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How to bridge the gap (1 Viewer)

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KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
I am at the point with my writing where I can acknowledge when something is wrong or needs to be rewritten, especially when I get a little feedback. The problem is, I'm not at the skill level where I can fix it the way I want. I can rewrite things several times and still think it is not doing my vision justice. It's over-explaining, it's under-explaining, certain words don't work quite right. The sentence itself sounds awkward...
I think one thing that is helping me though, is to look up definitions of words I already know and their synonyms. I'm kind of surprised how much I can use a word correctly but not know the full definition. Even if some words are similar in meaning, it has become more obvious as I write that some words aren't as interchangeable as others. The sound of a word or the exact meaning works better than one of their counterparts depending on the context and prose. Maybe this is obvious, but it wasn't for me. I thought I needed to look up words I didn't know and build my vocab that way to be a better writer, but actually, what I really need to do is take the time to look up words I use every day. We don't learn the meaning of words by looking up the definition (in most cases) but based on how others use them in a sentence. That made me realize a lot of words I use, I don't know the EXACT definition. Sure you don't have to know verbatim to use it correctly but it helps when it comes to making better word choices.
I like to experiment with wordplay. honestly, it usually doesn't quite work haha but when it does It can make for interesting prose.
I know people are like "keeping writing you will just start to naturally understand." and yeah true, but the more I can acknowledge certain things the more I can work on it and improve faster right? I also don't wan to re-enforce bad habits...
My point is there is a "gap" in my writing, everyone has a gap especially as a new writer but the more you notice it-the more annoying and frustrating writing can become. It's good that I notice, means I'm improving and all that...but got any suggestions on how to "work on that gap?" I think the definition lookup is helping me, but I want to know if there is something you found that helped improve your writing?
 

Steve_Rivers

Senior Member
Everyone has a gap somewhere, Kegan, I wouldn't beat yourself up about it too much. For years I kept say "either of us" or "either of them" when I should've been saying "each of us" or "each of them" due to the specific circumstances. It was just a bad habit I got into as a kid. It took my german writing partner to notice it and point it out to me, and thank goodness she did.
That's the only real suggestion I have for you in that regard. If you swap your work regularly with someone and ask them to keep an eye out for everything, then you eventually nip these things in the bud. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any other way to combat it than that, other than posting your work and asking people to keep it in mind or just hacking at the thesaurus or dictionary all the time. So sorry I can't be more help.
 

K.S. Crooks

Senior Member
I notice my "gap" most when writing dialogue. Choosing the correct words for the meaning and emotions of character can be daunting at times. Would the character say they are mad or upset or angry or vex. Situations where different characters have different feelings about the same event make my writing a bit more difficult at times, though I would also say this is where I have some of the fun.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Everyone has a gap somewhere, Kegan, I wouldn't beat yourself up about it too much. For years I kept say "either of us" or "either of them" when I should've been saying "each of us" or "each of them" due to the specific circumstances. It was just a bad habit I got into as a kid. It took my german writing partner to notice it and point it out to me, and thank goodness she did.
That's the only real suggestion I have for you in that regard. If you swap your work regularly with someone and ask them to keep an eye out for everything, then you eventually nip these things in the bud. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any other way to combat it than that, other than posting your work and asking people to keep it in mind or just hacking at the thesaurus or dictionary all the time. So sorry I can't be more help.
Everyone has gaps in their ability - but there's a progression that's kinda like walking up stairs one at a time.
Ok - I'll insert an excerpt from my life.
--
I started training in a French Martial Art when I was five years old, and had the great fortune to be taught by a French artist - a painter, who had his own studio in the San Francisco bay area, and made a living that way.
He once told me that in all art there are two aspects, your eye and your hand. When you first start creating art your eye is superior to your hand, and everything you do looks awful. But then, with practice you hand improves and you start feeling good about your art. Then, in a little while what you create doesn't look good anymore and you become discouraged - and many quit.
What's happened though is your eye has improved. Nothing remains static; your hand improved and so did your eye. Eventually your hand will catch up, and for a while you'll feel great, but then... guess what? Your eye will improve, and the process will continue.
Stairs: your eye steps first, and your hand follows.
--
Don't be discouraged. Keep working on your craft, study it; for authors this is reading and paying attention to the world around us. Above all, keep making art because without it, the world would be dreary place.
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
Everyone has gaps in their ability - but there's a progression that's kinda like walking up stairs one at a time.
Ok - I'll insert an excerpt from my life.
--
I started training in a French Martial Art when I was five years old, and had the great fortune to be taught by a French artist - a painter, who had his own studio in the San Francisco bay area, and made a living that way.
He once told me that in all art there are two aspects, your eye and your hand. When you first start creating art your eye is superior to your hand, and everything you do looks awful. But then, with practice you hand improves and you start feeling good about your art. Then, in a little while what you create doesn't look good anymore and you become discouraged - and many quit.
What's happened though is your eye has improved. Nothing remains static; your hand improved and so did your eye. Eventually your hand will catch up, and for a while you'll feel great, but then... guess what? Your eye will improve, and the process will continue.
Stairs: your eye steps first, and your hand follows.
--
Don't be discouraged. Keep working on your craft, study it; for authors this is reading and paying attention to the world around us. Above all, keep making art because without it, the world would be dreary place.
Yes of course everyone has a gap, and always will in one instance or another. I'm at the stage where I have enough perspective to see how wide that gap is but not the ability to quite "shrink it." or get my prose to where I feel comfortable with it. It takes time and practice, unfortunately, there is no way around that. I didn't know if there are any specific advice or ways that you noticed a big improvement based on (an example:) journaling or prompts. rather than the general solid advice of "keep practicing"
That's why I brought up looking up definitions. Curious if there was something you did or liked to do when you first started out? :)
The French painter makes a solid point. I use to draw a lot in my younger days, (I'm making myself sound old when saying that lol) totally relate to what he said about painting, it works with writing too (and surely other forms of art)
 

Matchu

Senior Member
Hi @KT...you need a tutor or similar saying 'you can write!'....

...which you can

so relax into your drafts and follow the 'leave it in the drawer for 3 months' law, sometimes - which is impossible - but please write with abandon, joy, enjoy your writing, don't fuss about exactitude.

All best
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
Hi @KT...you need a tutor or similar saying 'you can write!'....

...which you can

so relax into your drafts and follow the 'leave it in the drawer for 3 months' law, sometimes - which is impossible - but please write with abandon, joy, enjoy your writing, don't fuss about exactitude.

All best
Yeah, I wouldn't mind a tutor. When you say I can write, I take it as you mean write well or atleast decent because even a 6 year old can write ;)
Thank you
You ain't wrong, I could use a chill pill every once in awhile. I tend to be a bit obsessive about my hobbies. I have a "perfectionist" problem I need to work on.
I miss writing in highschool. I wasn't as particular and had more fun with it because I didnt realize how bad I was at the time 🤣
 

Matchu

Senior Member
I mean actually and I don't care who hears me say this that you my friend indeed write like a 6 year old.

[Haw haw, haw haw haw]

I suppose I recognised that 'confidence issue' of my own past and I wanted to assure you and to urge you on - & not in some 'generalist' sense of 'how everybody can achieve their dreams,' yawn.

Would you enjoy drafting a dozen 800 word stories? Turning two or three of these into 2000 words? Post a couple, after a couple of months, to your local writing outlet & also join Submittable - approach the big mags with your drafts. Enter the 'posh' contests.

That's fun?
 

robertn51

Friends of WF
A great and courageous question.

Haven't we all been there? Especially that awful ...
I'm not at the skill level where I can fix it the way I want. I can rewrite things several times and still think it is not doing my vision justice.
...that one will drive you crazy.

A couple of things....
a lot of words I use, I don't know the EXACT definition.
Yep. We are always learning, relearning, unlearning. But remember, most of your readers will not have the exact definitions, either. So don't spend too much effort on this one. Yes you might find the precise word you need, but what if it is an arcane cipher to your audience? Does one want that?

We are trying to be of two minds: First to be aware of and keep fidelity to our visions. And, second to compose a rendering of that vision for other minds. About whom we know very little and assume much.

Welcome to the dungeon.

A thoughtful reference I return to to remind me of the task...
The Fundamental Nature Of Story Telling (NB: some cussing)
The Long Story:

(The Jump To The Chase? Scoot the playhead down to 20:10 and stop the playback at 21:43 and puzzle the glory that that whole wicked thing even works.)

(Also, ignore the frame I've skipped around: In the skip I've linked there, the author is deeply-diving into a weird video game irrelevant to the truth of the process to which I've pointed.)

I know people are like "keeping writing you will just start to naturally understand." and yeah true
It is completely true. And it is why we encounter the phrase "writing practice." From the Zen Buddhist reconciliation that we cannot achieve perfection/nirvana/vision but we try; we practice, not perform. Our practice is that never-ending trying. Sure we have that idealistic "Do or do not. There is no try." But we are real things, not gods. We try. And keep it up. Because that's what we do. All we do. All we can do.

Eventually something others call "skill" appears and we are so bestowed. And even then we must still practice because it is very forgiving and very productive and because it works. Also it keeps us from existential depression and the terrible things we hear artists do to themselves. (Van Gogh, David Foster Wallace, John Kennedy Toole, et al.)

but I want to know if there is something you found that helped improve your writing?
Yes. What helps me (not helped, it is never past) and inspires me more than all the books on and about writing is to always be reading the writing of those authors whose work resonates with me. If I read something that leaves me with some variation of a dizzy "I wish I'd written that," I chase down that author's output, from as far back as I can. And then I read them, watching how they work on me. (that last is a tricky bit, I know; it's that two-mind thing.)

And to be clear, that means reading the hungry writers, too. Like all you guys. I read you to be fed, inspired, challenged, awed, shaken. (Three strong and fertile threads spun out of our encounters just this week. Time will tell the fruit.)

Want to write well? Read. Read often and well, with generosity and curiosity. (oh, and write, too, often)

[2021-07-31 1430]
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
I mean actually and I don't care who hears me say this that you my friend indeed write like a 6 year old.

[Haw haw, haw haw haw]
you can definitely compare my handwriting to a 6 years olds for sure. har har
I suppose I recognised that 'confidence issue' of my own past and I wanted to assure you and to urge you on - & not in some 'generalist' sense of 'how everybody can achieve their dreams,' yawn.

Would you enjoy drafting a dozen 800 word stories? Turning two or three of these into 2000 words? Post a couple, after a couple of months, to your local writing outlet & also join Submittable - approach the big mags with your drafts. Enter the 'posh' contests.

That's fun?
don't know, never thought about it or tried to draft a dozen 800-word stories. I've considered entering maybe a contest on here. (eventually) Surely never thought of entering in any "posh" contests or submitting anything. Something to consider down the line I suppose...
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Kegan, you're making the mistake of worrying over something that's very common for writers to worry about, but is useless to worry about. I say that because your concern seems to be both general and scattered.

I read the last two pieces you dropped into the Workshop, and they're written just fine. They establish a mood and tell a story. There weren't any gross technical errors that popped me out of the read. That's your first 80 in the 80/20 rule.

Do they need editing? Sure. Everything any of us writes needs editing. That doesn't mean what you wrote in the first place is flawed. It means it's normal early draft material.

Both of those selections were short, so I'm looking at a small sample size, but both of those samples were effective writing. Effective writing is anything where you gain and hold a reader's interest without making mistakes that remind the reader that they ARE reading ... that cause them to think about the author rather than the story.

Now, let me go back to my comment about your worry being "general and scattered". Yes, we can all find areas to improve, including specific technical elements. The most recent one I've worked on is superfluous or redundant phrases. Whether you recognize something like that yourself (and I did in this case), or have someone point it out to you, you get a particular technical element in mind, then you work to understand what's wrong with it, then you can understand how to fix it, then you'll start noticing it as you write, and certainly as you edit. But if you worry about something as a mystery ("Am I doing this? Oh no, I might be doing this?), that won't help you.

Next, does finding a set of technical elements to work on mean your writing is inferior? No, it does not. Experienced, award-winning authors get plenty of mark-up against their first drafts.

Your writing is at the point where you simply need to write and finish, then seek editing. You are not at the point where you need to agonize about basic elements ... you're far better than that. Only rarely should you worry about the perfect word, phrase, or sentence. It may only be perfect to you and a subset of readers, because if your story is drawing the reader along, they are reading the story, not the words. You actually have to keep the words out of the way of the story. :)
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
Kegan, you're making the mistake of worrying over something that's very common for writers to worry about, but is useless to worry about. I say that because your concern seems to be both general and scattered.

I read the last two pieces you dropped into the Workshop, and they're written just fine. They establish a mood and tell a story. There weren't any gross technical errors that popped me out of the read. That's your first 80 in the 80/20 rule.
I never heard of the 80/20 rule so I had to look it up. Interesting to say the least.
Do they need editing? Sure. Everything any of us writes needs editing. That doesn't mean what you wrote in the first place is flawed. It means it's normal early draft material.
Since all I see are cleaned-up published works, I don't know what level I am as a writer. I don't know what "standard" I need to be at before the editing process to be considered a proficient writer. I watched a video of a traditionally published author talking about all the revisions she made after she got a books deal. I know that everyone goes through an editing process, I guess I just don't know what level I need to be at prior to that process to be considered beginner/ proficient/ professional because all I see are the finished products that went through several edits/ revisions. all I see are the mountains of edits I need to make and people's polished works.
But if you worry about something as a mystery ("Am I doing this? Oh no, I might be doing this?), that won't help you.
You got me, I do that a lot, which can prevent me from just writing
Next, does finding a set of technical elements to work on mean your writing is inferior? No, it does not. Experienced, award-winning authors get plenty of mark-up against their first drafts.
Your writing is at the point where you simply need to write and finish, then seek editing. You are not at the point where you need to agonize about basic elements ... you're far better than that.
Since I don't know some basics of grammar, formatting since I haven't had any formal training in creative writing (except for a semester in high school) I can get wrapped up knowing the basics. Small things that stress me out and don't need to. I will learn that in time. I see your point about the 80/20 rule, Im wasting time and energy focusing on small things I will learn as I continue to write- it slows down the productivity because it's not worth the effort sweating over.
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
Kegan, you're making the mistake of worrying over something that's very common for writers to worry about, but is useless to worry about. I say that because your concern seems to be both general and scattered.

I read the last two pieces you dropped into the Workshop, and they're written just fine. They establish a mood and tell a story. There weren't any gross technical errors that popped me out of the read. That's your first 80 in the 80/20 rule.

Do they need editing? Sure. Everything any of us writes needs editing. That doesn't mean what you wrote in the first place is flawed. It means it's normal early draft material.

Both of those selections were short, so I'm looking at a small sample size, but both of those samples were effective writing. Effective writing is anything where you gain and hold a reader's interest without making mistakes that remind the reader that they ARE reading ... that cause them to think about the author rather than the story.

Now, let me go back to my comment about your worry being "general and scattered". Yes, we can all find areas to improve, including specific technical elements. The most recent one I've worked on is superfluous or redundant phrases. Whether you recognize something like that yourself (and I did in this case), or have someone point it out to you, you get a particular technical element in mind, then you work to understand what's wrong with it, then you can understand how to fix it, then you'll start noticing it as you write, and certainly as you edit. But if you worry about something as a mystery ("Am I doing this? Oh no, I might be doing this?), that won't help you.

Next, does finding a set of technical elements to work on mean your writing is inferior? No, it does not. Experienced, award-winning authors get plenty of mark-up against their first drafts.

Your writing is at the point where you simply need to write and finish, then seek editing. You are not at the point where you need to agonize about basic elements ... you're far better than that. Only rarely should you worry about the perfect word, phrase, or sentence. It may only be perfect to you and a subset of readers, because if your story is drawing the reader along, they are reading the story, not the words. You actually have to keep the words out of the way of the story. :)
Sorry I forgot to thank you for reading what I posted in the workshop. Thank you!
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
I never heard of the 80/20 rule so I had to look it up. Interesting to say the least.

Since all I see are cleaned-up published works, I don't know what level I am as a writer. I don't know what "standard" I need to be at before the editing process to be considered a proficient writer. I watched a video of a traditionally published author talking about all the revisions she made after she got a books deal. I know that everyone goes through an editing process, I guess I just don't know what level I need to be at prior to that process to be considered beginner/ proficient/ professional because all I see are the finished products that went through several edits/ revisions. all I see are the mountains of edits I need to make and people's polished works.
Somewhere here a few months ago I posted a sample of what I'm about to mention below. I need to redo it sometime as a blog so I can find it without an hour-long dredge through my post history. LOL

Due to some work I'm doing with The Heinlein Society, I'm privy to scanned documents of first drafts and what came back from Heinlein's editor. (If you don't know who Heinlein was, look him up). Last year I wrote a sequel to one of his novels, and in the process got quite interested in his thought process and writing for that novel. I had read elsewhere that he wrote a 100K word draft, but only 83K words were published. The book (Citizen of the Galaxy) is my favorite sci-fi book, so I'm wondering: Am I missing three or four chapters that were cut before publication?

I learned the novel had been published in four sections as a magazine serial before it was printed in book form. I found the magazine issues in Google's archive and read them. There was no new material there. The only "extra material" was the intro in the last three issues to recap "the story up until now". It was later in the year before I had access to the scanned documents, and of course I then quickly found the Citizen of the Galaxy manuscripts to check them out. I found out what happened to those 17K words. The felt-tipped marker got them. This is a man who had been successful for 20 years, already an award-winning author, and the editor clipped out 17K words of extra modifiers and other verbiage not essential to the story. Important to me, I recognized those cuts as the same things I cut when I edit MY first drafts. So if Heinlein needed those cuts, I realized there is no deficiency in me needing those cuts. Nor you, when that time comes. Nor anyone else here. However, it's a good idea for us to eventually recognize what those cuts should be, or find an editor to get the process rolling. :)

Being concerned our writing needs improvement is healthy, so long as it doesn't get to the point where it leads to stifling self-doubt. While I don't particularly assign any weight to praise of my writing which comes from family or friends, something a friend told me a few years ago was a confidence shot in the arm for me. He'd just finished reading my first novel, and he called me at 11:30 that evening, while I was on vacation. I'll never forget what he said: "I was really surprised. You don't read a novel written by a friend and expect it to be as good as books by popular authors". This is a plain-spoken guy who would NOT say that just to bump a friend's ego. I got that boost, and I'm passing it along to you. You can write well, so get on with it. ;-)

Aha, I found the post with the sample paragraph I showed as the original and the edited version.

Since I don't know some basics of grammar, formatting since I haven't had any formal training in creative writing (except for a semester in high school) I can get wrapped up knowing the basics. Small things that stress me out and don't need to. I will learn that in time. I see your point about the 80/20 rule, Im wasting time and energy focusing on small things I will learn as I continue to write- it slows down the productivity because it's not worth the effort sweating over.
I made straight A's in English, and very little I learned in school about grammar assists my writing. What DOES assist it is having read tons of stuff, and thereby having a feel for what gets published from good authors. The most useful technical things I've learned about writing would hardly have been covered in school. My most common thought as I write comes from Isaac Asimov, who stressed clarity.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Reading your comments is like looking into a mirror. You have a piece of clay. You pull it that way, it's not right, you push it that way, it's still not right ... but you still have a piece of clay.

I had a bad day yesterday. I went back and read a 25 year old piece of work and it made me want to throw away my pottery wheel. I could go through it and strike out all the unnecessary words, all the filter words, all the overly complicated sentences and so on, but there was something about it that bothered me: It was much broader and much deeper than ANYTHING I've written recently. What I write in one paragraph, I could stretch out into a whole page, and not in a 'padding' sense, in a deepening and broadening sense. It's what I've been fighting to get back.

One thing I have realised, and it worries me somewhat, is once I've written something, I find it very difficult to see around it. I've likened it before to a crossword puzzle. You put that word in and it turns out to be wrong but no matter how hard you try to wipe that incorrect word from your head, it still keeps popping in and blocking your thoughts.

But ... I still have a piece of clay. It's just a different piece of clay. It'll be the same for you and it's the same for every writer. What you are experiencing is the deciding wall. You either look up at it and consider it insurmountable or you get a bigger sledge hammer and deal with it. That's the difference between vranger, bdcharles, indianroads and me. That wall beat me while they broke through with determination, and I'll be damned if it's going to beat me again.

It's up to you now. I know you can do it. Do you?
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
Somewhere here a few months ago I posted a sample of what I'm about to mention below. I need to redo it sometime as a blog so I can find it without an hour-long dredge through my post history. LOL

Due to some work I'm doing with The Heinlein Society, I'm privy to scanned documents of first drafts and what came back from Heinlein's editor. (If you don't know who Heinlein was, look him up). Last year I wrote a sequel to one of his novels, and in the process got quite interested in his thought process and writing for that novel. I had read elsewhere that he wrote a 100K word draft, but only 83K words were published. The book (Citizen of the Galaxy) is my favorite sci-fi book, so I'm wondering: Am I missing three or four chapters that were cut before publication?

I learned the novel had been published in four sections as a magazine serial before it was printed in book form. I found the magazine issues in Google's archive and read them. There was no new material there. The only "extra material" was the intro in the last three issues to recap "the story up until now". It was later in the year before I had access to the scanned documents, and of course I then quickly found the Citizen of the Galaxy manuscripts to check them out. I found out what happened to those 17K words. The felt-tipped marker got them. This is a man who had been successful for 20 years, already an award-winning author, and the editor clipped out 17K words of extra modifiers and other verbiage not essential to the story. Important to me, I recognized those cuts as the same things I cut when I edit MY first drafts. So if Heinlein needed those cuts, I realized there is no deficiency in me needing those cuts. Nor you, when that time comes. Nor anyone else here. However, it's a good idea for us to eventually recognize what those cuts should be, or find an editor to get the process rolling. :)
Never hear of him tbh. But I don't read sci-fi really

Being concerned our writing needs improvement is healthy, so long as it doesn't get to the point where it leads to stifling self-doubt. While I don't particularly assign any weight to praise of my writing which comes from family or friends, something a friend told me a few years ago was a confidence shot in the arm for me. He'd just finished reading my first novel, and he called me at 11:30 that evening, while I was on vacation. I'll never forget what he said: "I was really surprised. You don't read a novel written by a friend and expect it to be as good as books by popular authors". This is a plain-spoken guy who would NOT say that just to bump a friend's ego. I got that boost, and I'm passing it along to you. You can write well, so get on with it. ;-)
Hahaha, he sounds blunt. Those are the best kinds of friends. And thanks, I will try not to let my self critic eat my soul too much ;)
Aha, I found the post with the sample paragraph I showed as the original and the edited version.
II did look at that post. I did see the difference, the paragraph was cleaned up a bit.
I made straight A's in English, and very little I learned in school about grammar assists my writing. What DOES assist it is having read tons of stuff, and thereby having a feel for what gets published from good authors. The most useful technical things I've learned about writing would hardly have been covered in school. My most common thought as I write comes from Isaac Asimov, who stressed clarity.
The more I write the more I ed like a writer. I try to get some answers to my basic questions by looking at general formatting. Work in progress. lol
. Honestly, I just go back into reading novels once I started writing again. So I don't have my walls lined with a bunch of novels I've read over the years. Funny, in grade school, my reading was below average and I was put in a special class (for that and math) I got into reading Manga at age 11 then started reading regular novels before I knew it I was testing out and got an advanced score in reading on my state test sophomore year. Interesting though, writing score was barely proficient. Unfortunately reading didn't help with my awful spelling and grammar-and still isn't haha
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
Reading your comments is like looking into a mirror. You have a piece of clay. You pull it that way, it's not right, you push it that way, it's still not right ... but you still have a piece of clay.
Who knows, maybe you have influenced me a little too much ;)
I had a bad day yesterday. I went back and read a 25 year old piece of work and it made me want to throw away my pottery wheel. I could go through it and strike out all the unnecessary words, all the filter words, all the overly complicated sentences and so on, but there was something about it that bothered me: It was much broader and much deeper than ANYTHING I've written recently. What I write in one paragraph, I could stretch out into a whole page, and not in a 'padding' sense, in a deepening and broadening sense. It's what I've been fighting to get back.
I have a bad day constantly with my writing. It has been a genuine struggle lately for me...and it doesn't have to be. I do it to myself. I tend to be very analytical. it works in my favor helps me understand things and improve but also its a freaking nightmare. Like chill Kegan jeez...its writing not life or death.
I know what you are saying, you are technically better but there is a piece of soul that is missing in your new work. I feel that way about my artwork. I am much more proficient now than I was at 11/12/13 but the passion isn't the same, if it's even still there (hardly) pains to know it's gone and you don't know why or where it went. If I continued as I did at 11/12/13 I could be even better now. Hoping to pick up some art passion while writing. But currently, writing is hard enough on its own, I'm not ready to add another layer quite yet.
One thing I have realised, and it worries me somewhat, is once I've written something, I find it very difficult to see around it. I've likened it before to a crossword puzzle. You put that word in and it turns out to be wrong but no matter how hard you try to wipe that incorrect word from your head, it still keeps popping in and blocking your thoughts.

But ... I still have a piece of clay. It's just a different piece of clay. It'll be the same for you and it's the same for every writer. What you are experiencing is the deciding wall. You either look up at it and consider it insurmountable or you get a bigger sledge hammer and deal with it. That's the difference between vranger, bdcharles, indianroads and me. That wall beat me while they broke through with determination, and I'll be damned if it's going to beat me again.
That doesn't mean they didn't stop for a while or slow down at least. I stopped for several years, surely I seem like a baby to you but time is not always on our side, not even for the "young folk"
I was focused on other things but creating something still burned in the back of my mind. I'm back now and trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do. Everything else I tried felt wrong, I was constantly tormented wondering what it is that I'm supposed to do. I don't even know if this is it or if maybe just a piece of it, but I won't know unless I try.
It's up to you now. I know you can do it. Do you?
I can, as long I chose to. Its gotta be a constant choice.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Who knows, maybe you have influenced me a little too much ;)

I have a bad day constantly with my writing. It has been a genuine struggle lately for me...and it doesn't have to be. I do it to myself. I tend to be very analytical. it works in my favor helps me understand things and improve but also its a freaking nightmare. Like chill Kegan jeez...its writing not life or death.
I know what you are saying, you are technically better but there is a piece of soul that is missing in your new work. I feel that way about my artwork. I am much more proficient now than I was at 11/12/13 but the passion isn't the same, if it's even still there (hardly) pains to know it's gone and you don't know why or where it went. If I continued as I did at 11/12/13 I could be even better now. Hoping to pick up some art passion while writing. But currently, writing is hard enough on its own, I'm not ready to add another layer quite yet.

That doesn't mean they didn't stop for a while or slow down at least. I stopped for several years, surely I seem like a baby to you but time is not always on our side, not even for the "young folk"
I was focused on other things but creating something still burned in the back of my mind. I'm back now and trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do. Everything else I tried felt wrong, I was constantly tormented wondering what it is that I'm supposed to do. I don't even know if this is it or if maybe just a piece of it, but I won't know unless I try.

I can, as long I chose to. Its gotta be a constant choice.
All I was trying to point out is you are asking ALL the right questions of yourself. As I said, it's like looking into a mirror sometimes. Everything you say resonates with thoughts of my own, and that INCLUDES back then when my work felt broader and deeper. I've always been this way and always will be. You'll be the same and there will be times when it all gets too much. At the bottom of those inner demons is your posts. I was addressing what lay beneath the reason for your post rather than directly addressing the post itself :) Press on. You've got what it takes, rather like Benjamin Button. And I have a feeling, at some point in the future, you and him are going to need more advanced help than I can provide.

At that point, I'll HATE YOU!!!!!
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
All I was trying to point out is you are asking ALL the right questions of yourself. As I said, it's like looking into a mirror sometimes. Everything you say resonates with thoughts of my own, and that INCLUDES back then when my work felt broader and deeper. I've always been this way and always will be. You'll be the same and there will be times when it all gets too much. At the bottom of those inner demons is your posts. I was addressing what lay beneath the reason for your post rather than directly addressing the post
Suppose my "inner demons" show a little too much in my posts eh? Was not my intent to be obvious about such insecurity, but here we are. Something I will continue to battle with. I think I'm hitting a very important point in my writing journey and that's why it's been an extra struggle as of late. Seems bad, but its a good thing in a way...
itself :) Press on. You've got what it takes, rather like Benjamin Button. And I have a feeling, at some point in the future, you and him are going to need more advanced help than I can provide.

At that point, I'll HATE YOU!!!!!
😆 YEAH, WE'LL TOSS YOU TO THE CURB lol jk. Nah, you'll always have a good point to make, regardless of what "level" anyone is at. :)
 
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