View Full Version : Ever felt like this?

07-01-2016, 10:19 PM
I came across this quote by Anna Louise Strong.
"It was as if I had worked for years on the wrong side of a tapestry, learning accurately all its lines and figures, yet always missing its color and sheen."
That's how I feel sometimes about my writing. It's okay, it's decent writing, but it doesn't have the qualities that make it come alive. No depth of color, no sheen. Rats.

07-01-2016, 11:45 PM
I feel like that all the time.

07-02-2016, 01:06 AM
I sometimes think that's the difference from being good at the writing craft, vs being a good storyteller. And yeah, I sometimes feel like that. That's when I try to find books that do shine and study the passages I enjoy to figure out what they did right. :-)

07-02-2016, 05:48 AM
I suspect most writers feel like that at times. Except, maybe, for Gore Vidal.

07-02-2016, 07:09 AM
I go back and forth but mostly I feel I'm on the right side of the tapestry. There's a secret to it that I apply to all parts of my life.

The first time I really noticed it, I'd just returned from a few months in Central America. I got in my car, drove from my house to the grocery store and danced around the fruit and vegetable section, buying big fat juicy apples that you could eat without soaking them in iodized water. I was rich, female, single, homeowner, eat great food.... Yes Bill Gates lives a couple miles away and I barely make middle class if I look toward all those people who have way more than me. But if I look toward the young woman I met that worked seven days a week at the coffee shack and will likely never own anything, I am downright rich.

Same with my book that is now getting close to being finished. I am a good writer compared to how I was when I started 4 years ago and didn't know how to write. I am a good writer when I compare my book to a lot of stuff that is published and selling well. Some of that stuff is truly bad. I am a great writer when I compare my book to The Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout, (sorry kids but that's one of the most atrocious books to ever be called someone's favorite). I am a not a great writer when I compare myself to Marie Rutkoski or the likes of Paolo Bacigalupi. But that's OK. Just like it's OK I'm in the middle class house on the block where a lot of very wealthy people live not all that far away.

It just depends on which way you look on the continuum. :Thumbs:

07-02-2016, 05:44 PM
The thing is, WE may feel this way about our writing. I will ALWAYS think I could have done better, and if I kept revising a piece until the day I died it would get better, but who would ever see it? Our readers may not feel this way about our writing. They may like it just fine:) We read and reread our own stories so much we can't see them from an outsiders perspective anymore. At some point, we just gotta call it done.

Manuel Royal
07-04-2016, 11:27 PM
I know I get good ideas. Just often feel they should be developed by a better writer.

07-05-2016, 02:57 PM
I know the feeling. I usually get praise or gentle critiques from people who read what I've written, and I always thank them. But on the inside I'm always thinking that the story/poem/what-have-you wasn't very good. But on the brighter side, I can say I'm slowly making my way to the right side of the tapestry.

Taylor Harbin
07-05-2016, 04:19 PM
It's a feeling I know very well. I like that quote.

07-05-2016, 06:57 PM
After nearly 40 years of writing and doing art, I finally feel like I'm consistently on the right side of the tapestry, more often than not. My words work, and seriously high-powered professionals have recently vouched for them. I can more often achieve what I visualize in my art, these days, and other high-powered professional curators and collectors seem to agree by purchasing it (I make far, far more in art than I do in writing, but I adore both). My day job, which I also adore, harnesses several of my passions together: art, jewelry, non-fiction writing, and marketing.

But getting here has been a ridiculously long, hard road, made worse by my own mistakes and misapprehensions. All I can really share is that 'raw talent' means nothing in the game, or maybe as much as 5%. The rest is honing skills and paying attention to opportunities.

Maze Runner
07-06-2016, 02:04 PM
If I understand that quote correctly I feel like I have the opposite problem.

07-06-2016, 06:02 PM
That's a really good way to put it.
I've come to terms with the idea that my first drafts are too thin, colorless and lacking in emotion. They are the back side of the tapestry.

Re-writing is where I flip the tapestry over.

07-06-2016, 06:25 PM
Always :(