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I Think I Suck And I'm Not A Real Writer

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by A. E. Lowan, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    I've been seeing a fair few sentiments along these lines on the forums over the past couple months, so when this blog by Chuck Wendig came along yesterday I though there were writers out there who could use it.

    Note, this is Chuck Wendig, it does contain rude language, so read at your own risk and try to not eat or drink while doing so, for your computer's sake. NSFW

    NaNoWriMo Dialogues: “I Think I Suck And I’m Not A Real Writer†« terribleminds: chuck wendig
  2. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    Thanks so much, AE.

    So many people here are so focused on being good writers right now that they refuse to give themselves permission to suck. That's a welcome reminder.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  3. Guy

    Guy Inkling

    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  4. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    I learned a long time ago to not read Wendig whilst consuming food or beverages.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  5. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    Without reading the article, I believe I've read enough from Wendig to know that he believes if you sit down and write things, then you're a real writer. He doesn't believe in the term "aspiring." While I may not be a professional as of yet, I'm a real writer. There, I said it. I shall peruse this later for sure.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  6. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    I read about half before I got distracted by something else. He's basically saying it's okay to suck and that you shouldn't let that get you down since if you just keep at it you'll eventually get better.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  7. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    This is exactly what I went through today and even broke down with a tearfest. But I finished past my word count for the day. I am glad to see this posted here. Its refreshing.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  8. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    A well-timed reminder, for my part; I didn't write on Tuesday at all and it was onyl after reading that yesterday that I felt motivated to write, and I managed 1,500 words - the highest for one day so far this month.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  9. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    OK, now that I've had time to read the article, what I gleaned from it the most is that as a professional writer, Wendig writes 2-3K a day. That means writing 50K in a month is not that far-fetched for a lot of pros who I assume some have relatively the same output as Wendig does. I'm happy with my current output (around 2K a day) and I always hope that I carry over these good habits from NaNoWriMo. Before NaNoWriMo I was probably averaging 1,000 words a day stretched out across several projects (short stories, blog entries, novels, etc.) I don't believe writing something quickly necessarily means it's never going to be worth anything. But it's been stated time and time again: first drafts aren't going to be good. And if they are, you're a very exceptional writer. Making your first draft as smooth as you can obviously makes editing easier later on. But if your writing sucks and everything looks horrible and you can't be bothered to continue, you can either make two decisions:

    1. Keep going
    2. Start over

    I tend to think starting over isn't a good solution most of the time (Wendig's censored advice: FINISH YOUR CRAP), but if it's driving you insane, really, just stop. Writing for me is something fun. If it's not fun and I'm not passionate about my project, then it's not worth wasting a second more on. Maybe some may think you should push through no matter what, but I think a lot of writerly depression comes from two things: not being able to finish something or not thinking what you're writing is good enough. So weigh your options and decide what's best before going on.

    I'm not sure how many of us are writing geniuses (I'm not), but I can compare writing stuff that sucks to making music that sucks. If you start playing piano, you're not going to be awesome right out of the gate. You have to keep playing until it sounds more like music and less like a bunch of harpies fighting inside a sock.

    So write until you suck a little bit less. And continue to do so until you can say, "Hey, this actually doesn't suck!"
    S.T. Ockenner, Scribble and Chilari like this.
  10. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    To steal from Churchill: When you're going through writing hell, keep going.
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  11. Scribble

    Scribble Archmage

    A pair of writing quotes help keep me going:

    1. "You only fail if you stop writing."
    ~ Ray Bradbury

    2. "The first draft of anything is shit."
    ~Ernest Hemingway
  12. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    I'm wishing/hoping to get up to writing 2/3k a day, but at the moment my writing speed is somewhere between GRRM and a sloth (That's writing, not typing. I actually type very fast). My only consolation is I'm not churning out crap. Maybe, someday, the muse of writing speed will come to me.
  13. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    At the moment, my daily wordcount for fiction is...lessee, recheck those numbers...yep, zero. Previously, a really good day was about a thousand words, often around half that.

    Couldn't even summon the interest to make an edit pass over my last story (which began as an entry for one of Phil's challenges). Writing that tale, though, did 'establish' certain things in my world, and sets things up for some related tales.

    By way of feeble defence, I do have another project (literary in a numerical sense) which I told myself I would finish this winter. The attendant quasi hallucinations have given me an inspiration for a scene or two, though, alas there is no storyto go along with them.

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