Writing


#1

My main skill in life, apart from perving and Countdown, is writing. But an English degree and a never-ending shambles of a journalism distance learning course have soured the experience of both creative writing and writing articles.

I’m now pretty torn between desperately wanting to write again - wanting to write something I’m proud of, anyway - and being afraid to (partly because of RSI, but mainly because of embarrassment and fear and also a feeling that there are too many opinions/more interesting life perspectives and so I have nothing really original to contribute on any front). I can’t bear the thought of writing something fictional or factual that lowers people’s opinion of me because the content, style etc are embarrassingly bad (which is hypocritical because this is exactly what I do).

Does anyone here write for fun? How do you get past the embarrassment, fear and quest for perfection??


#2

wish I could write, might give it a shot some day!

I’m sure your stuff would be great though


#3

I think writing for yourself is crucial. I write a lot for fun outside of the professional stuff, half to keep myself sharp and half because I get a lot of looking at my own writing and picking back over it - it’s a good mirror to the soul.

I have on occasion shared it with people but more often than not I don’t. Coz it’s just for me, and that’s a good enough reason. No different to the people painting on a canvas for fun.


#4

also being okay with the fact that you’ll be your own worst critic is helpful, because it stops you labouring over something. write and move on

i heard once that tim wheeler wrote a song a day, never with an intention to release them, but just to understand his own craft. i love that. i suspect sometimes that that’s what the likes of Chekhov did. Just write and write. Maybe do nanowrimo next year if it’s not too scary! :slight_smile:


#5

reading you back i THINK you’re also saying that you’d be interested in writing professionally for publications but are worried about style/form.

Just to add, then, that editors exist exactly because a lot of people don’t get those things right first time, or indeed ever. A good writer for a publication doesn’t necessarily mean a flawless one :slight_smile:


#6

I can only get halfway happy with what I write if I spend fucking ages on it. Can turn a phrase fast enough but making a narrative around it is like pulling really frustrating, slow teeth. Probably been projecting about it a bit today tbh.


#7

No one has to see what you’re writing. People who love writing love writing for many reasons, but having other people read it doesn’t have to be one of them.


#8

I’d love to be better / good at it, because I love thinking up stories, characters, etc. but I can find it a real grind to get them down in a way that’s half-decent. I think what I like about music is that you can translate ideas into a form that can still be kind of free and “messy” (maybe I’m just more practised in that?)

I dunno. I mean, look at that above paragraph. Look how fucking wank it is.


#9

I like the idea of writing and would love to write but I too can’t get past the idea that I am terrible


#10

just think deep down I don’t have anything interesting to say


#11

coughs i’d be… quite okay with the idea of a group of us sharing our creative writing attempts with each other.

obviously over email. i’m not letting these bozos watch me bare my soul.


#12

I write music reviews occasionally and I’m currently thinking about writing some long form stuff for a different project.

I found blogging initially helped a fair bit when it came making myself more comfortable with expressing my thoughts and I eventually moved on to writing for a website.


#13

I would like to suggest that you write anyway (RSI allowing of course), something short perhaps - whatever feels right - and stick it in a drawer (so to speak). Then write something else. Stick that in a drawer and then go back to the first thing. Re-read it and see what you think with a bit of distance. It might be embarrassing to you (but a lot of it will be better than you think) but then you’ll be able to tinker and learn from it.

I dunno. It’s fucking impossible to get what is in your head on the page but as long as you can accept that then just go for it.
You will definitely, definitely write an astounding sentence, paragraph, bit of dialogue, whatever, and it’ll be amazing, totally worth it. And then you’ll write more and more.
Just what I reckon anyway.

Do it, pervert.


#14

my friend started writing little vignettes daily, just zeroing in on a bit of her day and writing two or three paras max about it. she’s getting a lot more confident doing that :slight_smile:


#15

Have you thought about using speech recognition software to help your RSI? I use it for work as I used to get pain up and down my right arm, wrists and fingertips and it’s been a massive help and means I write faster too. Costs a bit but it’s been so worth the initial outlay.


#16

I do bits of music writing, started off for a local site doing gig reviews which was easy coz there was no pressure (other than getting it done by the next day or so) coz no one reads gig reviews anyway and I got free tix for gigs out of it. Still do that occasionally but it’s more fun to not have to take notes when you’re at a gig, and also coz I started writing for a different site who do more album reviews, which allows you to take more time over what you’re doing. It’s a good way to get started anyway and scratches some kind of itch for me (having had no confidence in my opinion about music previously) but do think about doing more creative stuff sometimes. Just finding the time innit.


#17

mine’s been killing me since winter started so i just ordered one of these

SSP

https://jseliger.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/kinesis-company-provided-image2.png?w=550

apparently they’re amazing for typing


#18

Whooaaaa


#19

I was part of a writers’ group and even got published in a local anthology, but I gradually lost interest over the last 2 years as my mental health deteriorated. Another big factor was due to feeling like you describe, but also like I was too northern and non-uni educated to ever get a foot in the door anywhere that really counted. I had a blog going for a bit but I deleted it all. There was also one really unbearable prick with women issues who frequented the group and even though he was objectively a terrible misogynistic writer who only read Chuck fucking Palahniuk, he somehow started picking up work as a script editor and got some of his stuff accepted by a BBC writing program, and I felt like I was obviously doing something wrong.

The last thing I tried to get published was a piece about the England-Iceland game and how that result fed into my terror about current world events, rising fascism, Brexit, Trump, etc, and the note I got back from the football website was, “This was really funny but you only discussed the football for one paragraph before you started raving about Biblical prophesy. We’d be interested in something shorter and more concise.” :grinning:

It’s weird though, writing is the only thing I’ve ever had confidence in my ability to do vaguely okay, but I just lost enthusiasm for it. I’ve been tinkering off-and-on with the same three short stories for the last year, or rather, I’ll open the Word docs up and change the odd word before closing them again, but the days when I could run a first draft out inside a day are long gone and I just can’t imagine doing it with any real enjoyment anymore.


#20

As you’re all painfully aware, I write all kinds of shit. It is quite therapeutic, and I think what people have said about writing for yourself being important is spot on. I don’t know why I do it though as I always feel the need to share everything and am terrible at taking criticism. Not because I disagree with people’s opinions and think I’m great, but because as soon as I get any criticism I’ll stop doing anything and hate myself again. Eesh.

If you’re actually good at it though, I say write as much as you can, and enjoy yourself.