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How do I stop hating everything I write?



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Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:01 pm
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orbiteliza says...



Hi. I feel like this is a common writer thing that writers experience, and it goes like this:

You write. You re-read it and think, oh my god. This is hot garbage. You edit it. It makes sense. You think, oh my god. I am the literature god. I will dethrone all other authors.

A day passes by. You over-analyze every sentence you wrote, and think, oh my god. I am a peasant who can't even create coherent paragraphs.

It's been happening to me a lot. Half of me is like, "This sucks. All of your ideas suck. Stop trying," and half of me is like, "There is no one like you. You are amazing. Your ideas are innovative and brilliant."

It's frustrating and I'm just trying to figure out what is self-hate and what is actual good criticism! Any tips on how to stop this? Peer-reviews are often suggested, but not many people review my work if any. AAAAAAAA
  





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Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:15 pm
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Vincian says...



Hey there @orbiteliza! First off, welcome to YWS! I hope you enjoy it here, and this site is a review-focused site so if you're looking for reviews then you've come to the right place :D you'll get at least 2 reviews on everything you post eventually!

So, personally, I heard advice that works the best for me a long time ago, and it was this: just write, don't revise. Just write, don't read back what you just wrote because you can get lost on critiquing and analyzing yourself to the point you halted all of your own progress. Now, editing grammar is fine, but only do that when you're ready to move on (so, if you want to publish what you wrote to YWS as a chapter or a lit part for example, edit for grammar and spelling, mostly spelling). Revising before significant progress removes progress, so many writers suggest only significant revising until after you have finished your first draft (sometimes lovingly called the trash draft).

Some other suggestions! These don't work for everyone, though.

  • Outline!
    Honestly sometimes you just have to push through the boring or the bad to get to the exciting or the good. However, it can be daunting to do so if you don't know what good or exciting you're writing towards. Having a plan and having an outline is a good way to have just that! Find something you enjoy writing or are natural at writing. For me, it's dialogue-heavy scenes and some action scenes. So, I make sure to layer those into my outline and just trudge through the boring stuff until I get to that stuff I enjoy writing
  • Collaborate
    This one is kind of in line with peer-reviews, but in a different vein. This is just throwing the work in the air and going to another writer for help, or inspiration, or just to throw plot bunnies at them while they're writing. YWS helps with this, as we often have Write-Ins where a bunch of writers hang out together in a writing pad and work on their projects in the same space. It can be a little intimidating at first, but it's so helpful! I also personally enjoy just co-writing with people, aka working on novels together (you'll find me, and that, in the Storybooks forum) but I know that's not everyone's cup of tea. However, going to others for inspiration is often a good thing to do.
  • Reading
    That leads me to this point! Just stopping writing to read other people's works is important! You can get inspiration, you can often look at people's writings and see a scene similar to what you're struggling with, or just take a break because sometimes you just don't have inspiration.

I hope this helped!
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Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:17 pm
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orbiteliza says...



Thank you! I never thought of writing all in one go and then revising, to be honest. I've written my first chapter 5 different ways and I think it's time for me to let go of the perfectionism. This really helped! <3
  





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Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:23 pm
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Vincian says...



No problem! I can't wait to see that first chapter if you decide to publish it here on YWS, and good luck with your writing :D and trust me, a lot of writers suffer from perfectionism. It's this idea that you have in your mind that you struggle with putting on paper. But, as Winston Churchill once said, "Perfectionism is the enemy of progress"! Don't worry on getting it done right, just get it done
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Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:24 pm
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SpiritedWolfe says...



Hi, orbiteliza! First of all, welcome to YWS ^^ I’m glad to see that you’re around and reviewing and posting already ~ It’s great seeing new faces.

Now, for the actual topic of this post, this is something that I have definitely experienced and struggled with in my evolution as a writer. I’m a perfectionist, and I want everything I write to be the best it could possibly be the first time I write it, which can lead to me feeling demotivated if what I write isn’t up to my expectations.

To me, this isn’t something that has an easy fix, but you can still try to practice things to make it easier for you to keep writing.

First, maybe try to think about why you don’t like what you wrote before. Does it sound too choppy or doesn’t flow write? If so, what possibly contributes to that and how can you fix it? Did your character do or say something that doesn’t make much sense for them? If so, why did you have them do that and what can you do to fix it? Do you feel like what you’re writing isn’t “good enough” but can’t pinpoint why? Then don’t worry about it right now! I know that this last thing is super difficult to do (again, I’m in the same boat!), but to me, writing is like flexing a muscle, and if you stop writing every time you get a little sore, you’re not going to get much stronger. Sometimes it’s better to move on and come back to it to this part later when you have more perspective about your story or what you want your writing to look like.

Another thing you could try to do is not look at your previous writing. If you’re continuing a story, then try starting a new word doc (or Google doc—whatever you prefer!) and just write them and combine them later. Again, much easier said than done, but if looking back on it is only hindering your progress, then it may be more helpful for you to just make progress and worry about the editing after you’re finished and you have a good idea of what you want your story to be like!

One more thing that you might find helpful, especially when you’re in one of those ruts where you feel like your ideas suck, is to ask yourself what you liked about your idea to begin with. Why did you start writing it? What made you fall in love with it before? Has something changed now that makes it not as fun to you anymore? Is there something you can do to change it back? If you don’t feel any love anymore towards your project, then maybe it would be better to set it on the back burner and try something else you are interested in! That mentality might help you view your writing in a more positive light, at least for a bit :)

I wish you a lot of strength on your writing journey, because this isn’t something that’s so easily phased out. Hopefully you find some of these tips useful to you, and if not, maybe you’ll find a cheerleader who’ll yell at you that your writing is great and deserves to be loved so you’ll keep on writing :) <3

Also, as a final note, I’ve noticed you’ve got a first chapter up in the green room and I’ll happily leave a review on it today! ^^

Edit: oooh I see Vincian got to this first, but I totally agree with everything he said, and I may have repeated his points a bit! But I think that echoes to what works :)
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Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:26 pm
orbiteliza says...



Thank you so much for your words! I think I mostly just...write weirdly and have to change it into a way where it makes sense for others than just me, which why I sometimes end up with a confusing first draft and I immediately change it. I'm going to start writing without looking back.
  





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Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:46 pm
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pelsteam says...



That leads me to this point! Just stopping writing to read other people's works is important! You can get inspiration, you can often look at people's writings and see a scene similar to what you're struggling with, or just take a break because sometimes you just don't have inspiration.


@Vincian is spot-on with this. When I was trying to learn digital art, all my more artistic friends kept telling me not to be afraid of using references. The same applies to writing, and I really wish I'd learned this sooner than last year.

Reference, reference, reference. I spend a lot of time trying to track references down for tricky scenes I'm struggling to write but vaguely remember reading in some other book long ago. One major example is when I wanted to write a scene where the protagonist is branded on the face, and I used the branding scene from Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson as the starting point. (The aftermath of that scene also gave me some ideas for how a burn wound to the cheek might be dressed and kept clean in a setting that doesn't use adhesives).

I also use what I call "style references". I love the writing styles of George RR Martin and Philip Pullman, so I have two of their books on my desk as style references. When I feel like my writing quality's starting to dip or my style's going weird, I often pick up A Game of Thrones (since it's a similar enough genre to what I'm writing, but when I finally get working on my children's book I'll be looking at Northern Lights) and flick through to remind myself how other authors write. Just a few minutes spent reading a passage can really help you pick up your creativity and put it on the right track.
  








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