PDA

View Full Version : I feel like my writing is horrible



Roly
03-09-2010, 09:20 AM
I don't know why, but there are times when I read other people's stuff and I'm like...wow, I suck. I'm not nearly this imaginative, edgy, efficient. The scenes I come up with are pedestrian and I lack any talent to speak of.

Right now I'm feeling like that. It's horrible because it's getting in the way of my enjoyment of reading (cuz everytime I read something in my genre, I start comparing and it's never in my favour). Ugh, I'm so pathetic.

But I know eventually I'll probably pick myself up and all this is just gonna make me try harder.

Sorry everyone, I just needed to rant out my feelings :)

CheekyWench
03-09-2010, 09:23 AM
I'm right there with you. "I'm a no talent hack pretending to write," was my quote earlier this week. Then I got a full request.

You aren't alone.


:Hug2:

Brukaviador
03-09-2010, 09:26 AM
That's totally normal. I've been going through a lot of stages ranging from unbridled enthusiasm (sorry, Seinfeld reference) to the brink of despair. What I find really helps is to get a second opinion, preferably someone that doesn't know you directly. See if you can get a friend of a friend who likes your particular genre to read your work and give you some feedback before actually meeting them. Then they'll hopefully have a bunch of positive things to say that aren't influenced by what they know or think they know about you and it can be a huge ego boost. Having a family member or you best friend tell you it's awesome is one thing but having a relative stranger do it can really be a pick me up.

writerterri
03-09-2010, 10:23 AM
i'm with you on that one. i write things then put them away for months so i can look at them with fresh eyes. Sometimes it sounds terrible and sometimes the same stuff sounds great when i pick it back up at a later time.

Put it away for a while and stop comparing.

You'll feel better.

blacbird
03-09-2010, 11:13 AM
Has anyone else seen any of it? You have no right to feel it's horrible until a fair amount of that happens.

caw

kaitie
03-09-2010, 01:15 PM
I feel that way, too. :) I actually tend to think I'm pretty much worse than everyone else on these boards. I know it's probably not true and just me being insecure, but we definitely have some talented people running around. The trick for me is to just not let myself compare in a bad way. For one, we all have our own styles and what not, and that's okay. Also, even if I'm not as good as someone else right now, that doesn't mean I won't be one day. Dwelling on comparing myself to others just makes it impossible to keep writing. On the other hand, you can always go pick up a really bad book and read that. Might make you feel better. ;)

Black Bird
03-09-2010, 04:43 PM
I know what you mean Kaitie, I felt I was just terrible until my niece gave me a vanity press book by one of her friends and it made me feel like Hemingway!

Little1
03-09-2010, 05:09 PM
Read Night Travels of the Elven Vampire.. that should cheer you up! LOL

nitaworm
03-09-2010, 05:18 PM
Every writer goes through these motions. Just realize you aren't alone. Remember though, writing is as unique as the writer. No writer could ever write the exact same story. Your stories are unique to you. Chin up.

Pisarz
03-09-2010, 06:26 PM
Querying only adds to the insecurity! For me, anyway. Just when you send your bundle of literary joy out into the world (with the seal of approval from betas, of course!), the doubts creep in as rejections show up in the inbox.

Whenever I get an R on a query + 5 pages, I go into uh-oh mode.

You're not alone! ;)

Bushdoctor
03-09-2010, 08:28 PM
chin up

Roly
03-09-2010, 11:08 PM
Thanks, I'm glad I'm not alone...

Chris P
03-09-2010, 11:13 PM
Don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides. The writers you admire could probably point out a million problems with their writing.

I also try to separate "different" from "better than" and use the "better than" for inspiration. When I find something I like, I try to find ways to mimic that in my own writing. Writing takes practice, just like a sport or music. Keep at it!

Chris P
03-09-2010, 11:16 PM
:) I actually tend to think I'm pretty much worse than everyone else on these boards.

You obviously haven't read any of my stuff! "Worst opening I've ever seen." Yep, someone said that. About me. Not long ago. Gave me a good laugh, and then I tried to learn from his comment and my opening is now stronger.

defyalllogic
03-09-2010, 11:37 PM
Don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides. The writers you admire could probably point out a million problems with their writing.

it's totally the same thing with hair!

also, I realized that finding out where you're falling short give you opportunities to improve. also, other writes are a good place to find ideas about way to improve, but people will notice if you have no style of your own, or voice of your own.

so own what you do and do it as best as you can until your good is better and your better is best....

Chris P
03-09-2010, 11:41 PM
it's totally the same thing with hair!


How'd you know I'm bald ?!?

*makes sure webcam is off*

Shadow_Ferret
03-09-2010, 11:42 PM
Well, as you see, you're not alone in your feelings. Every time I read, I think, "I wish I could write like this!"

Cybernaught
03-09-2010, 11:52 PM
I used to be like that. I read a lot of Joyce, so you can imagine how diffident I am sometimes. But then I realized that each writer has their own unique voice. Better to work on honing your own voice rather than emulating another author.

djf881
03-10-2010, 07:22 AM
The good news is that most, if not all writers have moments where they feel the same way.

The bad news is that most, if not all of them are right.

MagicPen
03-10-2010, 04:29 PM
The best I can advise is to ignore (or rather try and suppress) these feelings and focus on your own writing. But I can sympathize because I get these feelings too...I use a bit of writing and re-reading of my own work to refresh myself. A lot of times when I go back to my writing it doesn't seem half as bad as I had grown to feel about it over time...

Jamesaritchie
03-10-2010, 10:51 PM
Well, look at it this way. Maybe you are a no talent hack, but being a no talent hack hasn't stopped a bunch of writers from getting very rich and famous.

Lydia Sharp
03-11-2010, 01:23 AM
Well, look at it this way. Maybe you are a no talent hack, but being a no talent hack hasn't stopped a bunch of writers from getting very rich and famous.


I know what you mean Kaitie, I felt I was just terrible until my niece gave me a vanity press book by one of her friends and it made me feel like Hemingway!

LOL at both those comments. :)


I don't know why, but there are times when I read other people's stuff and I'm like...wow, I suck.


This is a good way to kill your mojo, but we all do it. Think of the opposite reaction, though. If you said to yourself "I'm the greatest writer in the universe" ALL the time, you would never improve. And chances are, the ones who do say that, really aren't that great. In my experience, the best writers are their own worst critics. They have a certain humility that I think is necessary for growth.

triceretops
03-13-2010, 03:37 AM
Heh, whenever I'm feeling bad about a novel that's not selling, I include a marketing plan along with the query, and all of a sudden they're throwing contracts at me right and left. You think I'm kidding? Try it on POD and e-book houses and see what happens.

Tri

ArcadiaDarrell
03-13-2010, 08:09 AM
I feel ya. All those agent rejections sitting in my email are causing me suspect that maybe I'm crap. But I have the opposite issue of when I read other people's work, I think I'm fab by comparison (huge ego? maybe.) I hate that I can get total strangers to read my latest manuscript, call me brilliant, but can I convince an agent? Nooooo. I think the strangers are placating me.

Roly
04-01-2010, 07:58 AM
Just reading through this thread again. I think I'm gonna have to fave it every time I swing into the 'I hate my writing and thus myself' phase ;)

tracythewriter
04-01-2010, 08:25 AM
I SO had one of these days today. Nice to know we all go through it. :-)

Drachen Jager
04-13-2010, 08:44 AM
I actually find myself noticing more faults in other writers work. I think that's the path to being a good writer. You may never write characters with such heart as author A but maybe they have problems with dragging scenes on too long which is a flaw you can spot and correct in your own writing.

In the end we're all just amalgams of our favourite authors with a special twist that is all our own, you have to do some things better so the parts you're worse at balance out.

For a real world example, JK Rowling, of course, does exceedingly well. But Quiddich? What the hell is that? 99% of games are decided by the seeker. The rest of the team could just sit out and join the spectators for all the difference they make. I know I can make a better, "made up", sport than that, in fact I have but I can't really emphasize it in my books because if I did it would always draw the comparison to Quiddich.

WildScribe
04-13-2010, 09:04 AM
I don't know if it makes you feel any better, but it is much better to see what other writers do right and learn from it than to read and think yourself superior to everyone else. That kind of attitude never pays off.

Drachen Jager
04-13-2010, 08:10 PM
I'm not saying you should ignore the stuff they do right. Everyone knows you can learn from what they do well, I would have thought that was obvious. What I'm talking about is taking heart in the fact that even your favourites will do some things wrong. If you can spot the mistakes you can fix them in your own writing. Simply emulating what others do well will only get you part of the way.

Sara Lou
04-14-2010, 02:54 AM
I can totally relate. I am new to querying, but it's kicking me in the a**. I have sent out over 80 queries in the last month and a half: 32 rejections, 1 request for a partial and the rest have yet to respond. The only one that requested a partial has a pretty high rate for requesting them, so I don't feel particularly good about it either. All my rejections are form letters so I have no idea what I am doing wrong. I have yet to receive any constructive criticism from an agent, period. I thought I was a 'fair' writer but apparently no one is 'enthusiastic' enough about my book to ask for anything more. So does my idea suck or just my writing? Regardless, I have been working on the first page of a new novel for a couple of weeks now thinking everything I write sucks and will never make an agent take pause. I have become all about writing what might please an agent as opposed to what makes me get 'lost' in my own writing. Sad, so sad.

Drachen Jager
04-14-2010, 05:32 AM
I doubt it's your first page. Probably they're stuck on the Query letter which means either:

a) The query letter just isn't getting it's job done or
b) Your story just isn't what they want to see, it doesn't matter how good it is if they don't think the subject matter or plot won't sell, they'll never even look at page 1

Heatherwebb_writes
04-14-2010, 06:02 AM
post your query letter and let us at it! One of us is bound to have some insight.

Heatherwebb_writes
04-14-2010, 06:08 AM
I don't know if it makes you feel any better, but it is much better to see what other writers do right and learn from it than to read and think yourself superior to everyone else. That kind of attitude never pays off.
Right on!

Heatherwebb_writes
04-14-2010, 06:10 AM
Read Night Travels of the Elven Vampire.. that should cheer you up! LOL
cute emoticons

brokenfingers
04-14-2010, 06:59 AM
I feel like my writing is horribleHa, yeah, that's part of the gig. We all feel that.

The thing I find funny is that, often, the writers who don't feel their writing is horrible are the ones whose writing is definitely horrible.

Miss Plum
04-22-2010, 07:29 AM
Heh, one of the things that always bummed me out was reading great published authors whom I reeeallllly admired. I was so intimidated by their stuff, and I'd want to write just like them. As I stand back, I have to laugh because they all wrote very differently! What was I going to do, create some sort of gumbo of Mr. Edgy and Miss Subtle and Senor Supernatural and Sir Classical, all in one story?

So forget about other authors and find your own voice. Others will want to imitate it!

blacbird
04-22-2010, 11:24 AM
So forget about other authors and find your own voice. Others will want to imitate it!

Done the first thing. The second thing has not become apparent.

caw

Mystic Blossom
04-22-2010, 08:09 PM
Ha, yeah, that's part of the gig. We all feel that.

The thing I find funny is that, often, the writers who don't feel their writing is horrible are the ones whose writing is definitely horrible.

Oh my God I KNOW. I've seen so much evidence of that in my college. It drives me nuts.

Spidah
04-24-2010, 09:50 PM
thanks for this, people.
I am a total newbie-- just wrote a YA mystery and now sending it out. Getting some reads and many rejections and questioning it all.

je$$ica v.
04-25-2010, 10:01 PM
I feel that way too and my philosophy is that anyone who is great at anything never thinks they are. They always feel liek they need to improve which is why they are great.

TeacherLady
05-11-2010, 02:16 AM
I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I was in a real funk this weekend over what a terrible writer I am.

linfred4
05-11-2010, 02:22 AM
Hi, Roly

I would like to say don't try and compare your self to anyone that is in the same genre because we all write differnt trust me. I do the same sometimes but i also say to my self wait what if i was to do it this way or that way. I kinda have to say i like it now when i read others because i am like wow not bad but i think i would have did it this way. You know if you are a good write or a great write when we pick on or selfs, but you can also say hey i am doing great now and will become better within time. So i say I am sure what ever you write will be be great and if not now it will be. :)