Eventually, I cringe after reading my own work


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Eventually, I cringe after reading my own work

  1. #1

    Eventually, I cringe after reading my own work

    Does anybody else experience the same thing sometimes?

    As an aspiring writer, I'm into creative nonfiction.

    After finding some source of inspiration to sit down and finish a piece, I read the completed work, feeling somewhat proud and satisfied.

    I try to submit it to a publication to share my thoughts. After a month or so, I open my finished pieces on the computer again just for the sake of it and when I read it I can't help but say "WTF DID I ACTUALLY JUST WRITE?!" Seriously, I cringe at some of the pieces I write. There are pieces that remain somewhat good, but the truth remains that some of it are just plain gross to my liking.

    Also, I've been published a few times in national and international publications. When the piece first comes out, I feel immensely proud and happy. I feel validated. But then again, after returning to my published pieces after a month or so, I get the same feeling of disgust for not being able to write better. I literally cringe.

    I know people might say that it's a sign that I am improving, but I just want to know if this is normal?

    Sometimes it makes me feel bad that I can't write at times, thinking I might just hate myself afterwards.

  2. #2
    To me, it sounds like a lack of understanding. At first, the idea is fresh in your mind, you know what you wanted, and you achieved it. As time wore on, you forgot the purpose of the piece, and you just ended up confusing yourself. You just need to step back and read your work as a neutral third party.

    And yes, it is completely normal for writers to not like, or be uncomfortable with their work, just not to the point of cringing.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by HeightenedState View Post
    I try to submit it to a publication to share my thoughts. After a month or so, I open my finished pieces on the computer again just for the sake of it and when I read it I can't help but say "WTF DID I ACTUALLY JUST WRITE?!"
    Also, I've been published a few times in national and international publications. When the piece first comes out, I feel immensely proud and happy. I feel validated. But then again, after returning to my published pieces after a month or so, I get the same feeling of disgust for not being able to write better. I literally cringe.
    I suppose that the lesson here is to try to get it published within a month of writing it.

    I think it's a bit like eating really. Apparently, the brain takes about twenty minutes to register that the stomach is satisfied - so eat as much as you can in the first twenty minutes.

    In answer to your question about whether this is normal - for me it is, though perhaps I am more justified than you.

  4. #4
    WF Veteran Riis Marshall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Grantham, Lincolnshire - home of Isaac Newton and some woman whose name I've forgotten
    Posts
    794
    Hello Height

    If you're getting published you must be doing something right. I wish I could do that!

    At the moment my situation is the opposite: I think everything I write is great; it's the publishers - well, so far it's agents - who have doubts about it.

    Just keep doing what you're doing.

    All the best with your writing.

    Warmest regards
    Riis
    All writing is practise for the writing that follows.
    If it jams, force it; if it breaks, it needed replacing anyhow.
    If you like intelligent contemporary conspiracy thrillers, you may want to check out The Bureau of Happiness
    Hidden Content

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Niagara
    Posts
    150
    Stop second guessing yourself.

    The fact that you have gotten published means that you are doing something right - a number of would be authors can write their entire lives and will count themselves lucky if they get one five page work published in some magazine.

    If you are cringing at your writing, have someone else read it. If they think it is likewise cringe worthy, then go ahead and rewrite it.


    You remind me of me.

    I had this problem myself in university and later when I was writing for a journal in my field. I used to write the stuff easily, and oftentimes well in advance, because by the time the deadline came around I had rewritten it close to a dozen times or more.

    You're your own worst critic, like I was. All it really gives you, in the long run, is a headache.

  6. #6
    Nothing wrong with a good cringe. It is part of the motivation to make you do better.

  7. #7
    I look at my stuff and cringe a little, because my stuff is about talking cats and other weird things. I don't think anyone is interested.

    But keep going!

  8. #8
    I do that all the time. I wont throw anything away in case I become inspired to make it better, but usually I leave it. I will go through my self loathing process and thinking I can't write anything, sulk around, then move on to write again.
    ".... But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
    All losses are restored and sorrows end."
    - William Shakespeare, Sonnet XXX



  9. #9
    I doubt that it is unusual. If someone wrote a piece and then moved on without giving it another thought then I would wonder where their motivation lay. I read the things that I've written, even some of these posts, over and over because the pleasure is in getting them right and then remaining sure that they are. Maybe I'm easily pleased though. I always recollect what I read about Flannery O'Connor, one of the highly reputed writers in Georgia a good while ago. She was never satisfied with what she wrote, always seeing things that needed improving, even though her publisher and everyone else thought that her work was brilliant. Her publisher had to take away her manuscripts to publish despite her protests, otherwise nobody would have got to read anything that she wrote.

    That is the sad thing about published work, that it is dead in the sense that it won't benefit from the mind that created it any more. Pieces posted on WF are still alive and can evolve given the right incentives, i.e. critiques. In this age of E-Books I wonder whether a new form of literature might come on the scene, stories which although published continue to improve as their writers revisit them. Of course physical books can be republished as new editions, but that involves significant expenditure while a new edition of an E-Book has very little in the way of overheads. That sort of publication would set a problem for the reader of fiction as they would have to decide how long to postpone reading a story to ensure that it was mature enough, a process similar to laying down wine for several years to mature. Interesting concept.

    So, one would have to decide whether to be a beta reader or a gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota ...
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  10. #10
    Never submit a work until it's sat for a couple of weeks--ideally a couple of months--and let yourself read it again. It happens to all of us, sometimes our minds make jumps and it doesn't get into the writing, or sometimes we just grow as writers and see that we were making a mistake over and over again throughout.
    If you ever need a second set of eyes on your work, PM me for a critique! I'm happy to help Hidden Content

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.