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Thread: Are you better or worse for writing?

  1. #1
    On the verge butterfly's Avatar
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    Are you better or worse for writing?

    Does the act of writing make you a more disciplined person in other areas of your life?

    Has it changed your opinion of yourself?

    Just curious.

  2. #2
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
    Does the act of writing make you a more disciplined person in other areas of your life?
    Yeah, I guess. (It's really hard to tell with me, because my early years of writing were in my adolescence, so there was changes I cannot view)

    I can say I'm far more patient than most people, as long as their progress. I don't like standing in lines, but if it moves every ten minutes, I'll wait for several hours to get my turn.

    Most of my "discipline" came from working and learning how to fix cars. Trial and error for years before I started writing. So I'm used to screwing up and reworking everything.

    One example, would be that I barely passed all my classes in high school, 'cause I was bored and taking honors classes.
    In senior year, I decided to straighten my shit up, and passed with a 5.0GPA(weighted). I kept telling myself: Trudge on, take it step by step.
    And that's how I deal with writing. Step by step. As long as I have progress, I can keep moving.

    Has it changed your opinion of yourself?
    Like I said earlier, I really can't tell for certain if my views have changes.

    I think my writing has changed my views of life, of myself and others, so the opinion of myself has changed.
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  3. #3
    The Anti-Magdalene KellyAssauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
    Does the act of writing make you a more disciplined person in other areas of your life?


    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
    Has it changed your opinion of yourself?
    I've been inventing stories and writing since childhood, so the act of writing is a normal part of me. When I stop writing, that's when I begin to think something's changed with me.

    Writing isn't therapy for me. Those are two separate things in my head, and apparently I can't get enough of either. =(
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  4. #4
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    I started writing as therapy to get daydreams out of my head. I could stop fantacizing all those "I shoulda said...!" moments by having characters act them out. I can focus on other things now that I've processed them. Also, as a result of what I've learned from writing, I can more enjoy books and movies when they are told well (although I am less tolerant of poorly told books and movies!).

    The evenings here get pretty dull, so writing has really helped me stay occupied. As far as my feelings about myself, it's allowed me to see that I do have an artistic outlet that other people can enjoy. I have never been good at sports, and I fail completely at anything musical. I enjoy doing things other people enjoy, and writing lets me do that.
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    Cadence of Her Last Breath Ms_Sassypants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
    Does the act of writing make you a more disciplined person in other areas of your life?

    Has it changed your opinion of yourself?

    Just curious.
    Not really. I don't think I'm more disciplined in any way. In fact, my room looks terrible right now and I'm still procrastinating if I should kick the clothes to a corner, or just hide them under the table.

    My opinion still remains the same. I'm still a lazy, undisciplined baboon.

    Oh well.

  6. #6
    empty-nester! shadowwalker's Avatar
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    It's made me a little less disciplined in some areas - I no longer worry as much about housekeeping, etc. Of course, that may be a product of no longer having youngsters in the house.

    I have become more self-confident. I call bullshit far more often than I used to, which I think comes from having characters who believe in things I don't. That's made me look at things from a more objective POV overall.
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    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    More disciplined? No.

    It has changed me, though. It as really brought me in tight to the realization that words have power and meaning. That applies through my whole life, not just my writing. It's also teaching (still a work on progress!) critical reading, thinking and expression skills. Stuff that I never really groked when I was a younger woman.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
    Does the act of writing make you a more disciplined person in other areas of your life?

    Has it changed your opinion of yourself?

    Just curious.
    Why do I even want to answer this? No, I'm not more disciplined. Probably should be 'cause I ain't.

    Right.

    As for my opinion of myself, at this particular moment my opinion of myself is less than stellar. Subject to change, dependant on variables which are out of my control. Ask me again, some other time, I may have a different answer.

    Maybe.
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  10. #10
    The grad students did it NeuroFizz's Avatar
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    I'll go with Kelly in saying writing is not therapy or therapeutic in any way for me. It's an intellectual challenge and a creative outlet, but it is not the flag bearer of my personal self-worth or happiness. It runs a parallel with the intellectual challenges and creative outlet of my day job, which holds a larger stake in who and what I am. And writing hasn't impacted my self-discipline, although the self-discipline I developed in other areas of my life have served me well in my writing. Like all intellectual/creative challenges, there is tremendous satisfaction in formal and informal achievements, and this is one area where feedback comes quickly and pointedly in each and every story that is submitted/published.

    Writing also allows continual opportunities for improvement and encourages experimentation and innovation. The financial rewards are not always in line with the efforts, but there are substantial emotional rewards and, of course, the confidence building that comes from gaining competence in an activity that requires structure (and thus background knowledge of the craft) at the same time it encourages innovative ways to break free from that structure. I guess the way it has impacted me the most is in the ongoing intellectual and creative challenge--to improve, to try new things, to be innovative, and above all, to do these things in ways that continue to entertain readers.
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  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW
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    I was definitely much more disciplined in my day job than I ever have been with writing. With nobody but myself to answer to, it seems I'm hopeless. I suppose my writing does change my opinion of myself; when I'm unable to write, my opinion gets even lower.....

  12. #12
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    I read books with a more critical eye.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
    Does the act of writing make you a more disciplined person in other areas of your life?

    Has it changed your opinion of yourself?

    Just curious.
    Why does everyone assume writing takes discipline? Writing takes no more self-discipline for me than playing a game I love, or sitting on the beach with a margarita and watching the surf roll in.

    Self-discipline is important in life, but should be reserved for doing things you don't want to do, but must do for one reason or another. Darned if I'd want to spend most of my time doing anything that required self-discipline. I write because I love writing. It's the way I want to spend that part of my day.

    So, no, writing has not made me any more disciplined in the rest of my life.

    Changed my opinion of myself how? Writing isn't the Nobel Peace Prize, or risking your life saving a drowning child, or anything else special. It's just sitting down and making stuff up, and no more special than any other activity. Less special than many.

  14. #14
    Blissfully Clueless Mutive's Avatar
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    Yes.

    I'm far better at writing papers and presentations than I was before I started writing for a few reasons:

    1. I'm used to getting thoughts out of my head

    2. I'm used to revising and taking criticism constructively (vs. being all "OMG! How can you not love my work!!!!!")

    3. I think in terms of story structure - who is my audience, what can I assume they know, how can I present this in ways that will keep them engaged?

    In addition, writing forces me to accept a lot of criticism and rejection. These are good skills to have, just in general.

    So yes. I think that writing has made me a better person. (And employee.)

  15. #15
    Whatever I did, I didn't do it. Phaeal's Avatar
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    Writing breaks me free from the circularity of everyday life and gives me a linear path, a progression.

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  16. #16
    Travel biologist, piss-poor fluffer quicklime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
    Does the act of writing make you a more disciplined person in other areas of your life?

    Has it changed your opinion of yourself?

    Just curious.
    I'm not sure it has produced any net sum at this point. It has changed how I read and analyze writing, but I haven't gotten more disciplined, and I don't consider myself any more awesome or pathetic for it....it has just been one more "thing" I do...
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  17. #17
    Totally Ninja! quickWit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quicklime View Post
    I don't consider myself any more awesome or pathetic for it....it has just been one more "thing" I do...
    I for one am way more awesome since I started writing.
    Grill me a cheese.

  18. #18
    living in the past ishtar'sgate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
    Does the act of writing make you a more disciplined person in other areas of your life?

    Has it changed your opinion of yourself?

    Just curious.
    I'm far more consistently disciplined in other areas of my life. At times I can be a big fat procrastinator when I'm agonizing over parts of my story and then I have to force myself to write. Other times I've got everything under control and have no problem keeping to a schedule.

    It hasn't changed my opinion of myself any, I'm just more honest about what's really going on in my head; who I am and what my motives are. Too, I'm more analytical and observant.

  19. #19
    avem narrans lastlittlebird's Avatar
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    I love writing and it makes me happy to do it. Or at least it makes me unhappy when I don't do it. And I've gradually become more disciplined, although I don't know if that's because of the writing.
    Last edited by lastlittlebird; 11-28-2012 at 06:58 AM.
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  20. #20
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeuroFizz View Post
    I'll go with Kelly in saying writing is not therapy or therapeutic in any way for me. It's an intellectual challenge and a creative outlet, but it is not the flag bearer of my personal self-worth or happiness. It runs a parallel with the intellectual challenges and creative outlet of my day job, which holds a larger stake in who and what I am. And writing hasn't impacted my self-discipline, although the self-discipline I developed in other areas of my life have served me well in my writing. Like all intellectual/creative challenges, there is tremendous satisfaction in formal and informal achievements, and this is one area where feedback comes quickly and pointedly in each and every story that is submitted/published.

    Writing also allows continual opportunities for improvement and encourages experimentation and innovation. The financial rewards are not always in line with the efforts, but there are substantial emotional rewards and, of course, the confidence building that comes from gaining competence in an activity that requires structure (and thus background knowledge of the craft) at the same time it encourages innovative ways to break free from that structure. I guess the way it has impacted me the most is in the ongoing intellectual and creative challenge--to improve, to try new things, to be innovative, and above all, to do these things in ways that continue to entertain readers.
    What Neuro said.

    For me writing is all about the intellectual challenge. It's the challenge of putting together a cohesive story, and researching areas of Roman history I am unsure of. I did my first degree because I enjoyed writing and wanted to explore literature further. I'm starting my second because I began writing Roman historicals and realized the history was becoming more important to me.
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  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW CQuinlan's Avatar
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    I'd say ask the people who know me. I might be a tad biased.

  22. #22
    fluently sarcastic grandma offender ladyleeona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly View Post
    Does the act of writing make you a more disciplined person in other areas of your life?

    Has it changed your opinion of yourself?

    Just curious.
    Not really, because I'm an pretty undisciplined writer. So I'm still working on that. (Now that I think about it, I don't know one area of my life that's disciplined. Not since college basketball and schoolwork ended, anyway.) But my writing hasn't really changed my opinion of myself, because I've never thought I = my work. Beyond making me realize I can come up with some really twisted stuff, I'm the same before writing as after.
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  23. #23
    Tam, na Koncu Drevoreda Ruth2's Avatar
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    I've been writing since childhood, so how it has changed me doesn't apply.

    As far as discipline goes... meh. I'm not the most disciplined person when I write but I do finish what I write, even if it sucketh mightily.
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  24. #24
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    More disciplined? Sadly, no. But I'm more reverent, irreverent, happy, sad, excited, bored, clearer, and more confused than ever.

    It's better than reincarnation, because I get to have multiple, overlapping lives.

  25. #25
    Happy Spring!! backslashbaby's Avatar
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    I'm not more disciplined because of writing fiction. My discipline from school in general is the only reason I'm disciplined at all in fiction.

    OTOH, I get even more disciplined in non-fiction when I get paid good money, I found Really! If I ever get paid well in fiction, maybe that'll have great effects, too
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