well how it is when you own family puts you down and discourages you. I don't want to give you advice because you know what's best for you, but it took me many years to in the end realise - they won't change no matter what I do, they love themselves so much more than they love me, I can either let them ruin my life with all the insecurities and desperate desire to have decent and encouraging parents or I can be realistic and acknowledge that what they are doing is not ok, and distance myself. Obviously, I talked to them several times and stated my grievances, but in the end I realised that I have to make my own life, and if they want to play nice they can be in it, if not, they can f*** off. I can't say it's been easy, but it brought me a much needed closure and a way to move forward in my self esteem.

    As for what hinders me, I think most of all my health. I got sick with a clotting disorder and asthma several years ago and I am still recovering, but it's going very slowly. Because of this there are periods, sometimes even weeks or months, when I feel week and tired and in that state I just can't write. But I'm optimistic that it will all change for the better soon.
     
  12. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    Nothing phases me when it comes to writing, if people don't like my writing then why should I care? I am honestly flabbergasted that people would hide back their work due to critics online etc. That isn't judgement on those people either, it just doesn't compute with me. If you like my ramblings, great. If you don't, then no worries and don't be a dick about it if so. That's the basic rule set. If people ar ebeing dicks then hey, it's the internet, those people do tend to end up here.

    What does hinder my actual writing though is just a very powerful writers block. It isn't so much that I sit down and can't write either, I have no feeling to write whatsoever and haven't done for i'd say atleast 6 months. Perhap the urge to write will come back, perhaps not. I'm not going to worry too much about it.

    I can force myself to write, which often involves booze, and that works. But to sit down sober and write, meh......not so good without the proper mood :p
     
  13. DanielRoseington
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    DanielRoseington Member

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    For me its time. I work and am a full-time student. So, by the time I'm either done work or class and done the books for the day its usually very late and all I want to do is sleep :/. I always come back to it though during summer and winter breaks.
     
  14. jonsnana
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    jonsnana Member

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    Ashleigh, my sister-in-law is a talented artist whose artwork sits under her bed unfinished because of her mother's caustic, smug comments. The therapist advice (after years of emotional abuse) was "you must divorce your mother." I would be reluctant to give that advice to anyone but it has made life happier for my sister-in-law. Take the gift that you have been given, use it to the best of your ability and separate your emotions from the ones in your life that delight in tormenting you.
     
  15. naturemage
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    naturemage Active Member

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    My bigger fears- one, that I cannot put into words what I see in my head. I have trouble with description, and when I imagine things, it's like seeing a movie in my head. I just find it so hard to describe what I see.
    Two- people will not enjoy reading my story. I write because I enjoy it, and because I want to share my ideas with other people. The money is an added bonus, if it happens. Getting people to enjoy a story that I wrote, that's my dream. I worry that no one will...
     
  16. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    Well I guess my problems started when my mother took me out a public school in New Zealand and into a private cult, the school/highschool in question focussed alot more on the development of the spirit than the intellect. At my new school I learned how to play the lyre, recorder, learned how to bake, sing, about auras, telepathy, fortune telling and the afterlife. When I was 14 I became a manic depressant and attempted suicide, sensing that I wasn't the happiest chappy in the world my mother decided a change of scenery would help replenish my chakara, so we moved to Australia.

    My time at Highschool was pretty challenging, coming from a sheltered life; I should probably note now that at the age of fifteen I didn't know what a noun was or my times tables, so that made my education rather difficult. When my mother saw that my grades had gone from rainbows and unicorns to E's and D's she decided to get me tested for learning difficulties. Turned out that ontop of a poor education I also had dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia (they effect fine motor skills such as writing and drawing, reading, articulation, balance, spelling and concentration). So for the next three years Google became my best friend, every day after school I'd pull out my notebook which had a list of words, formulas, terms that I didn't understand and I'd research the shit out of them, after one year I became a B average student, another year later one of my favorite teachers introduced me to the wonders of psychology and sociology, and another showed me that a sentence of mere words can reveal great truths and beauty.

    This year I just got accepted to university to do a double degree in psychology and journalisim, I wrote my first poem which was published in a journal (just a highschool journal mind you), my first short story which I've uploaded here for review (The Last) and I've started my first novel. I know I'm no where near as knowledgeable on the technicalities of language as most of you on this forum, but I enjoy creating my works, and the more I make the better I'll get.
     
  17. Enzo03
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    Enzo03 Member

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    The problem I have is that when I go trying to write I'll jot down my idea and expand upon it for a bit. Then I'll look at it and say "Auggh what am I thinking? This is lame." ...well, not necessarily lame but the idea is that I'm dissatisfied with what I write. I don't know if I'm afraid of what others would think when they read it (the thought never crosses my mind when I look at what I write) or what but I don't like writing things I am dissatisfied with. The closest thing I have done to remedy this is to simply don't reread what I have written so often but I run into another problem - trying to find the words to get my idea out - before writing them they tend to go through my head and then I find that I am dissatisfied with how they sound in my head!

    Maybe it's one of the very few things I am perfectionist on?? I don't know.

    I have been thinking of taking a new approach at it. I write nonfiction stuff just fine, so why not approach my story as a fancy nonfiction work set in the fictional world that I have thought up? I'm unsure if I can present the idea in the true spirit that it exists in my mind though, a problem I sometimes have with all writing, and even moreso in speaking, but it usually doesn't keep me from trying to express my ideas.
     
  18. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I'd like to add exhaustion.
     
  19. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    Currently there are two major things hindering my writing. We have a new puppy and he takes all the air in the room. I just tried to respond to a post while trying to keep him quiet and occupied because my wife is still sleeping. It took two hours to write one post for all the interruptions. There's no sense writing during moments like this because, for me, I have to get lost in my story (which takes time) and only then can I write what I see. There's no chance of me getting to that place even if I only responded to him acting up - but the watchfulness and anticipation of him acting up doesn't allow me to focus long enough to even get there. At the moment he is asleep at my feet, but this is a momentary distraction for him and he'll be up and at 'em in a moment.

    The other hindrance, though I hate to call it that, is my wife is finally home after 24 years away. It's only been 50 days today and I'm finding it hard to want to do anything but be with her. I'm here now because she's sleeping.
     
  20. Baba Yaga
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    Hi yagr, why was your wife away for so long, if you don't mind me asking?

    I'm not afraid of others reading my work and not liking it, I'm afraid of getting 30 000 words into a steaming heap of rubbish that I don't want to continue. I'm finding it difficult to commit to longer term projects because halfway through, it's not the writing I start doubting, it's the idea. Is it creative enough? Is it clever enough? Am I wasting my time? Inevitably, I end up trashing it and starting with a new 'better' idea, but I seem to hit the same wall each time.
     
  21. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    Prison.
     
  22. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    Well......I don't think anyone was expecting that one.

    Can I ask why? That's pure curiosity though, if you don't want to answer, then no worries.
     
  23. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    Murder. She was 15 years old and escaping from a human trafficking ring at the time. Originally given life without the possibility of parole, overturned in 1992 to life with.

    I'm not shy about it but we might want to take it to PM if there are any further comments to keep this topic on task. (said friendly like)
     
  24. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    Christ........not good then. Atleast she's out now then eh!
     
  25. Cosmic Latte
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    Hi Ashleigh,

    I can so relate to you and your situation. I began reading this post only because my mother wants to visit this year. She was my writing hindrance. In the two years since her last visit I have turned two rooms in my house into a writing studio & working library, and while I have reasoned that I can put away my cork storyboards and hide my manuscript in process, I already know that she'll ask if I'm still writing. It's not that she's against my writing. Strangely, she says she loves it.... Because I only see her once every few years, and because she'll be so happy to see me again that she may actually act motherly toward me, I am afraid I may be lured into trusting her with my art. And then, when she has me in her grasp and I am at my most vulnerable, I know she'll attack with a psychological analysis of my work against any perceived childhood misdeeds I may (or may not) have committed against her years and years before, or she will line edit the piece until I can't recognize my own voice within her words and, against my better sensibilities, I succumb to her words and will be left a frightful, paralyzed wreck for weeks after she leaves.

    But I have intellectually come to realize that she truly has no more hold over me than I allow her. (I only wish my heart agreed!) Part of me wishes someone had cared enough about me as a teenager to have directed my career path into something I had more of an aptitude and enjoyment for, but I was clueless and went into accounting instead (although it does pay good.) I'll be graduating with my BA soon and have recently been faced with the decision of what to do next. Do I do what's expected and pursue a masters in business (where I have nearly 15 years experience), or do I use a secure employment position as a launchpad to become what I've always wanted to be - a published and prolific author? I have really been forcing myself to accept that, no matter how much my mother is jealous of me and hates me, I am ultimately the one who is responsible for my own writing career. And for my own happiness.

    If I may, it sounds like you need someone to care about you and encourage you. I am glad you are here. I have been on this site less than a week and, while I am not overly familiar with forum sites in general, I am coming to appreciate the welcomeness of the writers here. Like yourself, I am also afraid of criticism. You may find that time and maturity may work its wonders on some of the fears you face. One day you may wake up and realize that it's been some years since you struggled with this or with that. I doubt I could have joined this group when I finished my first manuscript; I would have been too shy. At work I have learned to put on a good show of being outgoing and forthright, but my writing has been so private for so long that it wasn't until I began growing in confidence and self-respect that I began being more open with friends and family about how I enjoy spending my own time. I have also learned that I really like my own work, and find that reading it brings me even more ideas to jot down. That said, I do plan on publishing under an assumed name.

    It's nice meeting you, Ashleigh, and I wish you the best in your writing career and hope to see you around on the forum boards. I can hear that you are a writer by the words you have written. Stay true to your gift - no amount of criticism will ever take it away. It's yours.

    S.
     

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