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iamthepirate
06-20-2005, 01:32 AM
I have a strong urge to write. When I read things that pique my interest or make me think, I sit down and try to organize my thoughts. Try as I might, I am never able to transcribe how I feel or what I think about something. I read great authors and classic works, and I see the wonderful writing style. I feel like I can roll right along with the author and I feel like I'm thinking on the same plane as the author. I also feel like if I can manage to organize my thoughts, I can produce something wonderful. However, I am always frustrated with what I produce. I know I can do better, but I feel like I have no technique when this happens. I really need a guiding hand.

katiemac
06-22-2005, 07:56 AM
Pirate, I'm sorry it's taken awhile to get a response to you. I can't offer you the strict guiding hand you may want, but I do have a little advice.

I think what you've described is exactly what every writer feels at some point. I mean, it looks and sounds and feels perfect in your head, but somehow during the time it took to transcribe on the page... it's gone flat. I certainly know how that feels.

The one thing you can do, as tough as it may be, is to keep writing. As others have said, give yourself permission to write crap. It can all be fixed in the editing process later, if only you give yourself the chance to write it down in the first place. If all you have is a blank page, you're getting nowhere. The least you can do is put down some words, even if they aren't the right ones.

Just remember that what you write in the first draft isn't final. Sometimes, too, you need to take a step back and give yourself some time from the draft. Your approach to the words can change a lot within a week or a month. You might find those words, which seem so horrendous the first time around are actually pretty close on a second read. It's hard to determine when exactly you need that break, though, so until you know for sure you need the space, just keep plowing on.

Good luck!

Nicholas S.H.J.M Woodhouse
06-22-2005, 08:06 AM
I am always frustrated with what I produce. I know I can do better, but I feel like I have no technique when this happens. I really need a guiding hand.

Right back at you Pirate - I hear you as though you were my own child (I have no children, but I think if I did he would be thinking the same thing as you and I).

The first time I ever felt real self-doubt was earlier this year when my life had gone very wrong and I had pretty much lost everything. Although in truth losing everything means that you have everything to gain - and life is exciting again.

At that time I had to submit a great mini-dissertation on the end of history to my university to stay on the course. Every word I wrote I felt was terrible. The deadline passed me by. Or rather, I passed on it. Days went by. Finally I came to some half-done rag of rubbish and surrendered it to my teachers. I was to deducted 25% of whatever happened. I got the highest mark recorded so far. It kept me in.

My point - your own expectations of your work are irrelevent to what the work is worth. You must tell yourself that. Fiction is a collaborative work wth someone you may not even met or ever will (the reader). So, you can have no idea of the worth of your work. Remember that.

katiemac
06-22-2005, 08:09 AM
My point - your own expectations of your work are irrelevent to what the work is worth.

Nique, an excellent observation, one all authors (published or not) should always keep in mind while writing.

Nicholas S.H.J.M Woodhouse
06-22-2005, 08:18 AM
thanks Katie! Very kind of you to say so.

trebuchet
06-22-2005, 08:54 PM
. . . I sit down and try to organize my thoughts. Try as I might, I am never able to transcribe how I feel or what I think about something.

Hi, Pirate,

I'm not sure what you mean by this. I don't know, of course, but it sounds like you are trying to take left-brained, linear approach to writing. Rather than sitting down and trying to organize your thoughts, why not let your writing do that for you?

Write gobbledygook. As much as you can. Don't worry about how it looks or sounds. You will find your ideas waiting for you in the soup when you are finished, and it will be easier for you to sort them out and express them in your own unique voice . . . without comparing yourself to the ones who inspired you.

JoniBGoode
06-23-2005, 09:58 AM
I have a strong urge to write. When I read things that pique my interest or make me think, I sit down and try to organize my thoughts. Try as I might, I am never able to transcribe how I feel or what I think about something.
Pirate- If I'm reading this correctly, it sounds like your approach is analytical or theoretical, rather than concrete.

In fiction, it usually works better to start with the concrete -- scenes and specific detail -- and develop them. In the process of writing and rewriting, the more profound truths emerge.

Of course, I may be totally off base, in that case just ignore me!
Cheers