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Question
10-11-2011, 11:38 PM
Does anyone else feel like their writing is stupid and unprofessional and won't be taken seriously by the publishing industry and/or the world as a whole?

I think it began with the fact that I used to draw comics, and people enjoyed them and thought they were incredibly funny. At the same time, I knew they weren't professional. Now -- despite people's reactions to my writing -- I still feel that my stories aren't professional, even though I know my writing is up to scratch (because I've put my writing out there a number of times for it to be ripped apart, and the responses were/are quite often good).

I think it's my stories I'm worried about, as my stories are a result of my own strange personal tastes (a lot of people say that I have a silly/weird imagination -- and I acknowledge that). As I said, I keep thinking that the world will find my stories stupid and unprofessional, and that pouring out what's in my head (or heart, to be soppy) will be met with horrible derision. Plus, if my work is published, it may be distributed all over the country which = more derision!

I joke a lot about this to my friends but it really gets to me, and I always hesitate before I write. I don't want to be derided/embarrassed/looked down on :/

kaitie
10-11-2011, 11:43 PM
I have to admit that, having written a superhero story, I am mildly embarrassed when certain people ask what it's about. I know a lot of people who hear superhero and get excited and want to know more, but I know a lot of people who think superheroes are childish and belong in comic books or children's cartoons. In those cases I feel a little awkward saying it because I don't want them to assume I'm immature or something of that sort.

I don't worry about the publishing industry itself, though. I'm proud of the book and think it's awesome. I will say that before I sent it off, I was concerned that people wouldn't think I was funny, though. I don't have the best sense of humor in the world lol, so trying to write a cleverly humorous book was something of a long shot for me. ;)

Jess Haines
10-11-2011, 11:55 PM
In this industry, there will always be people who do not like your work. If you can't handle rejection, then publishing may not be for you.

However!

Just because not everyone will like it doesn't mean it can't sell, that it's unprofessional, or that you shouldn't live your dream.

Hell, look at me. I'm continually amazed that my books are sold in stores. :P There are people who love my work, and people who hate it. Very publicly hate it. And that's okay. I'm not writing for them.

If you want to improve, find some betas, post in SYW, critique other peoples' work, take a look at the crits that are being given so you can learn more about what works/what doesn't, etc. Read up on your niche. See who else writes stuff like yours. I guarantee you are not the only person out there who writes weird, goofball stuff. ;)

Do it if it's what you love--and be prepared for both praise and rejection. This is a tough industry, but that doesn't mean you can't make it. Work hard, read a lot, write a lot, and always strive to improve.

Chris P
10-12-2011, 12:00 AM
Yes. I sometimes think I've only been shallow and my stories should be "deeper." I also pull my hair out getting rid of adverbs, saidisms, and redundant stuff only to pick up the latest trendy book to see the author doing things I've tried to change. It makes me wonder if the advice I've gotten was really all that sound if so many people are raving about how good this or that bestseller is.

My advice: To thine own self be true. Write what you want to write, know the rules and when you break them do so deliberately and with purpose. Do all things as if you meant to.

Ken
10-12-2011, 12:15 AM
I think it's my stories I'm worried about, as my stories are a result of my own strange personal tastes (a lot of people say that I have a silly/weird imagination -- and I acknowledge that.).

... there are lots of writers on the shelves whose works are full of strange twists. Many are well respected. If you haven't done so, read a number. It'll increase your confidence. Works for me, fairly well.

Miss Plum
10-12-2011, 12:38 AM
I used to feel that way, but I don't anymore. I feel I can write, but I have other challenges, like mastering subject matter and persuading people that my quirky stuff is worth taking a risk on.

Satsya
10-12-2011, 12:41 AM
I have to admit that, having written a superhero story, I am mildly embarrassed when certain people ask what it's about.

I know the feeling -- though in my case, it's about an assassin. At least in my mind, it's impossible to describe an assassin's story without sounding a bit cheesy.

As for advice, the others here have said it better than I could. Remember that not all writing is serious business. Some of the best known stories have been the ones with a silly/weird imagination (Gulliver's Travels, Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz are a few examples off the top of my head).

timewaster
10-12-2011, 01:07 AM
Does anyone else feel like their writing is stupid and unprofessional and won't be taken seriously by the publishing industry and/or the world as a whole?

I think it began with the fact that I used to draw comics, and people enjoyed them and thought they were incredibly funny. At the same time, I knew they weren't professional. Now -- despite people's reactions to my writing -- I still feel that my stories aren't professional, even though I know my writing is up to scratch (because I've put my writing out there a number of times for it to be ripped apart, and the responses were/are quite often good).

I think it's my stories I'm worried about, as my stories are a result of my own strange personal tastes (a lot of people say that I have a silly/weird imagination -- and I acknowledge that). As I said, I keep thinking that the world will find my stories stupid and unprofessional, and that pouring out what's in my head (or heart, to be soppy) will be met with horrible derision. Plus, if my work is published, it may be distributed all over the country which = more derision!

I joke a lot about this to my friends but it really gets to me, and I always hesitate before I write. I don't want to be derided/embarrassed/looked down on :/

If you can't believe in your work who can? If it is potentially embarrassing don't publish it. There comes a point where you have to nail your colours to the mast and say this is my work - take it or leave it.If you can't deal with derision, embarrassment and a certain amount of contempt you shouldn't be a writer.

virtue_summer
10-12-2011, 01:32 AM
If you can't believe in your work who can? If it is potentially embarrassing don't publish it. There comes a point where you have to nail your colours to the mast and say this is my work - take it or leave it.If you can't deal with derision, embarrassment and a certain amount of contempt you shouldn't be a writer.
I don't know about that. Different people consider different things embarrassing. Sometimes I'm shy about telling people I write horror because they get these weird ideas about what that means, but anyway I do agree one needs to develop the ability to deal with some criticism. That's from other people, though. Criticizing yourself about your work is a whole other issue, and it's what drove me to quit writing for a while. In the end you have to trust yourself because that's what's going to keep you going when others don't.

Namatu
10-12-2011, 02:03 AM
I think it's my stories I'm worried about, as my stories are a result of my own strange personal tastes (a lot of people say that I have a silly/weird imagination -- and I acknowledge that).Who are these people? Non-writers/creative people often don't get it. To them, it's weird. So if the latter's your source, ignore. Hell, regardless of the source, ignore. It's your imagination.


As I said, I keep thinking that the world will find my stories stupid and unprofessional,My definition of professional writing is a good story well-presented for its target market. You're not writing sci fi and pitching it to nonfiction history agents, are you? Professional is how you present your work and yourself. The content of what you write can be completely ridiculous fun, and there's nothing stupid or unprofessional about it unless you dress like a clown and pitch agents outside their office buildings with a bullhorn. :D


Plus, if my work is published, it may be distributed all over the country which = more derision!Yeah, but a good portion of the deriders will have had to pay for your book in order to voice that opinion. It's subjective. People will love it, hate it, feel indifferent. That's okay.


I joke a lot about this to my friends but it really gets to me, and I always hesitate before I write. I don't want to be derided/embarrassed/looked down on :/Write what you want to write. Don't censor yourself with doubts because what you write then may be the weaker because of it. Are there books out there similar to your style? There must be. Read them. Learn the market and where you may fit in it.

You should value what you write. Not everyone's going to love it, but you're not writing for everyone, are you? You're writing for yourself and for others like you who will enjoy that kind of story. There's absolutely nothing wrong, stupid, or unprofessional, about it. So go do it. :fistpump

PrincessofPersia
10-12-2011, 02:27 AM
I have to admit that, having written a superhero story, I am mildly embarrassed when certain people ask what it's about. I know a lot of people who hear superhero and get excited and want to know more, but I know a lot of people who think superheroes are childish and belong in comic books or children's cartoons. In those cases I feel a little awkward saying it because I don't want them to assume I'm immature or something of that sort.

I'm writing about superheroes too. And I could give a toss, because I think it's awesome. Superhero stories are great.

I am worried, though, that my writing is not as good as I think it is, or that my betas assure me it is. But that's just insecurity and low self-esteem. Huzzah.

timewaster
10-12-2011, 02:53 AM
I don't know about that. Different people consider different things embarrassing. Sometimes I'm shy about telling people I write horror because they get these weird ideas about what that means, but anyway I do agree one needs to develop the ability to deal with some criticism. That's from other people, though. Criticizing yourself about your work is a whole other issue, and it's what drove me to quit writing for a while. In the end you have to trust yourself because that's what's going to keep you going when others don't.

You can write horror and keep it to yourself. You don't have to tell anyone. If you don't want to publish it then you don't have to expose yourself at all. If you are prepared to expose yourself to the possibility of publication I think you have come to terms with the fact that you are a horror writer : ) I

Question
10-14-2011, 03:39 PM
Thanks a lot for your replies guys :) I'm really REALLY glad that I stumbled across AW because reading everything you say is always really encouraging :)

KTC
10-14-2011, 03:52 PM
Does anyone else feel like their writing is stupid and unprofessional and won't be taken seriously by the publishing industry and/or the world as a whole?

I always feel like that. I'm always thinking my writing is too simple. Not complicated or sophisticated enough. But I can't change who I am. I try to write like my heart is on my sleeve. I think I go more for emotion than sophistication. I see the world emotionally and I'm not really all that intellectual. I just hope it connects with others...that's all I can do.

LJD
10-14-2011, 04:54 PM
first of all, I don't really care if people take my work "seriously". I just want them to enjoy reading it. There are a ton of people out there and I'm sure they don't all think my ideas are crazy.

My first novel, which I've trunked, was sort of bad and I'm a little embarrassed about it. But I feel much better about the second one :)

AlwaysJuly
10-14-2011, 05:02 PM
Yes, I feel this way sometimes. When I write military sci-fi, I feel like I'm exposing myself as a geek (like I don't do that anyway) and it always feel so... unsubtle, uncool. Same thing when I write horror. Can't believe I wrote that... what would my grandmother think?

But at the same time, I love writing and sharing my work, and I believe in my stories. Fear of being judged is just going to hold me back. Just like being excessively self-conscious as a teenager, it's a thing to acknowledge, understand and move past, I feel.

scarletpeaches
10-14-2011, 05:05 PM
No. Never.

Of all the writing-related worries I've ever had, having my work thought of as stupid or unprofessional has never been an issue.

JimmyB27
10-14-2011, 05:15 PM
I know a lot of people who think superheroes are childish and belong in comic books or children's cartoons.
Screw those people and their small-minded bullshit.