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Minutes to Midnight

Writing Woes

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by , 11th May 2010 at 03:44 PM (276 Views)
Writing is a difficult process for me, and it's odd to say that when I supposedly love to do it. I think I love thinking about it more. I can generate ideas pretty fast and efficiently. Actually working up the nerve to sit down and write them? That's where things start that slow down and become srs bsns.

My inner critic freaks me out because I just can't please it. And it's always rather harsh on me. I hate feeling like a failure, but I treat myself like one so my story won't be. Does that make any sense?

I've had someone tell me I have a serious inferiority complex. I don't deny it. Modesty is what I think it comes down to. I'd rather encounter people who are humble or modest about something amazing they've done than to encounter someone who's done something mediocre who thinks they're fantastic afterwards.

Of course I'm not really thinking about writing instances when I say that. I've encountered more of that with artists.

Anyway, I digress.

I don't know. If I don't write for a while and then finally sit down to write something, I feel great in the beginning. Usually all of my ideas have spent enough time in my head to be completely mapped out from beginning to end with only few details missing that I fill in as I go. Sometimes that filling-in leads to different directions I hadn't thought of before. Generally, it works out. However, by the end of a chapter I feel like my quality has completely depleted, that I'm no longer writing my idea but writing to get to the end. I never want to take a break in the middle when I still feel so-so because I don't want to lose my inspiration. I don't want to get distracted.

Most of the time, I just barrel ahead and say I'll fix it when I revise later. This is when a beta is useful because I can never catch all of my own mistakes. However, finding a good beta is nearly impossible. People who have great ones are extremely lucky.

I'm currently writing an entry for a Palletshipping contest that I'm pretty happy about, but I've run into all my old problems again. I took up this chance to enter the contest in hopes that it would break the large dry spell I fell into again. For something I used to love to do, I certainly don't do it a lot anymore.

Seriously, I still remember a time when I was younger when I was just go - I would just write like the wind. I didn't give a damn about anything other than the fact that I was having so much fun bringing characters to life in situations I always wanted to see. It felt fantastic. Somewhere along the line, I started looking around and became blatantly aware of my lack of skill. Someone told me that I had skill, I could write like those amazing authors, I had potential, I just needed polishing. So I spent years trying to polish myself into what I wanted to be (which was usually someone else with blatant disregard to my own style if I had one).

I'm still stuck in that battle. I don't think I'll ever be happy with my stories or my writing in general because I'm still stuck between finding out who I am as a writer and who I want to be. My ideal self and my realistic self are at odds. And it sucks.

I'll have it figured out some day. In the mean time, I'm going to try my best with this story and see if anyone enjoys it.

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  1. cowboy dan's Avatar
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    Yeah I write to (no fanfics, not my thing, all original fiction). Most of the time stuff stews in my head giving me a rough outline of what I'm going to do. This works out well enough and when I sit down to write, everything sort of spontaneously pours out like a great jam at the end of a song at a live show.

    Unfortunately, I can only write when I'm alone in my house -_-...don't know why
  2. Midnyte Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy dan
    Yeah I write to (no fanfics, not my thing, all original fiction). Most of the time stuff stews in my head giving me a rough outline of what I'm going to do. This works out well enough and when I sit down to write, everything sort of spontaneously pours out like a great jam at the end of a song at a live show.

    Unfortunately, I can only write when I'm alone in my house -_-...don't know why
    You know, I used to need background noise in order to write. I liked having the TV on or music playing. Now, I need complete silence. Might come back to the "srs bsns" attitude I've adopted when writing. :/

    But anyway! What sort of original things do you write, Dan? c:
  3. Beil's Avatar
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    I’m not sure if I’ve ever met a talented writer who said, straight out, that they found writing easy. So it could be that no one who takes writing as a serious craft and works to refine their skills thinks it to be an easy venture, or else I’ve been blessed enough to meet humble authors.

    I have, however, met very cocky photographers who aren’t even that great at what they do.

    I agree that thinking about stories is a lot more exciting than actually writing them. My two favorite parts of writing are 1) the initial conception of the idea (there’s nothing that beats that moment of birth… the intensely gratifying spark of, “wouldn’t this be awesome to read…?”) and 2) hearing feedback from people who have read my work after it’s been completed satisfactorily. Of course, the writing part, which inevitably must come in between, can be quite painful. (It doesn’t help that I’m a terrible procrastinator and a bit tentative about showing people my work—I wonder if we get more self-conscious as we age?)

    Do you sometimes spend every random free moment of the day just kind of replaying one awesome scene in your head over and over again? Refining it until the dialogue and interaction is perfect, and then just being able to play it in your brain whenever you want like your own personal movie? Because I do that all the time, and then have to force myself to sit down and painfully extract it from my brain.

    I’ve never had a beta, nor been one. I’ve always been very curious as to what that kind of artistic relationship would be like. In my wildest fantasies, I imagine that a good author-beta pair would offer some sort of intensely comforting camaraderie and have enough trust and familiarity to offer criticism that is properly due. But I wouldn’t really know.

    I should stop now, before this comment becomes long enough to be its own blog entry. *sweatdrop*

    -Beil

    P.S.
    Your message just popped up as I was typing this. Heh. Busy day at lab; I meant to reply to your PM and never got around to it. Tomorrow, for sure! Let this suffice in the meantime.
  4. Midnyte Wolf's Avatar
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    First of all, I can't believe people are actually reading this. If I had known I wouldn't be talking to myself, I would have tried to make it sound better.

    Secondly, I guess all I'm saying is that I miss the childish joy I used to get from writing. It all used to be a lot simpler back then, that's for sure.

    I think I also miss the feedback part. Back in the day, I used to have friends who really wanted to read my drivel. Of course, I still have nice friends who say they'll read my stuff, but I don't want to have to ask them that, you know? I want them to be the one to ask me and to also be genuinely interested in reading, not just ask to be kind. Sometimes that feels like a lot to ask for, though.

    I beta read once for a girl, and that one instance changed into a really great friendship. She's the whole reason why I'm here right now, and we're still good friends today. I'm a little sad that I can't seem to find something like that for myself. Is that odd to be jealous of yourself? Hm.
  5. cowboy dan's Avatar
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    Well, I'm really into absurd ideas...I dance with philosophy in my stories (the little that I've written) and a lot of times I like to come up with preposterous situations or characters. I agree writing isn't easy, but I love it all the same. I'd go into more depth but I don't have a ton of time at the moment. I'll be back later though.


    Well, I just wrote about two pages worth a word document on a story I'm working on (I actually plan on going the distance with this one, at least a hundred pages, but you can't force this, so I can only hope) bring the total content to 20 pages. Personal best. It exhausted me mentally and emotionally, and I feel terrible, somewhat depressed, somewhat apathetic.

    On an unrelated note, Wolf Parades album Expo 86 is just amazing.
    Updated 15th May 2010 at 07:43 PM by cowboy dan

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