Monday, November 26, 2012

On Writing


I've been reading, and am almost finished with, the highly recommended book by Stephen King, On Writing. I've taken away a lot from it already, but am maybe more insecure about my writing then ever before. This post is appropriate for the Insecure Writers Support Group, but don't worry, I'll have plenty more to add in a few days when the first Wednesday rolls around again. One of the things he writes is, and I quote, "it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer. . .it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one."

Now here's the dilemma, which one am I? If I truly suck at writing, and it's hopeless, would anyone ever tell me the truth? And do I want them to, for that matter? How do you feel about this?

I am going to give myself a full year of dedicating myself to writing. Finishing my WIP, which is about half done with a full makeover that's left it unrecognizable. Joining the local chapter of writers and attending a convention regardless of the cost. (Gulp!) And working on other pieces, maybe even starting another novel to work on my overall skills. Then I will decide, with unbiased input from others at the convention, if this is worth my time.

I think I will always write, for myself anyway. But I don't want to waste time at it either if my time, and money!, is better spent elsewhere.


In the meantime, I'm going to do a little of this before I curl up in bed. Feel free to share your thoughts :)

26 comments:

  1. If you believe you are a writer, then you don't suck! Place some faith in yourself and keep moving forward. And if you still don't believe, look at me. I never thought I was a writer...

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    1. You are a source of inspiration, that is true!

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  2. The only bad writer is one who gives up. You've got a fabulous story to tell, keep at it!

    Personally I want people to be honest about how I can improve and what areas I stink at, but if someone said "you're a bad writer, you should quit" I think that would bring out my stubborn side and I'd work that much harder just to prove them wrong. After a few days of crying that is.

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    1. I go through this roller coaster of should I, shouldn't I, but quiting would mean failing. (And I would totally be crying my eyes out too!)

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  3. Okay. I know being your sister is supposed to make me biased. But, I love to read and love hat you write. If you give up and only write for yourself, can I still read it?

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  4. I've read S. King's On Writing, and it's a good motivator, but I don't write as fast as he does. Give yourself time, and just focus on writing, learning as you go.

    It sounds like you're on the right track - set small goals and keep a calendar to chart your progress. Keep at it.

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    1. I'm not even close to how fast he writes either. But then, I can't shut myself off from the world for hours every day to write either! When and if I make some money, THEN I might be able to justify that.

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  5. you will be great! believe in yourself!!

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  6. I agree with Sara. The only bad writer is one who gives up. I read Stephen King's book On Writing too and remember that exact spot you quoted. His book is great but it's not the bible of the writing world and no one but Stephen King can write like Stephen King. If writing is something you really want to do, then don't let anyone make you feel like you should quit. A good writer will keep going, improving and writing!

    Also, love that pic of you and kitty, so cute!! (:

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    1. As I'm reading his book, there is so such that I will never have in common with him, and you're right, I do need to put it all in perspective.
      My cozy little cat follows me around and curls up to sleep. He's adorable :)

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  7. I think we all have this fear. While I've not read your MS, I've read your posts and I can say with absolute certainty that you are NOT a bad writer. ;)

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate that :) and thanks for stopping by.

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  8. I have seen some really bad writers become competent writers with coaching, hard work, and sticking to the craft. My husband was one of them. Now, his writing is amazing.

    I have also read your writing, and it is beautiful. True, your manuscript might not be where it needs to be, but the writing itself is good...more than competent. Keep working. Getting a story where it needs to be takes time. I'm right where you are, having to rewrite an entire manuscript from scratch, until I get it right. :)

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    1. I appreciate you saying that. If I really WAS bad, you could have just stayed silent, so the fact that you spoke up and gave me some encouragement means a lot.

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  9. One thing I've learned from my own writing, and heard from other writers as well, is that an author's writing gets better with each book. So if this current book isn't the one, don't give up - just keep trying and improving!

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    1. I never thought I'd give up on my first book, and I still haven't, but I've finally started something new at the same time. Even if all I ever do with them is get better as a writer, that's okay- I'm coming to terms with that :)

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  10. If stories live inside you, you are a writer. And it's true, writing improves with each book. I'm on number three. Books one and two will not go anywhere. Number three...I'm hoping.

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  11. Never give up! Keep going on and your writing will only improve with subsequent stories.

    I have featured a new publisher who is looking for submissions. Please drop by and ask questions!

    Nas

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  12. I love On Writing! I think it's important to remember that there are stages of writing, too. Just because you may be in an early stage doesn't mean you're a bad writer! If you're improving, and working hard to keep that momentum, you're doing great.

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    1. I just finished it today and even though I went through a little bit of doubting, I'm more inspired than ever. It helped to finish the book!

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  13. I really don't buy into the "it's impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer" philosophy, simply because it's been proven that, the more you write and hone your craft, the better it becomes... it's a step-by-step process...
    So keep on writing!

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    1. There's truth to that! Why he even showed himself the improvement he could make with a first draft and then a revision.

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