January 21, 2020, 04:38:54 PM

Author Topic: When you doubt that you're a writer  (Read 992 times)

Offline shadowkat678

When you doubt that you're a writer
« on: July 07, 2016, 02:59:55 PM »
Yep. The title says it all. I'm starting to think I'm not cut out for writing anymore. I still love to write and come up with stories, but I can't make anything. I have snippets and chapters ahead, but I can't connect. How am I ever supposed to write when I can't even do that? I think I'm about to just give up. What's the point of so many ideas, the point of creativity, when you can't seem to use it? It's been over a year before I did anything really worth anything.

But then I thought, hey, maybe other's have been through this too? So, my hope is that's true. Has anyone else gone through this, and any advice for me or any other wondering person who might come here in the future. Heavens knows we could use a talk.
Be not a writer, but a Storyweaver. For that, my friend, is how you'll truly leave your mark.

Offline JMack

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Re: When you doubt that you're a writer
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 08:40:20 PM »

My experience is not everyone's experience. But it's mine.

I couldn't piece anything together. I couldn't finish anything.
Honest, what happened was I found the fantasy-faction monthly story contest.
I've now completed one story every month since Nov '14, and sometimes two.
Just completing stories, even if only 1,500 words, has been a HUGE deal for me.

So then I tried to write books, starting from chapter one and going straight ahead.
Tried this three times. Got 15,000 words in on one of them. But it hasn't been working.

What I'm trying now is to do more outlining and character write-ups in a different story, and one I'm pretty comfortable writing in. Then I've written up a full 10,000 word scene that occurs the middle of the book, and one near but not at the beginning. Having done that, I went back and wrote the first two chapters. Now I plan to skip ahead and write a different section. I'm hoping that writing the parts that interest me and that let me explore certain characters and events will be a good strategy. I'll eventually have enough to link it all together into a real book. Which would be my first, at age 55.

But it all got going from writing the short stories and gaining that confidence.

Anyway, I totally get where you are. My experience may be of no use to you, but there it is FWIW.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline Elfy

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Re: When you doubt that you're a writer
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 10:38:48 PM »
I think we all go through that. I know I did, for years. It's a little like writers block and eventually you break through it, you just have to keep trying. If you go back through some of the unfinished stuff you may find a spark of an idea in there that leads you to a complete work. Maybe you can find a way to connect some of the snippets together in one work. After just leaving stuff unfinished for years I set myself a goal to start and finish something go to whoa, it took me a long time, but eventually I did do it and since then I've managed to write 5 complete novels (all unpublished, but hey they're finished). I'd also suggest having a go, if you haven't already, at the monthly writer's contest here. That's a maximum of 1500 words, so brevity may be your friend there.
I will expand your TBR pile.


Offline Lanko

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Re: When you doubt that you're a writer
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2016, 11:37:14 PM »
There's no problem at all in writing out of order. The worst mistake you can do is having an awesome scene in your head and don't write it down because it doesn't have anything connecting to it or it's way ahead in the story, or can't even happen in the same book.

So write it down, even if it's just in form of notes. Never trust your memory. You will forget, specially if you wait until all the stars align.

Even if you can't or won't use something, it's still helpful to have insights on characters and events, on what you are trying to do, even if it never sees the light of day.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline tebakutis

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Re: When you doubt that you're a writer
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2016, 04:25:12 AM »
I still love to write and come up with stories

Then you're a writer! Even the non-connected sections you're writing are helping you put ideas down and improve. Keep at it and you'll be fine. \m/

Offline Roelor

Re: When you doubt that you're a writer
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2016, 02:10:03 PM »
Practice makes the artist.
There is no such thing as talent, or born-ability. Only hard work and perseverence.

Are you willing to work hard and improve to master the craft?
Then yes, you are a writer.

If you are not willing to do so..
Then give up, but don't blame your skills..  blame your discipline and lack of perseverence.

Offline shadowkat678

Re: When you doubt that you're a writer
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2016, 05:57:54 PM »
Problem with that is people never seem to take into account those of us with disabilities that affect our attention spans. With both ADD, ADHD, and aspergers, there's some problems. It's very easy to say "just do it", but people seem to discount just how much energy it takes. It's absolutely exhausting.

It's not an excuse, but it's sure as Hades a hindrance. Most people can focus ten minutes on a task without feeling themselves zoning out. Take that down to two, and on meds. Thoughts run ten times faster than my fingers can move, and keeping a train of thought inevitably fails at some point, which means TONS of notes.
Be not a writer, but a Storyweaver. For that, my friend, is how you'll truly leave your mark.

Offline Rostum

Re: When you doubt that you're a writer
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2016, 07:19:55 PM »
This subject was touched on Saturday night in a QA with Jen Williams, Den Patrick and Peter Newman.

From what I can remember.

Jen said persevere the temptation to start a new project is at it's worst about 2/3 the way through what you are currently working on. A new project will always seem more appealing and the end result is a lot of wasted words on paper that never get finished.

Pete reckoned that when he doubted he could write or got a block or hated what he was doing he needed to read back over what he had written and start again from where he made his mistake. I am guessing he is a linear writer, starts at the beginning and writes to the end.

You may be right about the ADD, ADHD, and aspergers, but I reckon most writers go through this. Whether you persevere is of course your choice.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 05:03:39 PM by Rostum »