1. ANightDude
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    ANightDude New Member

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    What if everyone hates my writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ANightDude, Apr 9, 2013.

    This is bothering me so I need some advice.

    I've been working quite a bit on my project that I intended to someday publish, but I can't help but think how much more I could write if I wasn't so concerned with what other people thought of my writing. Some days it's difficult for me to even start simply because I feel like every sentence I'm going to be judged for, and criticized. What if people hate my writing style? (I personally like to use run-on sentences more often than other writers because I hate simply, jarring sentences). What if people just want to hate on the story for the sake of it? What if they're all right about it?

    I know many authors fear this, and I want more than anything to simply write without feeling this. Can anyone offer some helpful advice? Thanks!
     
  2. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    One thing to consider, is that no matter how successful the story, some people will hate it. You just have to look at Harry Potter and Twilight to realize that. On the other hand there are a lot of different people in this world and surely a non zero percentage of those will be interested in what you have to tell.

    You need not to worry. If you read a lot, work on your craft and have friends who can help you critique your work, you will steadily improve your writing and storytelling skills which will help improve the entertainment value of your work.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Keep writing. Finish your project, revise it, polish it, etc. Don't worry about what others will think, especially this early in the writing stage. Some people will like what you've written, and others will hate it. That's just how things are (if it makes you feel any better, Tolstoy hated Shakespeare and thought he was overrated). I think one of the most important qualities an aspiring writer can have is confidence. Good luck!
     
  4. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Post the first few chapters in the appropriate work shop and let us judge, criticize, and basically rip you a new one so that you can git used to it. Then along with all the blood shed we'll throw in a good bit of helpful hints and maybe even one or two tricks (techniques) that you can start using right away to fix some of the problems that might we see in your writing. :D
     
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  5. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Your ideas probably all flow fairly well in your head, but it's when they are on paper that they start to feel bad, am I right?

    My first piece of advice is to realize that you are still in progress. It takes a lot of hard work, humility, and determination, but as long as you keep going, you will get to a point where your writing is pretty good. Keep going from there, and you will get to a point where your writing is great, then excellent, etc.

    The hard part is believing in yourself. It sounds like few people, if any, have read your current project. Those feelings like you are going to be criticized are coming from you. It's your inner-editor that keeps pointing out everything that needs to be fixed. So, my second piece of advice is to believe in yourself. Easier said than done, I know.

    The third piece of advice is equally important: Write every day. Every day you write, you get a little better at writing. The days you skip, you don't get any better. Set a reasonable goal to write each day, and 250 words is about a page, and a good goal to start with. If that's too high, start at 100 and work up from there.

    The fourth piece of advice: Read. Read every day, and books of all kinds. Reread books, and analyze what they do well. Keep a notebook of sentences you really like. If you want to improve your dialogue, pay close attention to dialogue in books, etc.
     
  6. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Advice 1: Stop worrying and focus on enjoying the fun of writing.

    Advice 2: If you can't stop worrying, think about this: considering there are over 7 billion of us and also, quite a lot of us are very nice people who are not looking for that perfectly pefect book that is just perfect for our perfect taste, there is a very good chance a lot of people will like your stories. Mind them, but never mind the haters (of course constructive criticism is always good. It's pretty easy to separate from crap criticism)
     
  7. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I know this feeling way too well. You have to learn to set it aside. Initially you'll probably have to force yourself. It will get easier if you keep at it. Focus on what you are trying to say with your story. Fall in love with your characters. You have to learn to have a balanced view of your work. Find the things that are good and keep doing them. Find the things that are bad and change them. When you learn to have some security in the heart of your work you can learn to take criticism on the technical part of it without collapsing in on yourself. Any art form has a technical and a creative side. If you have a heart for it and you love doing it take comfort in that and trust that with hard work the technical aspect will come as you learn. :)
     
  8. John Eff
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    John Eff Member

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    Who are you writing for? You or someone else? Once you answer this, maybe you can deal with the problem.

    Write what you want to write in your own way, make it the best you can, and just acknowledge that as an author you are operating in an entirely subjective field.
     
  9. SidChewsBarbies
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    SidChewsBarbies New Member

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    I felt the same way. I even showed some writing to my family with mixed results. I submitted an article pitch I was really proud of, only for it to be rejected. You need to write for yourself. However at the same time remember it's a learning curve. Writing is a skill, like anything else. Practice. By practice I mean write. Remember that even Einstein was told by his teachers he would amount to nothing.
     
  10. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Quit examining your navel and get writing. ;)
     
  11. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    If nobody hates your book, you did something wrong. Or nobody read it, one of the two.
     
  12. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    No matter what you write, someone's going to hate it. Look at the reviews on amazon and goodreads. Even blockbuster best sellers and classic novels have a bunch of reviews that tear the book to shreds with pure hatred and contempt. Even a book with 1000 five star reviews will have at least 100 from people who despised it. And many an author, even successful ones, still shed a tear over those 100 reviews when they see them. I've heard some authors say this -- they'll have lots of great reviews, and one day they'll see a really harsh one on amazon and they can't stop thinking about it. They'll think about that one review for days. Even though there were loads of other positive reviews. But they deal with it. They don't let it stop them from writing. They move on and write another book.
     
  13. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    You can ask this about anything. What if someone hates your hair, your jeans, your laugh, the food you cooked, your math homework, your book?

    Once you get to a place where you realize and accept that someone out there will always dislike something about you, but that there are always people who will like something as well, the happier and more productive you can be.

    Writing, for writers, should be enjoyable, even all the pain and angst of it feels good in the end.
     
  14. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    a lot probably will, something you'll have to get over

    as a writer / performer / entertainer you are bearing your soul, standing naked in Times Square and unless you grow a thick skin you are probably going to suffer
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you like it/don't hate it, that's all that really matters...
     
  16. jeepea
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    jeepea Member

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    There's a lot of good advice in this thread, but I would like to add another bit: Try not to let your sense of self-worth become entangled with how your work is received. Writing is as much a craft as it is an art and if you are just starting out, you need to learn the craft. Unfortunately, this involves a lot of trial and error. You'll find out what works and what doesn't work by writing a lot and either comparing it with the work of other writers' you want to emulate or by getting feedback from your peers. When you discover a mistake or a mistake is pointed out to you, look at it as an opportunity to learn, as one more step toward the mastery of your craft. Read and write as much as you can and you'll succeed.
     
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  17. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just write what you like, what inspires you, what gets you going. Chances are, if you love what you produce, others will too. The flipside of that coin is that there's bound to be people out there who'll hate it, but since it's impossible to please everyone, why worry about that? I'm writing for fun, I write the kind of stuff I like to write and read, and as long as I get my kicks, what do I care if somebody somewhere doesn't like it? Just don't mistake someone hating your work with constructive criticism. Ignore the former, use the latter to improve your craft.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The socially acceptable answer is, "Who cares what anyone else thinks?" And to an extent, it's true.

    But the "reality" answer is that it depends on why everyone hates your writing. Maybe you're exposing an unpopular point of view, in which case, more power to you (unless you're a Pinko or a bigot ;)) Sometimes those who present unpopular ideas are the vanguard of tomorrow's ideas.

    But if it's because you haven't mastered the use of written language, your only remedy is continual learning and improvement. Given that you probably don't know whether that is the reason, you should work to continually improve anyway.

    If people hate your writing, be better. If they still don't like it, rinse and repeat. But don't compromise what you believe in. If that's what you're hated for, hold your head high (but duck if you hear weapons discharging).
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You're worrying before you have a need to. From what you've said, nobody else has seen your work yet, so you're agonizing over something that you're not even sure is going to happen. You'll be a lot happier if you can shake that habit and only worry about things when you have to.

    Just write as well as you can. Revise. Get your work the way you want it. Then bite the bullet and let someone else read it. (Post it here in our Writing Workshop - we're on your side, even if it seems we're merciless!) That's the only way you'll ever find out whether you're worrying about something real or whether you're scaring yourself to death with your own fantasies. The worst that will happen is people will tell you your work is no good, but at least they'll tell you what's wrong with it, so you can learn and do better with your next piece.

    I think for people like you who aren't confident yet in the quality of their own writing, that the best thing to do is write a short story or two just to post here for our critique. You'll be walking into the lion's den, but I assure you you'll come out alive and a better writer for it. Sooner than you think, you'll be a confident writer and you can return to work on your main project with that confidence.

    Do it. In six months or less you'll be thanking us! :)
     
  20. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    Who gives a Rat's Butt if everyone hates your writing what truly matters is that you like it or love it.
     
  21. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    Get constructive feedback and write the best story you can. That's all you can do, so there's no sense in worrying about anything else.

    And no matter how great your writing is, someone will hate it. Just like how people will LOVE absolute garbage.

    Just concentrate on doing your best work. That's where the pleasure from writing should come from.
     
  22. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    How do I delete extraneous posts?
     
  23. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It depends what is more important to you: the creation, or the distribution.

    If the creation is the reason for writing, it doesn't matter. If the distribution is the reason, it's essential. Sure it can be dis-heartening. I mean, my own writing stinks, but that's why I keep most of it locked away. Doesn't mean it isn't fulfilling to create it in the first place.
     
  24. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Might you consider a creative writing course? It sounds like you may need a safe place where you can hand your writing over to someone you trust, someone more experienced and knowledgeable, but whom you know will tread gently with you and on the whole, more than criticism, would give you encouragement. It really sounds like encouragement is what you need - someone who believes in you. Asking other writers or people on this forum for feedback is a great idea too, but not everyone on here is very gentle, sometimes you get only a few responses, other times the advice isn't great - and without having confidence in your own writing, it becomes very hard to tell the good critiques from the bad, and it's hard to ignore the harsh tone or comments in some of the critiques. A teacher might well be what you need to help build you up before you release yourself onto a mass of people who may or may not know how to treat you gently and in a constructive way.

    But above all you need to see that there really are people out there who will love your work. Write for the ones who will love it, and ignore the haters. There's a difference between constructive feedback when the comments are negative but the purpose of them is to build you up and help you, and haters.

    It's ok if your writing isn't good enough yet - as long as you're still improving, it's ok. Sometimes looking back at some old work can be encouraging. Yes, you'll cringe and thank the good Lord you never showed anyone that piece of work - but the other thing it will show you is this: just how much you have improved. And that is a sign - that means you're even improving now, and if you're improving, then it means you certainly have the potential and the inner talent you need to succeed. Think of your writing talent as a rough diamond - it doesn't look like much but to toss that out the window would be rather foolish, all you have to do is polish it up, and you will shine. When you are sure that one day, you will shine, it is easier to keep going :)
     
  25. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Fair points. I draw the line to altering my art to please the audience. Constructive criticism is a different matter, this doesn't apply to that. Anyway, once the piece of art is finished, I'll do anything to sell it; go to conventions, hassle agents, write the title on my back and run around town naked, whatever. But changing fundamental aspects of your art, things you truly believe in, just so the work would sell better... no way. Sure, if your livelihood is at stake, go for it, write the next Twilight, but if you strive for (sounds corny, I know) artistic integrity, you have to trust and believe in your art.
     

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