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KTC
06-19-2009, 06:12 AM
Me? I don't make an effort. I'm the laziest writer I know. Oh, I can write forever...non-stop...but the editing process kills the shit out of me. My lack of effort will always be the weight around my neck.


Why do you think you fail as a writer?

dolores haze
06-19-2009, 06:13 AM
Me, too. Love writing; hate editing.

Travis J. Smith
06-19-2009, 06:18 AM
Though I love editing, I am still rather lazy about it.

And, while I write at a great clip when I am in the proper head space, I end up letting myself get sidetracked from writing too often. Even now, when I am excited about what little I have churned out (2K) of my rewrite, I am finding excuses not to write. I must say that this problem is new, however.

blacbird
06-19-2009, 06:22 AM
Lack of ability, evidently.

caw

C.bronco
06-19-2009, 06:24 AM
I never fail. I just haven't succeded yet.

Mumut
06-19-2009, 06:54 AM
I edit too much. If I find I can't write, it's usually because there's something not quite right in what I've written recently. So I look back over the work and straighten the problem out. I re-read friom the start to make sure the whole is in good shape. Then I write a bit more - and come to a full stop again. Si I'd write as much in a year as most people write in a couple of months. But that's how I write. I wouldn't feel happy doing it any other way.

dnic
06-19-2009, 07:59 AM
I edit too much. If I find I can't write, it's usually because there's something not quite right in what I've written recently. So I look back over the work and straighten the problem out. I re-read friom the start to make sure the whole is in good shape. Then I write a bit more - and come to a full stop again. Si I'd write as much in a year as most people write in a couple of months. But that's how I write. I wouldn't feel happy doing it any other way.
I do the exact same thing. :tongue
I like editing. I edit along the way. I finish and I edit the whole thing. I get irritated at my edits and spend hours just staring at it, wondering how I can get myself out of the mess.
A lot of time wasted right there.

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 08:06 AM
I'm editing by chapter. I get too lost otherwise. So I write a chapter, edit it as best I can and move on to the next. I know I'll edit it again when I get the book done but I also know, this helps me to remember what I wrote last. ;)

Cranky
06-19-2009, 08:12 AM
Too much self-doubt. It fuels my naturally procrastinating nature, and stuff just doesn't get done, because I always think, "Oh, well, it just sucks anyway. No big loss."

Ugly cycle, I know. Occasionally, I can break out of it, though.

Salis
06-19-2009, 09:06 AM
It's those damn kids!

DamaNegra
06-19-2009, 09:26 AM
I fail because I don't even try.

himynameisamanda
06-19-2009, 09:31 AM
I write quickly, get it all out, and then leave it alone for a week, and then edit the hell out of it. I’ll read my own book like 30 times, but I think that’s where I fail. When you read something too much, you can’t tell what’s good or what’s bad anymore.

And then I start to researching agents and publishing (again) and getting incredibly overwhelmed, because of how impossible it all seems.

My stupid little book that I wrote has to go up against a bad economy, a changing market, make it past a slush pile of thousands of query letters to get an agent, who then has to beat out lots of other eligible titles to get a publisher, who has to try and get my book on shelves so people will actually buy it, and then somebody has to look at it and go, “Yeah. This is worth $6.” There’s too many steps to fail.

It seems like even the greatest book ever written hardly stands a chance, and I can guarantee that my book is not the greatest book ever written.

So then I write my book, get as perfect as possible, send off query letters, and declare that it will never, ever be published and I’d better learn to live with that.

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 09:35 AM
I write quickly, get it all out, and then leave it alone for a week, and then edit the hell out of it. Iíll read my own book like 30 times, but I think thatís where I fail. When you read something too much, you canít tell whatís good or whatís bad anymore.

And then I start to researching agents and publishing (again) and getting incredibly overwhelmed, because of how impossible it all seems.

My stupid little book that I wrote has to go up against a bad economy, a changing market, make it past a slush pile of thousands of query letters to get an agent, who then has to beat out lots of other eligible titles to get a publisher, who has to try and get my book on shelves so people will actually buy it, and then somebody has to look at it and go, ďYeah. This is worth $6.Ē Thereís too many steps to fail.

It seems like even the greatest book ever written hardly stands a chance, and I can guarantee that my book is not the greatest book ever written.

So then I write my book, get as perfect as possible, send off query letters, and declare that it will never, ever be published and Iíd better learn to live with that.OH wow...you soooooooooo need a hug... :Hug2:

bettielee
06-19-2009, 09:46 AM
My self-doubt eats giant holes in my ego.

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 09:52 AM
My self-doubt eats giant holes in my ego.We need to kill those self-doubt demons that follow us around.

Death! Death to them I say! :)

himynameisamanda
06-19-2009, 10:30 AM
OH wow...you soooooooooo need a hug...

Lol, probably. Thanks.

I'm just having one of those days where I feel tremendously overwhelmed, and incredibly naive.

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 10:38 AM
Lol, probably. Thanks.

I'm just having one of those days where I feel tremendously overwhelmed, and incredibly naive.Ya know, we all do. So welcome to the club and btw...Welcome to AW. :)

Izz
06-19-2009, 10:42 AM
I'm overenthusiastic. I send pieces out way before they're ready. Can't help it. It's like a drug... 'oh, i love it, i love it, i love it, let's send it somewhere, let's send it somewhere, where should i send it, oooh, let's send it here, let's send it here, it's sent, it's sent, it's sent, wooohooo.' And then a rejection comes back (we're talking short stories here) sometime in the future and i look over the story again and think 'what the hell was i on?' And then I edit and then the process repeats.

Epiphany
06-19-2009, 10:47 AM
I'm impatient and very self-conscious. Every rejection means I have to spend more time on this step, and also puts a damper on my fragile ego.

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 10:47 AM
I'm overenthusiastic. I send pieces out way before they're ready. Can't help it. It's like a drug... 'oh, i love it, i love it, i love it, let's send it somewhere, let's send it somewhere, where should i send it, oooh, let's send it here, let's send it here, it's sent, it's sent, it's sent, wooohooo.' And then a rejection comes back (we're talking short stories here) sometime in the future and i look over the story again and think 'what the hell was i on?' And then I edit and then the process repeats.*giggles* I wish I had some of that!

Izz
06-19-2009, 10:59 AM
*giggles* I wish I had some of that!:) Ah, but the kicker is when the rejection comes back and i look over the story again and spend a whole lot of time slapping myself for being such an idiot and sending it out before it was ready--'i'm a fool, what was i thinking, am i a complete moron, look at it, this doesn't make sense, the pacing of that section is totally off-kilter, this character isn't even necessary, and now i've just wasted a perfectly good market who've probably blacklisted me for life, arggghhh,' and so on. Though possibly with more pirate noises and expressions--'yarr, you stupid landlubber, you should be keelhauled for this, arrrrr.'

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 11:03 AM
:) Ah, but the kicker is when the rejection comes back and i look over the story again and spend a whole lot of time slapping myself for being such an idiot and sending it out before it was ready--'i'm a fool, what was i thinking, am i a complete moron, look at it, this doesn't make sense, the pacing of that section is totally off-kilter, this character isn't even necessary, and now i've just wasted a perfectly good market who've probably blacklisted me for life, arggghhh,' and so on. Though possibly with more pirate noises and expressions--'yarr, you stupid landlubber, you should be keelhauled for this, arrrrr.'

Ahhhhh...I have an inner editor like that. I end up covering my ears and screaming ...shut up-shut up-SHUT UP!

:D

Izz
06-19-2009, 11:03 AM
Ahhhhh...I have an inner editor like that. I end up covering my ears and screaming ...shut up-shut up-SHUT UP!

:DThe worst thing is when the pirate's parrot gets involved...

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 11:05 AM
The worst thing is when the pirate's parrot gets involved...
do i want to know?

Izz
06-19-2009, 11:29 AM
do i want to know?Barrrk, you call that a story? Polly wants a crackya head...

*runs off back to terrible punville and hides amongst the overgrown one-liners*

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 11:30 AM
You call that a story? Polly wants to crack your head...

*runs off back to terrible punville and hides amongst the overgrown one-liners*LOL...no man, don't do that..where's the fun in that?

Dale Emery
06-19-2009, 11:32 AM
In order not to fail, I don't try. But by not trying, I fail. Then I console myself with the comforting lie that I could have succeeded if only I'd tried. The comforting lie fails to comfort.

I don't know why that cycle is so persistent. When I try, I usually do at least okay, often I succeed beyond my fondest hopes.

Dale

Namatu
06-19-2009, 05:11 PM
I don't think I care if my work never gets published. I write, I edit, I polish. I drag myself to querying (sometimes), but I care only for the end result of story finished. If it's not published, it's not published. That has to undermine my investment in the whole agent search process, which I have done and will do again because I believe what I've written is worthy. I just... don't care.

Back in fifth grade, my teacher wanted to submit something I'd written to a kids' magazine for publication and I wouldn't let her. Shouldn't that be a cool thing to a twelve-year-old? Why wouldn't I be all over it? :Shrug: Time has changed nothing.

Clearly I will become one of those awesome authors discovered only after her death.

willietheshakes
06-19-2009, 05:16 PM
When I try, I usually do at least okay, often I succeed beyond my fondest hopes.

Dale

Quoted for truth.

I spend my entire life like Henslowe, the theatre owner from Shakespeare in Love, lurching from crisis to crisis, armed only with his faith in the universe:

Henslowe: Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Fennyman: How?
Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.

When I look at myself and my habits critically, I'm pretty abashed: I'm overweening, largely untalented, procrastinatory, messy, impatient, bad with deadlines, and so much more. There's also this insecurity thing, which makes everything else tougher.

So, I don't look at myself that critically. I write as best as I can, I get things done, and I take opportunities as the universe provides them.

And so long as every so often I get an email like I got this morning, from my editor, telling me that he had teared up while doing the edit on the novella, and calling me a bastard? It all works out.

How?

I don't know. It's a mystery.

scarletpeaches
06-19-2009, 05:17 PM
Reluctance to edit, because then I don't have to submit and can't be rejected.

I poured my soul into LTC and if it gets rejected I don't know what I'll do because I can't write any better than that. Sure, parts need to be edited, but...what if I go over it, do my best and my best still isn't good enough?

I'm in love with the main characters so if they got knocked back...*sigh*

That's probably at the back of my tendency to find other things to do rather than edit my draft of LTC.

Bubastes
06-19-2009, 05:21 PM
I fail because I have an inner Puritanical taskmaster that tells me to stop wasting time on such a self-indulgent little hobby that does nothing to contribute to society. My taskmaster tells me that the world needs real, productive, hard-headed, practical workers like engineers and doctors, dammit, not dreamers who make up cute stories. Too many times, the taskmaster's yammering is enough to stop me in my tracks, which is why I sneak my writing in short bursts of time to stay under its radar.

It's a wonder I write anything at all.

Ken
06-19-2009, 05:30 PM
Why do I fail? Let Jimi Hendrix explain:

"Born under a bad sign.
I've been down since I began to crawl.
If it wasn't for bad luck,
I wouldn't have no luck at all."

CaroGirl
06-19-2009, 05:45 PM
My complete and utter lack of confidence in my ability to write. To get anything written, edited, polished or sent, I have to do the thing where you tell yourself, "you're smart enough, you're good enough, and gosh-darn-it people like you."

I hope I fail only because I haven't yet succeeded. But I have no crystal ball.

emilycross
06-19-2009, 06:04 PM
1/ self-doubt

2/ "paralaysis through analysis" - i get so overwhelmed by what i need to do that i never actually get round to the doing!

ChaosTitan
06-19-2009, 06:06 PM
I never fail. I just haven't succeded yet.

Ding! :Thumbs:

Self-reflection is awesome. Knowing our flaws and being aware of how they prevent us from succeeding is half the battle. But success will forever remain out of our grasp if we don't make that conscious effort to overcome those flaws.



Clearly I will become one of those awesome authors discovered only after her death.

Not if I have anything to say about it, missy. :whip:

Summonere
06-19-2009, 06:06 PM
Here are some common reasons I've seen over time:

1. Many writers simply do not finish what they start. This means that they either

a. don't finish a single draft
b. don't fix a draft once it's finished
c. don't submit what they've written
2. Many stories are not good enough to sell. Sometimes a story is simply more time logged in the strange apprenticeship of becoming a writer, but the lessons it has to teach aren't learned without its having been written. And, in many cases, writers don't know if a story is of this kind or not until they've submitted the thing (c, from above).

Namatu
06-19-2009, 06:19 PM
Not if I have anything to say about it, missy. :whip: :eek: Duly noted!


Sometimes a story is simply more time logged in the strange apprenticeship of becoming a writer, but the lessons it has to teach aren't learned without its having been written. And, in many cases, writers don't know if a story is of this kind or not until they've submitted the thing (c, from above).I don't call the scenario outlined here failure. How can it be? If you're learning and improving - even if it doesn't achieve the end result you'd like - it's not failure.

Failure is what you allow it to be. Don't confuse it with rejection. A rejected manuscript - hell, a rejected query - means you tried. Could you try better? If you realize yes, then you've gained from the experience. Will you try harder? Will you keep writing? You lose nothing but blood, sweat, and tears from trying. If you find personal value in what you're doing, if you can take away knowledge and experience, and if you entertain people in any number, that is a success. It might not be on the level of what you dream, but that shouldn't make it any less important.

DeleyanLee
06-19-2009, 06:39 PM
In the 1980's, I'd stuck myself with a bombastic egotist of a cowriter who I thought knew everything about writing and trusted completely. We chalked up several personalized rejection letters and then something clicked and I realized that this wasn't a good thing for my writing and that ended.

In the 1990's, I had a massive ego and thought my writing shite didn't stink and there was nothing I had to learn and I certainly did NOT need to edit. Winning several contests and still getting multiple personalized rejections did nothing to dissuade me from that delusions.

In 2000, a beloved beta smacked me upside the head unexpectedly with the fact that she didn't want to beta anymore because my work had lost quality and was trite. That kicked me into a massive learning curve where I took a stark look at my writing process, at the finished product, at my entire attitude about writing. For the last many years, I've been working on breaking bad habits, overcoming fears and generally making progress on several fronts. I've realized that I really don't know much, but I hope what I do know is worth something now.

It's been almost a decade since I've finished a novel. Now I'm battling the fear that I'm incapable of finishing a novel because I haven't been able to do it for years and years. And writing is hard when I can't trust what I've always done before (because what I did before always turned out shite I couldn't be proud of) and have to find new ways to get the story onto the page.

I've failed in the past for a variety of reasons. Whether or not I'll fail presently is still to be determined, but I'm with Edison on the process--it's not that I've failed. I've already discovered 10,000 ways I can't write a publishable book.

Summonere
06-19-2009, 06:56 PM
I don't call the scenario outlined here failure. How can it be? If you're learning and improving - even if it doesn't achieve the end result you'd like - it's not failure.

I took “failure” to mean “failure to sell.”

In that sense, learning from a story that did not sell may be educational, but that it did not sell is definitively a failure, as in, a “failure to sell.” (Not a failure to learn.)

From the standpoint of selling things, I've failed lots of times. From the standpoint of my literary education, there seems to be no end to that. :)

skelly
06-19-2009, 07:09 PM
I poured my soul into LTC and if it gets rejected I don't know what I'll do because I can't write any better than that.
I doubt that. And even if it where true that you can't write any better than you have with this particular book, it may be that the editor loves your writing but isn't especially keen on that particular story. I've always thought that whatever project I was working on contained the best writing I was capable of, until I get into the next writing project. It has been my experience that you make really big gains in the beginning, then small and perhaps less noticeable ones later on.

:)

Cassiopeia
06-19-2009, 07:11 PM
Reluctance to edit, because then I don't have to submit and can't be rejected.

I poured my soul into LTC and if it gets rejected I don't know what I'll do because I can't write any better than that. Sure, parts need to be edited, but...what if I go over it, do my best and my best still isn't good enough?

I'm in love with the main characters so if they got knocked back...*sigh*

That's probably at the back of my tendency to find other things to do rather than edit my draft of LTC.It's been my personal experience, that just when we think we can't do any better with our writing, after a resting period and more learning, we do amazingly well at improving.

jodiodi
06-19-2009, 07:17 PM
Like many have said above, I fail because I lack confidence in what I've written.

I write and think, "This is great!"

I query/submit with high hopes, just knowing I'll be the next Stephen King or JKR.

I receive rejections from all my submissions/queries and am crushed.

I tell myself I'll never be a writer and everything I do is unadulterated garbage.

I get depressed and lose all inspiration.

I stop writing for months or years.

So, I'm my own worst enemy and a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.

quickWit
06-19-2009, 08:18 PM
I have a serious discipline deficiency.

(As if posting while I'm supposed to be working isn't evidence enough for you)

Wayne K
06-19-2009, 08:51 PM
I don't fail at writing, until I give up it hasn't happened.

ccv707
06-20-2009, 01:30 AM
I'm human. Have to fail, otherwise you won't learn. I've come to love failing. Or perhaps I've just become too accustomed to it...?

Matt Willard
06-20-2009, 01:35 AM
Failing can be hard for me. But it's a neccessary evil.

Pagey's_Girl
06-20-2009, 01:48 AM
I have to keep reminding myself that the fact that not everyone is going to like my writing - and that it doesn't mean I'm a terrible writer. (I'm talking in the "well, it's okay, I guess, but I'm not into horror/paranormal/whatever, so it doesn't do anything for me." kind of thing, not about actual criticism.)

My other problem is falling into the trap of thinking "oh man, that's been done before in (whatever,) so I can't use it." I have to blame my father a little bit for that. He was an avid reader, but he had no idea of how copyright worked. (He also thought it was a way for mean greedy selfish writers to extort money from their fans, but that's another story.) Every time he read something I wrote, I'd hear, "Well, this writer did something like that in this obscure book, and that one did this thing in this book and someone did something else very similar, so you might as well forget it because they'll all sue you if you try to publish it for using the same idea." Took me years to realize that ideas and general plots can't be copyrighted. (I'm talking about stuff like "there's a ship that lands on an island where weird things happen to the crew," not about taking someone else's characters or words.)

Shadow_Ferret
06-20-2009, 04:24 AM
I fail because my writing sucks.

But beyond that, I'm even lazier then KTC. At least he writes something that NEEDS editing, I'm too lazy to even write it in the first place.

Virector
06-20-2009, 05:06 AM
Like KTC said, I fail because I am excessively lazy, and just like Shadow Ferret said, I feel like I really suck too. I just don't have the drive anymore and lately, inspiration has been at an all time low for me. I think I've totally lost it this time and I'm simply not trying hard enough... in fact, I'm not trying at all. That's why I have failed as a writer. :(

blacbird
06-20-2009, 05:21 AM
Like KTC said, I fail because I am excessively lazy, and just like Shadow Ferret said, I feel like I really suck too. I just don't have the drive anymore and lately, inspiration has been at an all time low for me. I think I've totally lost it this time and I'm simply not trying hard enough... in fact, I'm not trying at all. That's why I have failed as a writer. :(

You have friends here. Perhaps you and me should have a failure competition. Winner gets . . . I mean, loser gets . . . oh, hell, forget it.

caw

Hadrian
06-20-2009, 05:21 AM
I fail because I've spent the last week trying to write the next paragraph of my short story but can't manage to spew anything out. I'll write something, delete it, write it slightly different, delete it, write something entirely different, delete it... What's worse is that the story is supposed to be in a stream of consciousness. I fear it won't come off as natural because of how I tend to over-analyze stuff.

Virector
06-20-2009, 05:28 AM
You have friends here. Perhaps you and me should have a failure competition. Winner gets . . . I mean, loser gets . . . oh, hell, forget it.

caw

:ROFL:

Norman D Gutter
06-20-2009, 07:00 AM
A combination of fear of success (http://davidatodd.blogspot.com/2008/01/excuses-fear-of-success.html) and fear of commitment (http://davidatodd.blogspot.com/2008/01/excuses-fear-of-commitment.html). I think I've come to the point in my craft that I can be a success, but that would so drastically change my life that I struggle between doing those things that would make me successful and those things that will keep me forever an also-ran.

NDG

Wayne K
06-20-2009, 05:21 PM
A combination of fear of success (http://davidatodd.blogspot.com/2008/01/excuses-fear-of-success.html) and fear of commitment (http://davidatodd.blogspot.com/2008/01/excuses-fear-of-commitment.html). I think I've come to the point in my craft that I can be a success, but that would so drastically change my life that I struggle between doing those things that would make me successful and those things that will keep me forever an also-ran.

NDG

Good point, but I think it's more like Fear of the expectations after success for me.

For all of you who think you suck, maybe you do--but stop the wallowing and go get better. There are a lot of ways of improving as a writer--I know because I used to suck. Not so much anymore.

wannawrite
06-20-2009, 05:40 PM
Writing is a business. I fail because I sometimes lose track of that notion. I get wildly carried away with some screwball idea, only to realize later that my project's marketability factor is ziltch. (I mean, come on. Modern day elves? A whole trilogy of modern day elves? where did I come up with that gem, anyway?)

So, now a days, I try to keep my eye on the prize before I even sit down to write. I ask myself, where am I going to market this? What are my secondary markets? What is my word length? What is my intended audience, and what are the rules? Can they have sex, not have sex? Am I supposed to focus only on the primary MC's or does the pub appreciate a good sub-plot? Stuff like that.

I've had a few nibbles of interest with my newer, more focused stuff, so I guess it helps.

But, deep in my heart, I still want to write about modern day elves. *sigh*

Shadow_Ferret
06-20-2009, 07:19 PM
Writing is a business.

Honestly, I hate that idea. I got into this because I thought it was supposed to be fun, telling stories, entertaining people, creating memorable characters that brighten people's days....

The whole business aspect of it depresses me.

scarletpeaches
06-20-2009, 07:20 PM
Writing's fun.

PUBLISHING is a business.

Shadow_Ferret
06-20-2009, 07:22 PM
Writing's fun.

PUBLISHING is a business.

*hugs her*

And that's why we have agents.

We have fun, they do all the work. :D

scarletpeaches
06-20-2009, 07:24 PM
*hugs her*

And that's why we have agents.

We have fun, they do all the work. :D

Ew, gerrof, Fuzzface.

(:D)

Tallent
06-20-2009, 07:34 PM
Oh, Oh, Oh, I just figured it out. I fail because I DON'T KNOW HOW TO WRITE. Just because I love something and practice it relentlessly doesn’t mean I’m any good at it. It just means I’m going to fail at what I love. Ha. And also, it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop inflicting pain upon the people I force to read my stuff. I think it means I’m going to try harder and fail bigger.

I think it’s one of the levels of Hell.

MrWrite
06-20-2009, 09:36 PM
I fail because my writing sucks.

But beyond that, I'm even lazier then KTC. At least he writes something that NEEDS editing, I'm too lazy to even write it in the first place.

Ditto. That's my biggest problem at the moment. I need to give myself a massive kick up the arse to get working again!

Fox The Cave
06-20-2009, 10:06 PM
Incredible laziness. It invades all area's of my life, not just this one.

I love sleep, it's what I look forward to all day long. All day i'm thinking about how nice it's gonna be to get into bed and close my eyes and fall asleep and not have to think about anything...

I often sit around and think how nice it'd be to be in a coma.

Izz
06-20-2009, 11:48 PM
Writing is a business. I fail because I sometimes lose track of that notion. I get wildly carried away with some screwball idea, only to realize later that my project's marketability factor is ziltch. The day i start writing what i think the market wants is the day i stop writing.