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I Hate the Way I Write!

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Androxine Vortex, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

    It seems that no matter how many times I go back and change the way I write something I am never satisfied with what I have. I always have this voice that says that it is very amateur and poorly written. I feel like I have great ideas but when it comes to writing them down I always fall short and am disappointed. Any of you feel this way?
  2. Carl

    Carl Dreamer

    Most of the time actually.sometimes writers are their own worst critics. I would suggest that if you have something done like a short story orchapter for your WIP post it in showcase and see what other people think. Just remember to keep an open mind.
  3. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

    maybe the problem is that you keep trying to change the way you write. try just writing in your own voice and see what happens.
  4. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    I used to try to get too.... cool, tried to be someone I'm not. After someone mentioned that something I wrote nearly 20yrs ago was more sincere than what I was writing current, I took as step back and thought about my approach. I rebooted and begin writing in the most simple and straightforward manner as I could. For a while I purposefully forgot about metaphors. I forgot about even using subordinate clauses. From there, I worked my way back up, keeping in mind it isn't about the prose sounding cool. It's about getting the character voice plot and emotion across efficiently and sincerely and in my own words. People can tell when the prose isn't sincere.

    My point is don't try so hard. Let the voice come out naturally. It's usually never as good or bad as you think. BUT If it's amateurish, so what? I'm an amateur, you're an amateur, we're all amateurs until we're not. It takes time to develop your skills. Cut yourself some slack and just write to the best that you can, edit to the best that you can, and then move on. While you're doing this read and study the prose of other writers, preferably ones that you admire. Look at how they do things and see what you can apply to your own work. It's not a sprint. It's a marathon. One step at a time, not one giant leap.

    As Mur Lafferty says. "You're allowed to suck."
  5. The Dark One

    The Dark One Archmage

    I had the opposite problem, in a way. I was always supremely confident and thought my writing, from the start, was utterly brilliant. It took years for me to realise how crap I was, but when I finally found my natural voice - mainly through relaxing and not trying too hard to be brilliant - I improved out of sight. It took me 18 years of writing seriously before I saw one of my books on the shelves, and that would never have happened without understanding my errors and overcoming them.

    It sounds like you're years ahead of me.
  6. Vidar

    Vidar Scribe

    In my humble opinion our first attempts at telling a tale will always appear to suck, that is why you all authors re write time and time again...

    Best advice that I can share is being a fledgling writer is to resist the urge to rewrite what you already have, just keep writing your story and when you have finished telling your tale then work on it with your critical eye.

    To coin a line from a Sean Connery film Finding Forester; "First write with your heart, then rewrite with your head"

    I feel my writing is woefully inadequate as it stands, just take a look at my entry in the showcase section, however I know it is my first piece in a very very long time and it is that of a complete beginner, it will most likely take me years to get it polished and ready to be published.... which is my long term goal
    Androxine Vortex likes this.
  7. yachtcaptcolby

    yachtcaptcolby Minstrel

    Get some reader feedback. It's entirely possible that you're just being too hard on yourself.

    And if that feedback reinforces your own opinions of your work, keep at it. Writing, like anything else, takes a ton of practice. And keep getting feedback.
  8. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    Take heart. Some days are just like that. You'll read over something you wrote and be like: there is nothing good about it. Put it down and take a break. When you come back tomorrow, you may find that making a couple of wording choices and adding a bit of tension makes all the difference.

    Remember that these days will be balanced out when, one day, you read back over something you wrote and go: wow! I came up with that? I rock!
  9. Ira Glass Quotes (Author of The New Kings of Nonfiction)
  10. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    I'm going to take the opposite stance and say: "I love my writing!"

    That's not to say I think I'm great, but I think if I love my writing, crappy mistakes, problems, and all, then it'll shine through in my voice. You can tell when writers love what they've written. If you just submit and say "Well, this isn't going the way I want, but I'll have fun with it anyway," then it'll show. Just have fun with your writing for a bit and not take it so seriously. Then, when you've found some things you really like about your writing, you can find some new things to hate...like taxes. :)

    If you remember why you loved writing to begin with, then maybe you can grow to hate it less.
  11. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver


    Awesome quote. Thanks for that!
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    My writing is teh roxxors!

    Heh. I feel the same way a lot of the time, even when I have produced something that I know is pretty good but doesn't quite measure up to what's in my head. The thing to keep in mind is that what you put on paper will never measure up to what is in your head. In your mind, you are 'seeing' the story, feeling the emotions that you want to convey with it, and so on. Written words are symbols meant to communicate your vision, emotions, and ideas to others. They are not the things themselves, and will always fall short. Don't be discouraged that the symbols on your screen are a less than perfect communication of your vision. That's all they can ever be.
    Lorna likes this.
  13. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

    Thanks everyone for the responses! They really helped me out. Don't worry, I don't see myself quitting by getting discouraged. I write because it's my passion, not for fame or wealth. But nevertheless, I want to try and make my work as best as I can and I think that strive for perfection can be bad for authors because we, as imperfect beings, can never hope to achieve it. So I completely agree with Steerpike on his post.
  14. Lorna

    Lorna Inkling

    I find I write better in other voices, particularly poetry. My voice tends to be didactic. To step outside myself and allow the inspiration to flow I've experimented with writing from the first person the POV of different characters; human, mythological, parts of nature such as trees, rivers, animals and stones. None of the pieces I've had success with have been in my voice.
  15. The Dark One

    The Dark One Archmage

    I know you're trying to be encouraging Steerpike, but I profoundly disagree with this.

    There are passages of my writing which (for me) just sing with perfection and joy. They could not be more evocative and precise in what I wanted to convey in all its multi-textured enormity.

    Trouble is...they sing for me. I can't speak for anyone else (although one of my books has been read by several thousand and I've had a fair bit of fan mail).

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