Any other writers who like to beat themselves up?

2 years, 2 months ago

Let me start with some background: I’m a writer who has found a couple nuggets of success. (Couple of short stories published, a book contract that I impulsively backed out of, once got a 3 dollar check for something I wrote, and I wrote a column for a tiny newspaper for 50 dollars a week. Stephen King, watch yer back.)

Anyway, I’ve been writing for ten years and I’ve noticed a funny thing. As much as I love writing — this might sound pretentious but if I don’t write I feel like I don’t exist — I constantly kick the crap out of myself (mentally, of course) over the quality of my stuff.

I look back on pieces/stories that I wrote that got really good responses and I think, “Good christ I suck so effing horribly.”

I feel like a battered wife in a Lifetime movie. I love writing but it kicks my ass.

Any other writers who feel the same way?

December 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm

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Profile photo of Brandon Phillips Brandon Phillips (@brandonphillips) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

I haven’t had anything published but I write songs and speeches and spoken word poetry for fun. I beat myself up all the time, over writings and drawings and paintings too. It’s because I compare my original stuff to really good more experienced artists and it just makes mine look like crap. Every now and then I will come up with something that I’m proud of but for the most part I beat myself up with disatisfaction.

Profile photo of Mike Mike (@mtdeffely) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

@quig, I definitely have this happen to me sometimes. I am new to writing as far as publicly shared material. Although I have been working on a few blogs and love to just explore different styles of writing.

But I do go back sometimes and just think “wow what the hell was going through my head” haha

but im learning to just go with the flow and not worry about it.

Profile photo of Kidd Kidd (@kidd) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

I feel the same way!

But, I realized recently that when you look back on your old work and think “amg, what was I thinking, this is freaking terrible” it means you’ve gotten better. It means you’re always getting better.

Profile photo of Quig Quig (@quig) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

It’s always nice to see others suffering as well. Heh.

Profile photo of Stoney Baloney Stoney Baloney (@adamm0ss) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

Well if you looked at everything you wrote as a MASTERPIECE, you would probably not get very far. I think having that eye for perfection and never reaching it is necessary for good work, not just for writing but any type of art.

Profile photo of E.C.F. Doyle E.C.F. Doyle (@chekovchameleon) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

@quig, I think this is just part of being a writer, or an artist of any genre for that matter. It used to really annoy me that I could never be totally happy with my writing, but then I realised, if you’re always beating yourself up it means that you are striving for perfection and can only help your writing in the long run, provided you are dealing with your negatively constructively.

Profile photo of E.C.F. Doyle E.C.F. Doyle (@chekovchameleon) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

*negativity :P

Profile photo of oldschool oldschool (@oldschool) 2 years, 2 months ago ago

This happens to every artist.

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