View Full Version : A Question of confidence.
09-23-2006, 12:53 PM
I am first(ish) time poster and a long time lurker. Firstly let me just introduce myself, I am a would be writer who only has a number of to be published scripts under his belt, along with a couple of issues of the Night Warrior webcomic to my name.
Anyway, my question is one about confidence. How do people cope? I mean I cant get past the fact that everything I have written is in fact crap. I spend most of my time wondering if I will ever make it to the big leagues like I dream or I will simply spend the rest of my life wanting that which I will never have.
I guess I am really trying to ask how people deal with the emotional roller coaster that I cant seem to get off since becoming a "writer". Does it get worse or better once your work is in the public domain, and people actually read it? How do you get past that feeling that maybe you should give up and get on with "real life" and.... Well you get the idea.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and apologies to any moderators who I may have offended by putting this in the wrong place.
09-23-2006, 01:29 PM
I'm in the same boat as you. As would be writers, I like freelance better, you need to have an ultimate goal, which you do. But along the way you will have ups and downs like anything you do in life. What keeps me going is setting small goals and using the accomplishs and failures of those small goals to learn from and keep me motivated.
BTW the way thanks, you always have a saying like the one above in your head, but you never really look at it. You made me look at, I have this sudden urge to write.
There's a dirty little secret about ANY type of artistic venture...especially those with a strong corporate component:
It's all about doing the work.
that's it, really. It's not about how good you are, it's not about how talented you are (they both help, but for every example you cite of brilliance I'll give you three pros who are utter crap)...it's about making your deadlines and hitting the mark everytime. Are there examples that run counter to this? Sure there are...but less than you might think.
So, you want to write? Write. A lot. Write until your fingers are bleading and your eyes are dropping and your wife is screaming for you to pay attention to her damn you! Once you have mastered that skill, you're a writer in fact not fantasy. Now, the art of promotion is a bitch and involves a LOT of work...but THAT isn't what you asked...you asked how to keep your pecker stiff...the answer is simply to keep writing.
09-23-2006, 08:05 PM
I've defined myself as writer with a day job since college, regardless of whether or not I've actually made money at it or not. The thing is when your ready it not all that hard. The hard part is knowing when your ready.
I know that comic book editors aren't actively looking for new writing talent, but that doesn't mean that other forms out there aren't. Magazines are constantly looking for short stories, book editors and agents are actively looking for new writers to promote, playhouses look for new playwrights and the good news if you're professional, follow the submission guidelines and include a SASE you're already better than 80 percent of the submission editors are likely to get. Just getting other people to publish your fiction goes miles in editor's eyes.
Honing your craft is something that you can only take so far by yourself. I'm shocked by the number of would be comic book writers who don't read books on how to write, personally I recommend Stephen King's On Writing and Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel. I'd also recommend going to conventions and meeting people in your field. I likely got two assignments I would have never gotten otherwise by going to Dragon*Con this year and forcing myself to meet and talk to people.
Never give up, you are never too old to write.
09-23-2006, 08:20 PM
Honing your craft is something that you can only take so far by yourself. I'm shocked by the number of would be comic book writers who don't read books on how to write, personally I recommend Stephen King's On Writing and Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel.
The specific books/essays/dissertations you read on writing might vary, but I would definitely add Aristotle's Poetics to anyone trying to write.
09-23-2006, 10:32 PM
I loved reading Alan Moore's "Writing for Comics" but I dont really read books on "how to write" because the problem with me was never not knowing HOW to write, or even WHAT to write. I have the worlds worst grammar and spelling though, and that is a problem that is hard to fix. Bad habbits are the worst when they are habbits you do in your mind, while you think.
I once had a teacher tell me I was the best writer she ever read that couldnt seperate "they're", "there", and "their".
Anyway, I'd rather more people tell me I suck. What I hate s checking in on a story that I've given to people who are friends and family and they havent even read it yet. GRRR.
09-27-2006, 08:23 AM
Bad habbits are the worst when they are habbits you do in your mind, while you think.
Like putting two 'b's in "habits"? :p
I don't think any writer has ever been happy with something s/he's written. That's what redrafts are for!
09-27-2006, 09:11 AM
Lots of good comments above. I would add that good writers are good readers. Nothing makes me want to write more than reading. Good stories, bad stories, just walking along the bookshelves and I can't wait to get back to writing.
Some writer's talk about the internal censor (and I think King has a version of it in On Writing). This is the self-doubt and the voice inside that says "you are a failure and are not a writer." You have to find practical ways to overcome that, such as my version I mentioned above. Yours may be very different. Some might call that a muse. And don't think this is something that only unpublished writers suffer, that's simply not true.
Lastly ,I would add that writing is a craft. It is as much an art form as any other. Serious writers know that and study it - where it works and why and where it doesn't and why not. I would suggest focusing on your craft more than you focus on "the big leagues."
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