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Am I a Bad Writer?

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Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:54 am
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Rosendorn says...

Chances are, yes. Yes you are.

This is a very good thing.

It means you’re starting out. It means you’re deciding what you like and don’t, what you want to write and what you’re struggling with. You’re exploring, seeking criticism, receiving it and have probably gotten a few pins sent at the balloon that is your ego.

It probably isn’t a stretch to assume you’ve wanted to quit because of that. Your writing is often part of your heart, your escape, your passion. You read your stuff and love it. You have to love your own work. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be writing it. Criticism of your characters is akin to murder.

But criticism doesn’t make them dead nor should it kill your passion. That is because every single person who has ever made it in writing— including, in the case of YWS, your critics— have been in the exact same boat.

Getting better is a case of volume. It is honestly quite simple as that. Experience breeds skill in all aspects of life, therefore the only way to get skill in writing is to write. Switching genres won’t make you better. Getting a co writer won’t make you better. Having somebody provide ideas and walk you through the writing process will not make you better. In fact, those things can make you worse, because you're not sticking with one thing long enough to gain any skill, nor are you doing your own work.

You get better by writing, reading, and critiques. Both giving and getting. Yes this means you will start to read works and see them as “good” or “needs work and here’s why”. Yes, some of your absolute favourites might become pieces you see mistakes in. You can still enjoy pieces that have mistakes in them.

Thing is, you have to become objective in works in order to improve. If you can’t say what works (for you) and doesn’t (for you) in any given piece, then you are blindly leaping into the writing world— which is how you started off. If you continue plodding along without any thought of what you enjoy reading and don’t, or why you hold those opinions, then you will improve at a snail’s pace. If you improve at all.

This is one of the reasons critics pointing out what works for them and doesn’t is so important. It provides a space where you can look at your work and go “Oh, wow, this really doesn’t work. If I do this then I lose all tension, and why would people keep reading? I need to fix it!”

A drive to fix your work is what makes great writers. They are the ones who work feverishly to improve their own style, their own skill, and make better stories. Even if you don’t edit the piece in question, reading the reviews and taking note of what they did right and wrong will improve your future works.

Doing your own reviews helps with this, because you start noting, on your own, what makes for an enjoyable read and what doesn’t. You start doing more of that subconsciously after you learn a little bit of critical thinking.

All in all, you’re a beginner. Unless you are blessed by the talent gods (and, trust me, most people are not), this means you are bad at it.

Go forth and dare to suck.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

Ink is blood. Paper is bandages. The wounded press books to their heart to know they're not alone.

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Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:25 am
Xorsudite says...

"For the pessimist, the satisfaction in being PROVED right is usually undermined
by the sad reality of simply BEING right. Bummer." ~EL Kersten

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Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:38 am
ahmed11 says...

not at all man

Lots of times you have to pretend to join a parade in which you're not really interested in order to get where you're going.
— Christopher Darlington Morley