Are you ever assailed with self doubt about your writing ability, or about the reasons for writing at all? Do you “follow yourself around nagging and suggesting and complaining”? What are some of the negative things your Editor tells you? What could your Editor say to be more encouraging? How do you encourage yourself to keep practicing the craft of writing?
The above is today’s Write on Wednesday prompt. (Visit the site to see what other writers have to say.)
I have a love-hate relationship with my “critic.” Like all critics, sometimes the less-than-glowing praise is well-founded. As a working editor who looks both at my own work and others, I’ve rarely seen something that can’t do with a little judicious cutting or rearranging. And when I am “writing to the word,” I can be rather ruthless, more often than not with excellent results.
I probably shouldn’t admit this in an online forum, but I don’t particularly worry about my “work” writing. In general, it involves little creativity – I’m typically working with little space and some hard facts, often taking basic info and dressing it up a bit. Of course I try to do it well, intelligently and accurately, but it’s not exactly like figuring out a plot or pithy comment.
Sometimes I feel like I’m a factory.
But I do agonize at times over other things I do. Letters. (Yes, I still write letters. With a pen. And a stamp.) More thoughtful personal pieces. My poetry.
I realized a long time ago that I probably lack the time, discipline and ultimately drive to write the wonderful book or compilation that will end up with an appearance on Oprah or a review in the New York Times. That was a tough one to deal with, because those things are often a matter of priority, and it’s hard to admit something isn’t at the top of the list.
My personal writing falls down the heap after family, my art-related things, daily life (which could be the house or garden or hanging out with a good friend.)
But that doesn’t stop me from looking at my personal writing saying, “This isn’t good enough to share.” Or, “Boy, that’s lame.” Or, “I’m glad I’m giving this to someone who’ll still love me, even if it’s not very good.”
Oddly enough, sharing on the blog is helping me deal with that. It’s also helping me write more. Better? Not necessarily. But by reading so many inspiring thoughts and seeing such turn of phrase as I encounter, I become more aware. And to me, that’s a good start.
What does your critic tell you? You may post here or if you want to write a longer post on this topic, leave us a link. And stop by Write on Wednesday and leave a link there, too!
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