1. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future

    Writing badly or not writing at all?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tesoro, Apr 6, 2011.

    Ok, now it's my turn to get the writers block (again!). And this time it's not so much a "normal" writers block as some kind of block caused from bad self esteem and a feeling that I will never be able to write as good as I want to. The result is writing altogether feels so meaningless, because when I find out im probably BAD at something I really like, then it sort of takes the fun out of it. (I know, it's sounds sort of childish (?) and I should write for my own sake etc, but that is not how it feels like right now) Like, what is the whole point anyway? MY stories suddenly seem so lame and meaningless that I don't even feel like continuing writing them at all.
    Should I give up right away, realizing that I will probably never get any good at it or should I try and write anyway, even just for the fun (?) of it? And will it be as fun knowing that whatever I produce is crap? I was happier when I wasn't aware of the quality of what I was writing.
     
  2. Yoshiko
    Offline

    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    27
    I think it is just another type of normal writers block. It's a common issue.

    I say keep writing no matter the quality. You're never going to improve if you just give up when things aren't going the way you want them to. You might write a lot of meaningless drivel but all writing is good practice and the more you practice the better you'll become. :]
     
  3. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Keep writing. The more you write, and the more you try and write well, the better you'll get. If you give up, you'll never improve.
     
  4. Trish
    Offline

    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    New York
    Exactly this. :D
     
  5. Still Life
    Offline

    Still Life Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Between a rock and a hard place.
    You do realize that it's a trick question right? We're actually prohibited from telling you to stop writing. That aside, you shouldn't stop writing anyway, especially when you've cut through that stupid, blinding wall of ego we all have and actually realize you need improvement. That's your first step to writing better!

    Have you tried a writer's workshop or creative writing classes? Or if you can't afford that, maybe try out some books or look online for tips that deal with workshop material? I've found that having taken a creative writing class just for a year in high school has guided me in finding my writing "voice," though it's still under-developed.

    Some people have to struggle for 30 years or more before - BAM! - it hits them. (Elmore Leonard, anyone?)

    Keep on reading, do your writing exercises, and never stop writing!
     
  6. Rhysirl
    Offline

    Rhysirl Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Arizona
    That feeling is common. I really hate my stories right now, which drove me to join this forum actually. Don't stop writing, but maybe take a break from what you've been concentrating on, and then go back after a few days, or a week. A little distance helps me.
     
  7. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    thank you all. I guess you are right, I just feel so discouraged right now.
    Still life: Yes I have been reading lots of boks about writing, and they did two things: 1.did actually improve my writing quite a bit and 2. made me realize how much I still have to learn and how many things my stories lack...And I don't know where to learn it, or how. I did sign up for a course in writing at a school here, which was good because atm I don't have a steady job and very little money and that course was free, being a part of the "gymnasium-school-classes" (here the univerity and some kinds of courses and schools are free, which is good) it was about to start in march but it never happened because too few people signed up for it!!! :eek: (with all the people talking about wanting to write you'd think a free writing course would attract quite a few people, right?). And i can't afford another kind of class right now.
     
  8. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Does it matter if you are bad at it ? I am rubbish at dancing, rugby, singing, art - I still do all of them when I can and have fun doing it.
     
  9. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    This is like any other form of self-improvement. You need to be honest with yourself about the quality of your writing. Try by figuring out what aspects of your writing need the most improvement. Is it in the basics, like spelling, grammar, vocabulary? Is it in the form of common errors in style? There are some who will argue that all style is subjective, and for that matter that all measures of quality are subjective. But your sense of dissatisfaction is telling you that you know better, so don't deceive yourself. Sit down with "The Elements of Style" and see if you can find examples of errors in your own writing. I found some in mine, so I'm sure you'll find some in yours. And when you do, don't get mad at yourself. Celebrate. You just made your writing a little better.

    Is the dissatisfaction in your character formation or plot structure? Those, too, can be improved. And then there's the big one: are your stories compelling? You don't need a reference library to answer that one, your gut will tell you. Go read books that make you gasp, or cheer, or cry and then read them again to figure out why they do.

    A marathon runner starts out by jogging and walking, and then builds up his/her distance little by little. And in the end, the runners of the marathon are of all shapes and sizes, and each is striving to find his/her own personal best. So it is with writing. Improvement is hard, but it feels good when we've done it.

    Best of luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    Thank you EdfromNY for an inspiring post! :) I think the problem-areas (hihi) are style and plot-structure. The style because it feels a little amateurish (Though I have read a few published stories that are even more amateur-like, they were debutes in fact, but I'm aiming to write better than that) and inconsequent. Maybe it needs a little more structure overall? Some parts looks very good even for my own eye but then comes those ones that Im really ashamed to ever show anyone and that just doesn't seem to get right no matter what I do. Actually the more I try to improve them the more I feel trapped in some kind of net and in the end I start wondering if I shouldn't keep the original even though I wasn't satisfied with it to begin with.
    The plot because even though I have been writing since i was a kid I never bothered about plots, I just wrote out of pure inpiration and ideas that came to my mind, until just recently, so I guess it takes a while (for me at least) to get the thinking about plots and conflicts and disasters etc. I don't have grammar or spelling problems and even though i've been complaining about vocabulary it really isn't that bad. I just need to incorporate some of my spoken words into my writing. I'll go check where I could find the book you were talking about because I have heard so many people speaking about it by now that i've become curious to read it.
    Ps. I had to add that about the stories being compelling I actally think so. At least for the one I'm working on right now. The other one, the first of them, I start wondering if it isn't a little lame... It's a kind of romance story and the characters start to seem a little ... I think trite is the right word. I haven't read about something like them before but I think it's the impression people would get. And it makes me sad because I think the actual story would be really cute, and very romantic without seeming trite at all, I am really affectioned to these people but maybe this story will have to remain in my head. I might have to change their personalities and the surroundings to make it work.
     
  11. spklvr
    Offline

    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    734
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Sarpsborg, Norway
    I'm probably the only one who will suggest that maybe you need a break. Writing is hard work sometimes, and even though I'd often rather do something else, I still enjoy writing. However, at times it becomes too much and you just need a break. Maybe try some other things and then one day you suddenly feel inspiration again.

    These last few months I've been writing like crazy, and while it's usually been fun, about a week ago I felt like I was about to snap, and put the metaphorical pen and paper down. I have barely written a word since then, been catching up on all of my shows, been hanging with friends and picked up drawing again. Now I feel rested and more motivated to continue my story, and as I look at it with fresh eyes it seems better than it did when I was tired of it.
     
  12. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I did have quite a few productive months too, from june to december last year I wrote a first draft to three different stories and since then I have been rewriting two of them. But it didn't felt like a chore, I was enjoying every minute of it. Boh, I don't know, maybe rest for a week or two and read a little about writing during that time. :p
     
  13. funkybassmannick
    Offline

    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Good idea. Rest up, relax. Read other books, not just books on writing. Read books that have the style and plot-structure you'd like to have and absorb it.

    The best thing you can do for both plot-structure and style is re-writing. Like from scratch. Go ahead and finish your draft, then take another break and come back and start over from scratch. You can peek at your old copy for phrases or passages you like, and you'll find it all comes together better the second time. My writing is horrendous, but it seems to get better every re-write.
     
  14. CriminallyVu1gar
    Offline

    CriminallyVu1gar Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Hmm, I have a lot of thoughts on this.

    First of all, I doubt that your writing is as bad as you think it is. We are often our own worst critics.

    Secondly if you do have an issue with aspects of your writing, why not make them a focal point? For example when I started, I often felt that my writing wasn't very serious or mature. So I started writing short stories that were supposed to be serious and immature, taking my weakness and making it a part of my writing.

    Personally I think it's better to write than to not write. There's always the editing process to iron out your work. Plus the thoughts that you put down when you don't have your A-game might lead to something better than anything you could have come up with when you do have it.

    And if there are external influences that are bringing you down you can always write about what a poophead they are. :p
     
  15. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I agree with being our own worst critics. that is how it feels.
    I'm not sure how you mean that I should use the weakness as a part of my writing... I mean I understand what you try to say but I'm not sure that anyone would want to read it unless I get better at these things. Maybe with certain weaknesses it can work... I mean, if the story is good and you're a good writer you can get away with a lot of things, but if it's the plot and the more basic things like style that leaves a lot to be desired....I just need to master the techinques of storytelling better I think, and to plan the plot, because that doesn't seem to come naturally to me.
     
  16. Bay K.
    Offline

    Bay K. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sometimes it's not so much about quality or how you or others assess / review your work. It's about a gut feeling passion!
    Write 'cause you love to ... 'cause you want to ... 'cause you just wouldn't feel ok if you didn't. There has to be that fire for writing in you --in the end that's what really counts.
    You have to feel, believe in and embrace your writing --regardless of quality.
    You have an idea, you want to say something ... and you just HAVE to express it in writing.
    Not to be harsh, but if you don't have this burning zeal, then perhaps writing's not for you.
    Creative writing is a wild beast, a roaring tempest, a mini world of chaos, that you want to bring into some measure of order.
    If you're not 'possessed' by the muses, ... drop the pen!
     
  17. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I do have the passion, Im just afraid of being bad at it, and that sort of blocks me, cause it would really hurt, considering how much i care about it. But you are right, I probably shouldn't give a damn about that and just write.
     
  18. Bay K.
    Offline

    Bay K. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    4
    When you're hungry, you eat! --your way of eating.
    You don't stop and ask, "Oh, am I eating nicely? How many chews should I take? Did I use the napkin correctly? --did I use the napkin at all? Whoever, ate ten spoonfuls, should I eat ten spoonfuls as well?"
    Just freaking eat! --'cause you're hungry!
    (Get it? --the hunger HAS to be there)
     
  19. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    Haha, I get your point! :D
    in fact now that it has been two :)eek:) days of non-writing I already feel a little abstinence... :rolleyes:
    And Im sure the best way of ever getting better is writing, so...
     
  20. Ellipse
    Offline

    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    32
    The bad comes out with the good. And sometimes the bad becomes good with a little editing. :) You just have to keep writing.
     
  21. Infinitytruth
    Offline

    Infinitytruth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    In a house!
    practice makes perfect.
     
  22. Manav
    Offline

    Manav Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Imphal, India
    Finding out that your writing sucks is one step closer to becoming a good writer, because only then a writer can improve.
     

Share This Page