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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

*negativity :P

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

This happens to every artist.

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