1. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    Tough love

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by deadrats, Oct 10, 2016.

    What would you do if someone you really cared about and respected told you you were wasting your time? I recently got some tough love on my poetry skills. I was told my poems are really bad. That I'm wasting my time writing them over writing other things. This person said my focus should stay with prose. I guess I foolishly thought I could do it all. But I do think maybe this person is right. It's not like I'm quitting writing, but I realize that I am never likely going to have much success as a poet. I would never stop reading poetry, but maybe that's better left for those more skillful of the form than I am. I feel like I should be upset about this, but I'm not at all. Would you be upset if someone told you that you were wasting your time writing a certain thing? Would you listen to them? Have any of you had things like this said to you before?
     
  2. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    You don't have to do it well or successfully if you enjoy it. I'm no poet either, but I still write them occasionally to get some kind of feeling or idea out. But if you're only interested in writing poetry for the purpose of publishing it, then yeah, I don't see much point in trying if you don't think you have much of a shot at it.
     
  3. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    Would I be upset? Probably. Thankfully, that hasn't happened.

    If that did happen, I would trust my gut to tell me what I really wanted/needed to do. Who knows, what if you devoted yourself fully to prose and wound up getting some publishing credentials with a new found focus? That would be pretty cool. You could also use this as fuel to light the poetry fire and maybe get some of that published.

    It really comes down to what YOU want to do. Do what makes you happy. I see you stressed out on here a lot over writing and I wonder what you could do to alleviate some of that stress. I am NOT saying stop writing. I absolutely think you should follow your passion and continue to write.

    Take some time, figure out exactly what it is you want to do and make an executive decision based on your gut. I've learned to trust my gut and It's rarely steered me wrong.
     
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  4. Thufeil
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    Thufeil Member

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    Well, it's all about your passion. You wanna be a poet and you do like to write a poem, so keep on the track! As long as at least you have yourself who appreciate your work, keep going on. You can ask someone's advice to improve yor skill. OTOH you can use the one's critique to strenghten your intention to keep going on. Just prove to yourself how far you can do it based on your passion.
     
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  5. bonijean2
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    bonijean2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Because one person told you not to write poetry?
     
  6. Iain Sparrow
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    Iain Sparrow Active Member

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    I don't think anyone should write poetry.
    Unless it's in the form of lyrics, that is words to a song.

    Anything a heartsick teenager can do relatively well, should not be considered meaningful or engaging, or literature... just kidding (sort of).

    Here's a poem I wrote for Stella, my eldest niece's little girl...

    Stella & LaRue

    When singing songs of scaryness of bloodyness and nastyness-
    I feel obligated at this moment to remind you
    of one Stella Lily Delaware and her friend named LaRue
    Stella is my grandniece and that's alright with me
    but her friend takes some getting used to
    LaRue is dragon or monster or some sort of beast
    lives in the sewers down under the streets
    He'll let you sit inside his mouth
    if you knock on his chin he'll let you in
    but I rather doubt he will let you back out
    So don't mess with Stella or you'll have to deal with her pet
    she's only three and not scary at all
    but her friend is the most ferocious I've ever met
    He's green and blue and dripping with goo
    the sewer monster Stella calls 'LaRue'
    -that's standing right behind you
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Conversation last night with my daughter.

    She had been thinking of going into writing as a career, probably journalism. Her music teacher advised her against it. She went off the idea, and went to Uni, got a job, etc. Ten years down the line and she's rediscovered her mojo, knocked off a short story in half-an-hour and won a contest with it, is now half-way through a first draft and ENJOYING it.

    Bottom line...your poetry may suck (I don't know, I've never read it, and I find a lot of poetry impenetrable) but you CAN improve. You might not, but you'll never know that unless you keep going with it.

    To my mind, telling you that you're wasting your time isn't tough love. Tough love is telling you it sucks because THIS and THAT and, oh, ANOTHER THING. It might hurt, but if you can take the pain, learn the lessons, and go again, you can improve.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The fact that you felt the need to post about it suggests otherwise.

    I'd consider the source. If it was someone with writing experience or who was extremely well-read, and who didn't have any kind of ax to grind, I'd of course consider what they said. It might mean I'd drop a project, or it might mean that I would try to do what I could to improve - depending on the specifics.

    Good luck.
     
  9. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I'm not so upset, really. I am fully aware that my poetry is nowhere near the level of my prose. And I rather see my prose continue to improve than make any small advances with my poetry if that's even possible. The plan never was to be a poet. I'm sure I will try again at some point, maybe. Maybe not. Lately, I've been feeling like I've been spreading myself a bit too thin. Dropping poetry from my writing routine might actually be a good thing.
     
  10. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    I'm not stressed over writing. Sorry if I come across that way. Publishing can stress me out because I keep getting close with some really great places. And, at the end of the day, close means nothing. I know I'm nowhere near close with my poetry. And submitting poetry kind of seems like I'm just wasting my time. Nothing against poetry. I just don't think it's really my thing. I gave it a real try, though, and I don't regret that.
     
  11. TheWriteWitch
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    TheWriteWitch Senior Member

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    This says a lot to me. It's hard to get tough love, but you came through intact and didn't let it take anything from you. Plus, reading is one of the best ways to improve your writing and I'd love to bet that down the road you will write truly vivid poetry.

    It also sounds like you know that this is what is right for you right now. You mentioned your writing routine and using that time to focus on prose. That gives you a focus for that time that will be very productive.

    All in all, I admire your balanced response to what you heard. No matter what, you're still on the right track.
     
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  12. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't listen to just one lone voice. No one liked Van Gogh in his life time, now he is a celebrated genius. He didn't listen to the critics....maybe he couldn't?
     
  13. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Gauguin did.
     

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