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Topic: Being a writer is hard, most of the time. (Read 110 times) previous topic - next topic

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Being a writer is hard, most of the time.
I've been a lover of writing my entire life. I used to create character outlines and plot outlines for stories when I was a kid. I even wrote some Backstreet Boys fan fiction. But it wasn't until 2006 that I decided to actually write a book. That was 10 years ago and the story I started is only 4 chapters, and it's 30k words. I've edited and revised it a million times in the last 10 years. I've had new stories come to me, I've started them, but never finished. The current WIP I'm working on is almost 35k, but it's all over the place. When a scene comes to me, I write it down.

So my questions for you all are: How do you write? In order? Out of order? Do you do the crazy thing I do and edit as you go?

I try to take a break from writing (yeah, let's say it's my choice lol) to really get a new perspective on my work. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it. So another question: How do you deal with the self doubt?

  • The Boss
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Re: Being a writer is hard, most of the time.
Reply #1
I've built and maintained a few different blogs over the years, all of which are long gone now, but between them all, I've easily written at least a couple thousand of words worth of content. My last blog alone (a personal development blog), had at least 75 articles on it before I lost it due to circumstances out of my control. The articles averaged around 1500 words each. I did have a ghostwriter write 10-15 of them for me for times when I needed to put out content but didn't have the time or inspiration. However, I wrote at least 90,000 words worth of content for that site in the span of roughly a year. I also had an ebook that was 30k words as a giveaway on the blog. I had it ghostwritten originally, but I ended up having to rewrite most of it myself due to being underwhelmed by the quality of it.

I didn't do a lot of rewriting or editing articles after the fact. I've always been the edit-as-I-go type, which can be quite painstaking, as I'm a hardcore perfectionist. I'd write all over the place and organize and rewrite it as I went. When I'd finish an article, I'd typically give it a quick proofread to correct any remaining typos or grammatical errors, but it was rare that I'd find any. I always preferred to correct things like that as I was writing.

As for self doubt, you have to realize that there's an audience for literally anything and everything you can imagine. Just look at abstract art and how ugly some of it is. Yet, plenty of people love what most would consider even the most unsightly of works. Remember, we live in a world that's home to seven and a half billion people. No matter what it is, if you can think it, there exists an audience for it. It's finding and reaching that audience which can often be the biggest challenge.

Except for what is immoral or illegal, virtually nothing is inherently bad. Those two exceptions aside, "bad" is a relative term. Even if the majority of people think something is bad, there will still be people who like it. Not everything has mass appeal, but rest assured, if someone isn't buying/reading/using/discussing whatever product one is pushing, be it a book or anything else, it's because the right audience for it has not yet been reached.

Ask yourself what the self doubt is born out of. If one has self doubt due to an underlying fear of failure then that's a separate issue which needs to be addressed. If self doubt exists out of a fear or anxiety that the public will perceive one's product as "bad" then think of how many times you've heard a song or read a book and thought "that was unbearable", only to then discover that the band or author has a following of a respectable size. That goes for everything. So many people paid to see The Blair Witch Project that they made a sequel. And just look at how many units the "Shamwow" brand sold!
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Re: Being a writer is hard, most of the time.
Reply #2
My self doubt stems from personal things outside of the book world. And I'm trying to push past them. I don't want to force the story though. If it doesn't come to me, I don't write it. I've read quite a few awful stories that were obviously someone trying to make a quick buck. Editing aside, the stories weren't good. So I'm trying to learn from authors what I should and shouldn't do. I'm trying to network. I have a small fan base, if you can call it that. I've shared parts of my stories with people and they've loved it, so I feel like I should finish for myself and for them, but again, I don't want it forced. I don't think the editing as I go will change. That's just who I am. And if it takes me years to finish, well, at least I finished.

Thanks for your input, @The Boss  :)

  • The Boss
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Re: Being a writer is hard, most of the time.
Reply #3
No problem, I'm happy to share my thoughts. I happen to hold them in high regard.  :P

If it helps, I've found in the past that sometimes forcing it can lead to unforced content. For example, you may force the story, and it may produce something of a quality that you wouldn't want to publish. However, it helps to get the creative juices flowing and the brain firing on all cylinders, which can often lead to then producing something that is no longer forced and may be of a much better quality. I hope that makes sense.
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Re: Being a writer is hard, most of the time.
Reply #4
No problem, I'm happy to share my thoughts. I happen to hold them in high regard.  :P

If it helps, I've found in the past that sometimes forcing it can lead to unforced content. For example, you may force the story, and it may produce something of a quality that you wouldn't want to publish. However, it helps to get the creative juices flowing and the brain firing on all cylinders, which can often lead to then producing something that is no longer forced and may be of a much better quality. I hope that makes sense.
Makes total sense. I'll take that into consideration. Thank you.

  • The Boss
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Re: Being a writer is hard, most of the time.
Reply #5
Any time!
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