1. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    What comes easier? Personal writing or story writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GoldenFeather, Jul 10, 2015.

    What is easier to write for you? Personal stuff or stories?

    In other words, what flows out of you easier?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Stories. I don't like writing about myself.

    However, let's keep in mind that all writers draw from experience.
     
  3. carsun1000
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    carsun1000 Active Member

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    I couldn't write about myself for any reason. I've been through a lot of situations in my existence. Too many to remember. I used my wife's pregnancy as backdrop to one of my novels. Other than that...no. But I could pen decent stories without even borrowing any instance from me.
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Either.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Stories. There's lots of me in them anyway.
     
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  6. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    Myself, which isn't good because it usually turns out to be self derogatory and a hot whiny mess. I want it to be stories but I have a terrible time getting them out.
     
  7. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Stories. My real life is too boring.
     
  8. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Definitely stories for me. It's difficult for me to frame my own life into sensible and coherent 'stories', you know? Unless it's a "that one time I ..." kind of thing, and those tend to be pretty short anecdotes, not very interesting. Maybe I'm just bad at writing about myself! I do have some hilarious anecdotes though.
     
  9. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    How interesting the answers! I always imagined it would be easier to write about the self :)
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personal writing is so, so much easier for me. It can be hard to go too deep, but it's still easier than fiction.
     
  11. SydneyHarbour
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    SydneyHarbour New Member

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    Definitely stories.
    I have kept diaries every now and again (I never managed more than 2 weeks as I would always forget to write in them every night) but whenever I have gone back over them, it's always such a hot cringe-worthy mess it's ridiculous. I don't always feel that way about my writing. ;)
     
  12. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    Both come easy to write, but stories are much easier to share. When my daughter was born with severe medical issues and spent her first two months in hospital I poured myself into a blog as a way to keep people informed, help others in the same situation and process what was happening. I am someone that doesn't really know what she thinks until she writes it down! After a while the reader feedback got really hard to take. When people misinterpreted what I said it cut far too deeply. Sometimes I would read a comment or email and I would just sit there thinking "did you even READ what I wrote?" It shook me in the end and I gave up writing almost entirely for about two years, thinking I must really, really awful at it! The reality was for every clueless or harsh comment/email I got about 20 positive ones, but it was hard to keep perspective at the time.
     
  13. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    As it stands, I would love to write and publish an account of my experience with my daughter's needs and how our family has changed and grown and I think it'd "flow" as well as anything else I have written. But my own stories inevitably intersect with other people's and it's a choice between being honest and having some people get very cranky with me or glossing over some big elements of our experience and totally short changing the reader.
     
  14. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    It is easier to write about yourself because you write from experience. This is not to say it is fun or better. Just easier.
     
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  15. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    I usually ignore negative comments or emails like that. That's not to say we shouldn't take constructive criticism into account (even if it's negative), but when it comes to things like that, it's usually the readers who are mistaken. When people throw negativities at you, it's not you that's the problem. They are projecting their crap onto you.

    I'm sorry this was your experience but I encourage you to keep writing. I do understand that when it's personal it hurts more, which is why it's hard to share personal writing as well. Also realize how brave it is that you shared such a story in the first place. Not many people are that brave.
     
  16. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    The fact that it hit hard was as much about where I was as a person at that time - which was pretty vulnerable (my daughter was resuscitated once and had 2 open heart surgeries and a major stomach surgery and has life long needs so it was a rough year of adjustment). The comments that shook my confidence as a writer were comments that completely missed the point of what I was saying. I wrote more than once about how being called "inspirational" made me feel isolated and pressured to live up to expectations - yet there would be people calling inspirational in the comments. I wrote a piece about how I had to repress the urge to attack the doctors and nurses when they were causing my baby daughter pain and I got an email from my grandmother berating me for "threatening violence publicly". This type of thing happened a fair few times and it left me scratching my head and wondering what blog they were reading! Constructive criticism about style would have been preferable to gushing accolades that completely missed the point of what I was writing. I've since read GRRM say a similar thing about gushing reviews.

    Since that time I've gotten some perspective and realised that a large portion of what a reader takes from a text has more to do with them as a reader. This is the vulnerability of a writer! I am now more comfortable sharing creative pieces although there is still a big chunk of my heart in those too. I still hope to write an information guide for parents with a child diagnosed with my daughter's rare condition.
     
  17. dreamersky1212
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    dreamersky1212 Active Member

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    Both. I like to talk a lot in real life. Anyone who knows me and has read my writing says I write like I talk. Which is often frustrating when I am editing. I mean editing usually goes like this: Is that a run on sentence? Why yes it is. Crap they are everywhere! And commas, who needs commas! Why would a reader need to know when to breathe. They should just know! Crap....I changed to present tense again! Now I need to go back 10 pages and turn every 'say' to "said." GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
     
  18. Samson Michael
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    Samson Michael Member

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    Stories, but I tend to draw a lot from myself within that fiction. Often, I do this subconsciously and when I go back to revise I'm able to pick out certain things about a character or an event that parallel something within my life. Keeping in mind, as many have already said, most writers take something from themselves. Someone's writing is almost always a direct window into who that person is in their real life. In some form, I think everyone does this, whether or not they are conscious of this fact is another thing entirely. While I'm sure there are examples of people who don't do this, as a few also said above above, as someone who tends to draw from himself a lot in his writing, when I don't, I feel my writing suffers.
     
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  19. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    Stephen King....*shudder*
     
  20. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Have your read The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Not my normal reading choice, but I found it on a bus -- so free. At any rate, that might give you some setting ideas.
     
  21. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    I like to write fantastical stories with my own beliefs in them and I draw from my own life experiences.
     
  22. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    Stories definitely! It is extremely difficult to write or talk about myself.
     
  23. Vellidragon
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    Vellidragon Member

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    For some reason, I'm finding personal things and forum posts a lot easier to write (especially quickly) than the stuff I actually should be writing, though it also depends on whether I have a topic to address that I actually have things to say about. I sometimes find myself writing really long paragraphs and going on and on about topics without even noticing and I wish I would keep that super power when I'm actually writing books. I often struggle finding the words for continuing a story or I don't even know yet what happens next. When I'm writing about personal things, it's usually something that's already laid out in my mind in some form or another and I just have to type it up. Now I just need a more interesting life so I can make these kinds of things worthwhile to read and not just easy to write.
     
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  24. C. W. Evon
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    C. W. Evon Member

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    Stories. They don't have anything to do with my life really, at least, not overtly. The only time I write about myself is when I'm extremely anxious and/or depressed, and since I don't keep a diary, my poor writer's journal, which shouldn't be subjected to such things, ends up with pages and pages of incoherent rants. Sometimes there's a half-decent poem in there, though. When I do write about myself in a calm state of mind, it's only poetry. Was always frustrated by those "write an autobiographical essay" assignments in school.

    Tried blogging, and I never knew my life was so boring until I realised I had nothing to post about. Blog did not last long.
     
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  25. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    I feel exactly the same way. I was genuinely surprised that so many people find it easier to write stories, for that requires lots of creation, whereas (like you said) writing about yourself is easier since you already know all the ins and outs.

    Although truthfully I find that when people write about themselves, they focus on events or happenings in their life. I think this is incorrect. When I write for myself, if you ever read my work, it's paragraphs upon paragraphs of thoughts and ponderings -- of applying my life to certain philosophies and trying to figure out why everything is playing out as it does.

    I think if people focus more on this when writing personally (instead of what events happened in their day) they would be surprised at how much depth can come out of them.
     
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