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Do you ever look at your writing and... (1 Viewer)

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KeganThompson

Senior Member
Do you ever look at your writing and are blown away at how awful it is? lol I got back into writing about 6 months ago. As I'm going back to look at old chapters to work on my overhaul, I am blown away at how God-awful it is. It looks like a middle schooler wrote it...
My writing isn't balls to the wall amazing now, but Idk what made me think what I wrote A-okay back then. I'm looking at old chapters to gather ideas and figure out how I wanna go about the "new version" moving forward and I cant read it. It's so bad I have a hard time "following along"... even the parts I remember being proud of....now I'm like-??? I see what I'm trying to do...but its not good. Like at all. As I continued to inhale books and write, I naturally started to get a bit better but honestly...this forum has helped me a lot! I got a long way to go still but I can actually see my improvement. I can't wait until 6 more months pass and I look at my writing now like ??? the more I'm on here the more "enlightened" i feel -i'm amazed at how much I didn't know or understand when I started writing. ( so thanks y'all. :) )
 

JBF

Staff member
Board Moderator
I'm in my mid-thirties. If you ever think there's a shelf-life on embarrassment...wait until you're my age and accidentally find the stuff you wrote in middle school.

The only saving grace is that it's much easier to buy alcohol now. Doesn't blot out the memory, but it helps.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
I'm in my mid-thirties. If you ever think there's a shelf-life on embarrassment...wait until you're my age and accidentally find the stuff you wrote in middle school.

The only saving grace is that it's much easier to buy alcohol now. Doesn't blot out the memory, but it helps.
No shelf life on embarrassment for sure. I am one of those people who thinks about all the embarrassing things they did before they go to bed🤣
Yes alcohol...good thing I'm over 21 (not by much tho)
Literally drinking a bottle of wine
 

Cephus

Senior Member
Everyone can do better. The more you do something, the better you get at it. You will, hopefully, reach a point where what you produce is as good as anything else you could pull off of a bookstore shelf. If you're not there yet, keep working. It will come with enough time and effort.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
Everyone can do better. The more you do something, the better you get at it. You will, hopefully, reach a point where what you produce is as good as anything else you could pull off of a bookstore shelf. If you're not there yet, keep working. It will come with enough time and effort.
I would like to pressure traditional publishing one day, but how do you know when your craft is up to par? It can be hard to examine your own abilities and where you're at atleast for me. (Ik im not ready to pressure publishing yet)
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I would like to pressure traditional publishing one day, but how do you know when your craft is up to par? It can be hard to examine your own abilities and where you're at atleast for me. (Ik im not ready to pressure publishing yet)
I think it's important to consistently look for ways to improve our writing process (and thereby the writing itself), and challenge ourselves with increasingly complex plots.

For example, after Inception (due out in April next year) is put to bed I'm considering a (for me) challenging project. The novel (tentative title 'The Last Ride') will have the plot running forward and backward, with each chapter about old and young stages of life that move together and mesh in the final chapter. I'm sure this sort of thing has been done before, but not by me, so I want to try it and see how it goes. If nothing else, it will be a learning experience.

Challenges help us grow - doing the same thing over and over again only improves that single task.
 

KeganThompson

Senior Member
I think it's important to consistently look for ways to improve our writing process (and thereby the writing itself), and challenge ourselves with increasingly complex plots.

For example, after Inception (due out in April next year) is put to bed I'm considering a (for me) challenging project. The novel (tentative title 'The Last Ride') will have the plot running forward and backward, with each chapter about old and young stages of life that move together and mesh in the final chapter. I'm sure this sort of thing has been done before, but not by me, so I want to try it and see how it goes. If nothing else, it will be a learning experience.

Challenges help us grow - doing the same thing over and over again only improves that single task.
I was working on a book then I realized my skill level isn't ready to tackle on such a big story line and I wouldn't be able to properly put things together to convey what I wanted. So I am working on smaller pieces to focus on craft and basic structure :)
 

Cephus

Senior Member
I would like to pressure traditional publishing one day, but how do you know when your craft is up to par? It can be hard to examine your own abilities and where you're at atleast for me. (Ik im not ready to pressure publishing yet)

That's where you need to have an audience or beta readers who are skilled at looking at your genre. You can't do it on your own.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
Do you ever look at your writing and are blown away at how awful it is?
In a word, yes. However, the further back I look, the worse it gets, so at least I'm going in the right direction. I regard very little of my work as being of publishable standard, but much of it is okay to read in face-to-face writing groups.
The other important thing for me is a genuine belief that I have the ability to change this.
 

JJBuchholz

Senior Member
Do you ever look at your writing and are blown away at how awful it is?

Only when I go back and read a manuscript that I wrote 20 years back. My writing has gone through many changes over the years, and I have
managed to refine it a lot. This has been due to many books that I have read over the years (the older I get, the more I pay attention to writing
style of authors, and their quirks), as well as taking advice from other writers (something that I used to find difficult) that have read my work.

My writing nowadays is by no means perfect, but it's come a long way and doesn't make me cringe anymore.

-JJB
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Do you ever look at your writing and are blown away at how awful it is? lol I got back into writing about 6 months ago. As I'm going back to look at old chapters to work on my overhaul, I am blown away at how God-awful it is. It looks like a middle schooler wrote it...
My writing isn't balls to the wall amazing now, but Idk what made me think what I wrote A-okay back then. I'm looking at old chapters to gather ideas and figure out how I wanna go about the "new version" moving forward and I cant read it. It's so bad I have a hard time "following along"... even the parts I remember being proud of....now I'm like-??? I see what I'm trying to do...but its not good. Like at all. As I continued to inhale books and write, I naturally started to get a bit better but honestly...this forum has helped me a lot! I got a long way to go still but I can actually see my improvement. I can't wait until 6 more months pass and I look at my writing now like ??? the more I'm on here the more "enlightened" i feel -i'm amazed at how much I didn't know or understand when I started writing. ( so thanks y'all. :) )
Yeap - I've been doing this today, strip-mining it for content as I update my book website. Jesus, I thought I was something special back then.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I can't speak to fiction, because I just started that recently but I can speak to technical writing. I was clearing out a bunch of boxes of papers I had stored. This is all part of a great downsizing project as we have recently sold our family home and we are both packrats...yikes! We started by putting a bunch of boxes into storage, but now it seems evident that paying to store old papers is a waste of money. I am sentimental, but I also like money. However, that was not your question...I just thought I'd share that as the explanation for why I thought of this thread a lot on the weekend...lol!

I found a number of old analyses and business reports I had written. Not sure why I was saving them other than my earlier explanation. Honestly, I could not believe how bad the writing was. And I don't even remember consciously trying to be a better writer. It's just years and years of trying to be understood and wanting to do that in the fewest clever words possible.
 

Tettsuo

WF Veterans
I think it's important to consistently look for ways to improve our writing process (and thereby the writing itself), and challenge ourselves with increasingly complex plots.
This 100%.

I look at my old stuff and feel pride. That's where I was and I'm happy that I've grown so much that the things I was screwing up, shows up way less than they did back then. Also, I enjoy the stuff I write, story-wise. I can see the potential and smile cuz I'm far more capable now than I was then to bring my creations to life.
 
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