1. angel2016
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    angel2016 Member

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    Why am I doing this?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by angel2016, Jul 5, 2016.

    I need...encouragement, I guess, or even someone to tell me to find a new hobby.

    I posted a bit in my intro thread, but to make a long story short, I am not a writer. I've hated writing up until...well, a few months ago, I guess. I started a story based on some scenes that had been in my head for years, and really only started writing it down as a form of cheap therapy, and because I wanted to write something that I'd want to read.

    It's gotten out of control, 30K words later. It's not publishable, and isn't anything other than a massive time suck. Do I just keep writing until the end? Just stop?

    I'm not a creative person, so I'm not that person who can keep writing various things until eventually something is good. I have no more stories to tell...no, that's the truth, honest! So, I don't know...is just writing for myself a valid "hobby"? Or is it silly? What's the point in all this?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you enjoy the time you spend writing? Do you feel as if it's a positive element of your life? If so, keep going. If not, stop.
     
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  3. sahlmi
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    sahlmi Active Member

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    ^^^I can't say it much better than that.
     
  4. angel2016
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    angel2016 Member

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    I do. But I also feel very guilty spending time on something that I am not above average at. That's my not style at all.
     
  5. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    Whats it about?
     
  6. CrusherBrooks
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    CrusherBrooks Member Supporter

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    Oh, you started to write because you wanted to read something specific? So did I! You feel like you're below average at your hobby? Well, every first step is hard. If you learn a language, you'll suck at first. That doesn't mean you need to feel guilty spending time on it. You're not creative you say? Then where did those 30k words come from, and the scenes in your head before them? Relax my friend, you have a hobby. Some people paint, some play videogames and others go to the gym. You decided to try your hand at writing. Whether or not you want to continue is entirely up to you, and nobody has the right to claim otherwise.
    A deeper question than "What's the point in all this?" I cannot conceive. What, in fact, IS the point of all this? :)
     
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  7. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    How can you expect to be "above average" from the start?
    My first attempt sucked. Really sucked. Awful even. Total disaster.
    The high school version of myself hated anything humanities related. Although, for some bizarre reason, I ended up with a humanities minor in college.
    Now it's thirty years later & I'm trying to teach myself basic grammar rules so I can get through this novel.
    If you're entertaining yourself with writing, keep doing it. It's certainly a better use of your time than watching TV or searching for the latest cat video on youtube.
     
  8. angel2016
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    angel2016 Member

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    It's about a woman who gives up her dreams for the greater good. It's character-driven but set in a Christian fantasy/space opera setting, which is a combination that I know 99% of readers would laugh at.

    I think it's a personality thing with me, coupled with the fact that I have been above average from the start with my successful endeavors. No, really. I quit things if it's evident I don't have some natural skill.
     
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you always good at everything right at the beginning, or do you have to work at it?

    If you aren't used to working to get good, maybe you aren't setting your goals high enough. Try working at something - it's a character growth opportunity!
     
  10. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Well, never judge a first draft, first writing experience on whether or not it will sell - it's kinda like taking up painting and looking at your first blobby flowers and saying - well, nobody will buy this, guess I'm not an artist.
    Writing well takes time. Takes redrafts, takes polish. If it's something you like to do than keep going. But if you're looking for an immediate pay off - good luck.
     
  11. angel2016
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    angel2016 Member

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    I don't waste time on things I don't have the potential to become skilled at.
     
  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe you should. Seriously.

    A, it's not really wasting time if you enjoy it, and...

    B, you don't really know for sure you don't have the potential if you don't even try, and...

    C, even if you suck... seriously, it's good to not be good at things sometimes. Life isn't all about being great at everything. Relax. Enjoy. Embrace the freedom of not having to be the best. And this is coming to you from someone who's definitely achievement-oriented. It's expanded my world quite a bit, accepting that I can just try stuff, without having to be great at it.
     
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  13. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    That's actually the thing I enjoy most in writing. Play around with words, and every once in a while I catch one for good :)
     
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  14. CrusherBrooks
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    CrusherBrooks Member Supporter

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    That sounds like a null statement. You can be skilled at anything (humanly possible). You may not become talented since that's apparently a pre-existing condition, but you can be skilled at anything. From the thread however I think you just want to give up. Maybe you feel uncomfortable that something is finally a challenge. That's why there's no growth left in anyone's comfort zone. The choice is yours... Welcome to the forum :)
     
  15. angel2016
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    angel2016 Member

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    I don't want to give up, but I'd like to complete something that I can at least show my friends and family (who are chomping at the bit to read this thing).
     
  16. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing is a skill, or a set of skills. It's not something that comes naturally to most people; it's apparently not something that comes naturally to you. If you want your friends and family to enjoy what you've written for itself, rather than just because it's something their loved one has produced, you're probably going to have to resign yourself to putting quite a bit of time in, not just to this project, but to developing writing skills in general.

    I mean, I can go to a "fun with painting" night at the community centre and come home with a canvas with some pretty colours and hopefully a recognizable scene, and my friends and family will say, hey, good job, way to go! If that's what you're looking for, just sit down and keep typing. Your loved ones will be pleased.

    But if you want something that's actually going to be effective, something that would please a larger audience and impress your friends and family, you're going to have to learn to paint/write. It'll take time.
     
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  17. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    They'll get over that after the tenth re-write.
     
  18. angel2016
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    angel2016 Member

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    Whoops, completely misread a previous post.

    I guess my big concern here is that I keep reading how your first story is garbage and will always be garbage, no matter how it's edited and rewritten. Is that really true? Because if it is, I really should stop now.
     
  19. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    So go ahead and finish it. Sounds like your friends have more confidence in you than you do, so do it for them. Your story sounds like it is off the well-trodden paths of fantasy/SF which alone makes it worth looking at as something unique. Go for it, girl, you never know until you try! You are not wasting time, you are learning something new.
     
  20. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    And welcome aboard!
     
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  21. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    What do you mean by "garbage"?

    If you mean something you can't take satisfaction from and that won't entertain your loved ones, no, I don't think everyone's first story is garbage.

    If you mean something that won't set the publishing world on fire and may very well not ever find a commercial audience? Yeah, I think most people's first stories are garbage by that second definition.
     
  22. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    First drafts are almost always garbage, in the sense they are not ready for publication. Whether they stay that way happens in the hard and very tedious and boring editing phase.

    The hardest sentence to write in your book is the first one. The second hardest sentence to write is the last one. So, one down, one to go! 30K is quite an accomplishment!
     
  23. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    You're expecting too much. I've never regretted my first novel even though it's not worthy to be published and it's not even very good. But I learned a lot writing it. It's like any art form. Not every painting will be worth selling, not ever ceramic piece will be beautiful, and not every song will be worthy of applause. Does that mean you quit? A books enjoyment doesn't always come from how well it was written. I've followed several books on several sites ( many of them first novels ) and they were fun reads. The writers were learning draft by draft. And though the books weren't publishable that didn't mean they weren't any good or that they weren't enjoyable. Because they were.
    Write because you want to tell a story and share it.
     
  24. angel2016
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    angel2016 Member

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    Thank you all for the advice. I've been getting discouraged, because the writing advice online seems to be geared toward authors wanting to publish, and not someone who just wants to tell a story. It's made me feel as though there isn't a spot for me.
     
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  25. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, there is a place for you here, @angel2016. Authors who want to publish either have already written a good story, or they are looking to make money (and probably won't). Yes, I finished my WIP and want to get it published, but when I was writing it, I was engrossed with the story and wanted to know what was going to happen to my characters next... I am a "pantser" who does not write detailed outlines or character profiles, I just take dictation from my characters. Since it is historical fiction, I was constrained by the realities of the world of 100AD, so I did a lot of research, but my characters told me their tale. And there are quite a few on this site that would love to have gotten 30K words down on paper!
     

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