Discussion in 'Revision and Editing' started by badgerjelly, Oct 15, 2019.
Are you too hard on yourself? If so what do you do to combat this?
Honestly, I think imposter syndrome takes the wheel most times. I usually hate my own work, and I can see the flaws building in them.
My way of dealing with it I've found is to write a segment, then promptly leave it be for a while before reviewing it. It gives me time to take myself out of the mind of self-criticism so much as to be productive. My work is constantly rotating on this cycle, which generally helps, although sometimes it hasn't been long enough and I end up deleting the whole thing. I need to have patience for it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy writing, but I do think most the stuff I do is rather terrible. I hope I improve enough some day to not think this way of my own writing.
The downside to this method is you end up having a lot of projects simultaneously in the middle ground. Sometimes it get unmanageable.
That sounds like a terrible idea. I like being able to look at what I’ve done before and notice what, and how, I’ve improved.
I agree with you, BJ. Every artist, I think, looks back on their early work with a critical eye and finds it wanting. But no work is worthless, any more than running around a track is useless because it isn't "game day." We build literary muscles simply by writing a lot, and eventually the muscles will be there when we need them.
As Mingo said, the key is to develop two modes, the creative and the critical, and learn to keep them separate. And, as somebody said, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
I’ve never heard that one before. Love it!
“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
Making smaller goals. Trying not to see too much of the big picture during the rough drafts. Learning to move on even if I'm unsatisfied with something knowing I can work on it later. Keeping all my drafts because some of my first draft moments can be better than rewrites.
Finishing a draft more than restarting a project. Polishing a draft. Critiquing and reading other pieces.
Seeing everyones flaws on this and other sites really let me know everyone is going through the same thing, that writing is a work in progress and the more you work through the layers and not just dicker around with ideas or restarts than it will get better.
Losing myself in the project also helps. I'm on a really tough spot changing 180 pages into less than 110 pages plus most of it was written in the pov of the main boy when he was separated by the mc - now I have to rewrite it in the pov of the mc who is still not present for these scenes I know have to turn fact into imagination and speculation, and rumor. Part of me wants to shut down and say you're in over your head this won't work but I'm moving forward with you can't fail unless you at least try.
All you can do is your best. And with polishing, feedback, criticism, and more work - you're best should get better.
I find it very important to not mix critical editing with creative writing. When I finish a paragraph, I check it for SPaG. When I finish a chapter, I review and edit any remaining nits, then my wife critiques it, and then job done until the book is finished. Critical editing (story line vs general polishing) can be a killer to my creative juices.
I think every writer has a love-hate relationship with the craft no matter how you approach it. Saving or deleting drafts doesn't matter. There are just going to be low lows and high highs. It's easy to feel like a fraud. I question how good I am all the time. Sometimes I suck and sometimes I feel like I'm on fire. I think it's all normal and just part of the process.
Throws away 90% of everything I write. Rewrites the best parts to make them better. I can only write good by always telling me that it's all a pile of shit that needs to suffer in order to get stronger.
Separate names with a comma.