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Thread: The feeling that it's pointless

  1. #1
    Senior Member Amanita's Avatar
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    The feeling that it's pointless

    Hello everyone,

    browsing through the threads here I don't believe that I'm the only on who sometimes feels this way. Who else feels from time to time that effort of writing fantasy is pointless?
    Generally, I like to write but as some of you are alreading discussing in another thread, I also tend to have plenty of ideas at once and habe trouble to stay with one of them over a longer period of time.
    And, maybe more importantly, the more I learn about the publishing process and everything involved in it, the less I'm motivated to get myself into that, even if I could to write something good enough. This might be because "normal work life" already involves plenty of trying to get respect for what I'm doing, chances that only exist with the right connections and so forth and I don't want to put myself through that twice at the same time.
    I have the ambition to get an engaging, well-written story on paper, but I'm not really interested in doing anything more with it and my childhood dream of becoming a famous fantasy author doesn't really exist anymore either.
    My leisure time is diminishing as well, but this doesn't mean that I couldn't get on with it, but I'm not sure if I should, if no one besides me and maybe a few friends is ever going to see any of it.
    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Leadership Kelise's Avatar
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    I haven't been able to write with abandon (like I used to) for almost two years now.

    I could be published by now if I wanted to write in the currently popular genre. I only want to be published if I can write at the standard of, say, Scott Lynch, Glenda Larke or Tansy Rayner Roberts - my current utter favourite authors. If I can't hit that (very high) level... I can't be bothered.

    So if I try to write, and that first rough draft isn't at that high level... I get disappointed and put it aside. Even though I know from experience it takes many drafts and a lot of time to get to it.

    So yes, currently feeling my writing is pointless, even though I know I'm not going the right way about it. Motivation won't listen, however.
    ĚKatharine
    "Aren't ordinary people adooorable. Well, you know, you've got John. I should get myself a live-in one. It'd be so funny."

  3. #3
    Call me naive, but I still dream about become a well read author. Maybe it's because I'm still in high school and my dream has yet to be beaten from me by the harshness, but I do hope my writing does have a point. Isn't that the reason we're all on this forum to begin with?... because we want our writing to matter?
    If you're ambitions of becoming an author are gone, so be it. Sad as it may be, such things happen. If, however, you're just in a low point, don't let that discourage your dreams of writing. You are the only one capable of telling your story... don't take that away because of a lack of free time.
    School is gonna be starting soon for me (Tuesday in fact.....) and between football, my friends, my girlfriend, homework, and applying for college, I doubt I'll have much spare time to write. Still, I intend to continue to edit my novel and hopefully have a publisher by this time next year (right about the time I head off for college). I won't let lack of time crush my dreams.
    So, all this to say, please don't allow your dreams to die, and please don't feel your writing is pointless. Even if you have no dreams of being published, writing can be a way to deal with anger or sorrow.

    Writing is never pointless.

    -Dante

  4. #4
    Amanita,
    My dedication to writing has wavered over the years. Usually the more time other activities in my life demand the less time I dedicate to writing. There was a period of about 6 years that I was a retail manager with little time for my family and no time for writing. I have gone through periods of frustration where I felt my writing was never going to be good enough to be published. I have come to realize that the craft is like any other art. Yes, you have to be born with natural aptitude, but that can only take you so far. Study and practice; study other artist’s works and adopt from them things that will help your own style. Practice your style until you are finally happy that you have something worth publishing.

    And if you get discouraged here is a list of 50 iconic writers who were rejected:
    50 Iconic Writers Who Were Repeatedly Rejected | Online College Tips - Online Colleges
    A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.
    --Mark Twain

  5. #5
    I can sympathize with what you all describe, everyday life taking time from every day writing, and it happened to me too recently. I finally realized that if I took my novel seriously I had to make time for it, regardless of consequences. Now I've started advancing again, after a long streak of post-marital blockage, I want to publish so I simply consider it my job to write, it isn't optional.

    Now, as for the ugly process, I don't think about it while I write. I don't want to taint what I love with bureaucracy. On the other hand, I am well aware that I am heading for it. I'll worry about that once I have a second draft. I'll try to find an agent who can handle the bulk of the process but in the end I know it's gonna come to that point where I have to start promoting myself.

    Nobody ever quit drinking because of the hangover. Writing is an addiction.

  6. #6
    Moderator Telcontar's Avatar
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    Dreams die hard, and you hold them in your hands long after they've turned to dust...

    Heh. Depressing as all hell - that's actually a quote from the movie Dragonheart. I think about it a lot. I've the guy who still dreams of being a professional actor. The dream is dying, though. I'm getting older, and breaks are hard to come by. Its easy to do acting, of course, and I always will - community theatre and other little projects. It's a blast. Oh, how amazing it would be to get paid for it, though...

    Writing is a bit different. Until you're ready to show your work to the world, writing is a highly private and lonely affair. Acting is, by its definition, public the whole way through: auditions, rehearsals, and all. Sure, you can speak lines to yourself in the dark, but what fun is that?

    Writing, on the other hand... I can enjoy the book I've written even if no one else ever does. It's an entirely different form of creation. And what's more, with the internet you can ALWAYS get your work out there. Sure, maybe only a few people will read it... but hell, that's true of even a lot of published books. As long as someone does, that's enough. And in the meantime, you write the next thing.

    I guess, with Youtube and all that, acting has become easier to showcase as well. Perhaps I'll start making little movies and putting them up. A lot more work goes into that, though, for basically the same return. I think writing stories still has the better of it.

    In short, people these days have it easy. I feel sorry for the poor bastard, sitting on a work that was 'pretty good' back fifty years ago. THAT guy had it bad, knowing he had something a lot of people would like, but since it wasn't quite good enough for publishers he had very few ways to get it to them. I love technology...
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    "They sing of Grief. They call him an old king who ruled over men's hearts before we rose up from barbarity, and he was usurped by Joy."

  7. #7
    Junior Member Pablo Camp's Avatar
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    Looks like we've all come face-to-face with such a feeling. And yes, I think it's normal to want to be read because one writes first out of the love for writing itself and then to tell a story, share feelings and ideas. With the amount of books in existence and those waiting to be published, I grow disheartened at times thinking my works will never be read. But, in agreeance with what some of the above have mentioned, we need to keep going and never let our work and dreams die.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SeverinR's Avatar
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    Motivation fluxuates even on peoples most favorite activity.

    my rules:
    rule#1: cardio, oh sorry thats Zombieland. My rule #1 is never let the work of writing spoil the fun of writing.
    rule#2; remember your reason for writing.
    note: if your goal is to write an award winning novel that world will love. 99.9999% of the time you will fail.
    If your goal is to enjoy working on a story you like, making it better, and developing the aspects of it. You will win most of the time. No time seriously invested in writing is wasted. It might not be even interesting to you after you reread it. But it let you expand on something, you gained experience from doing it, and you will be better the next time you write. So it might even be said you win all the time.

    You might need to write short stories and share them with people. I wrote some on a generic art websight just for fun, and the people that responded was an amazing motivation to do it again. To do it better. With the goal of getting more people to notice my work. I still have not set my goal to publish. I write and edit, then write more. When I am ready I will look into getting published.
    I have published many writings on the net. So I am in no hurry to seek a publisher.

  9. #9
    My question is why you began writing in the first place. Exploring your original motivations may wake up some of that passion that made you put words to paper, or bytes to your hard-drive.

    Did you write for money, for attention or adulation, for the sheer effort of it, for the fun of it, for the need to express yourself? Do these things still apply? Do you need thousands upon thousands of fans who send you mail telling you how AWESOME you are while at the same time offering you often stupid advice (although at times fans have probably served as great idea farms for writers) about what you "should" do despite your greater familiarity with the story.

    Perhaps you don't need to be come famous. Perhaps you writing can be something you share with your intimate circle of friends and pass on to your children and grandchildren, perhaps they will be inspired by your work and do something similar.

    Perhaps you just need to find something worth writing about. Find a story that you not only like, but objectively is something you think people would be interested in reading. Audience interest is a great motivator.

    I hope this helped.

  10. #10
    I've felt the same thing, Amanita. Partly is because I have so many ideas (and, perhaps too short an attention span) that I switch between stories all the time. At the moment, there are at least 7 stories I'm working on that I consider active or semi-active - I haven't put them aside for good or given up on them, but I'm only actively working on one. I think part of the problem is time - right now I shouldn't even be on this forum, I have to hand in a chapter of my dissertation to my supervisor on Monday and it's barely half written - but part of the problem is my general feelings about other aspects of my life. The dissertation, along with the job hunt I am currently failing at, have knocked my self-confidence, and that doesn't inspire me to write. I just want to play computer games and watch TV, to escape to another world that's already there, laid out for me. I do still work on my story, on the worldbuilding and background and characterisation, etc, but actual writing at the moment just doesn't feel right.

    Maybe in the next few months when I'm sitting at home on benefits, in between the job hunting and trying to sell my paintings, I'll have time to really crack on with my novel and maybe even finish it and publish it.

    I don't really know what I can say about motivating yourself. I find it hard, at the moment, to feel positive about much: the economy is going to shit again, there have been riots in the city where I live (though not as bad as in London) which have resulted in some of the shops I planned on applying for jobs at having no windows or stock, my fiance is depressed and on medication and I don't know how to deal with him, my degree is worthless, and I can't get a job.

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