Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Going Backwards

Insecure Writer's Support Group is a blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh where totally insecure writers can get together and share the things that are making us go argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        This month I've been looking through previous drafts of my current WIP and it struck me that the writing in these drafts may well be better than anything I'm currently producing. The plot may have improved through lots of painstaking editing but I feel the writing itself has, at the very least, plateaued. My writing and reading habits haven't changed. I still read articles on writing and have thought about taking a writing class on and off. But I know what I was like as a student. I was one of those kids who either got it right away or my brain would close like a steel trap and I'd be stuck. No matter how much I'd work at something it just ended up going nowhere fast,
        It makes me wonder whether writing skill is like aptitude for art or sports where some people just tend to be born with the goods while others can work hard to improve their skills but there will always be a limit to what they can achieve. I hope not because it probably means I'm at the end of my line creatively and that could be kind of a bummer.

9 comments:

  1. Don't judge it all too harshly if you're still working on the ms. It's hard to be objective. Just keep going, get the story down, get the plot sorted, then you can go back and spruce up the writing itself. Hang in there!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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  2. Trust me, it's learned. There is a spark of pre-skill - storytelling ability. But the mechanics can be learned. Maybe you need a critique group or a writing group to push you to the next level?

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  3. Have you thought of investing in an editor? It costs, but the trouble should be worth it. It also means that you're committed to getting the thing out instead of just faffing around with the idea that you might self publish one day. Critique groups are all very well, but the members are the same as you, not professionals, and friends will just tell you what you want to hear. Neither can take you through the whole process, only make suggestions. If you're paying someone to make your book look the best it can, you'll take notice. So ask yourself which of your works you have the most faith in and commit yourself to that one. I have a friend who's a freelance editor. She's very good, as I know from her having edited something of mine for ASIM some years ago. If you're interested, email me and I'll give you the details.

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  4. I was just reading an article about something similar. It was saying that whether intelligence is innate or something that grows over time, it's the mindset that really matters. Apparently, having a "growth mindset" makes a really big difference in the long run. So if you look at your writing abilities as something that can grow and improve over time, you'll be better off than if you think of them as fixed. (This is the link to that article, btw)

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  5. I doubt you can just hit a plateau and never be capable of writing any better. I felt that way years ago, but I've progressed FAR beyond that level! Maybe read books by authors known for their wordsmithing abilities, or find a really good book on writing craft. It could mean you need to figure out how to break through to the next level instead of waiting around for it to just happen to you.

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  6. *pom poms* Cheer up, Lan! Of course you're not in the end of your creative line - we can still evolve in our writing! My Creative Writing class was fun but I didn't learn much about writing. More on how to create good plots, tone, and stuffs like that. Sometimes it helps to read good book and take notes from it or do writing exercise like a story told from different POV. It can refresh your mind and when you get back to your writing, you can see it from different perspective! Of course, having proofreaders around help as well. :) Let me know if there's anything I can help you with! Best of luck! :)

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  7. I don't think that our writing skills set and stay that way. They definitely grow and evolve as we do. Maybe you just need a different perspective or inspiration to hit you, to nudge you off your well-worn path a little. *waves* Your cabin believes in you!

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  8. Some days the writing feels that way. Like your best is behind you. But keep writing! It's usually just a phase, a mood we writers get in. And remember writing is really about rewriting. Get the words down, and then you can find ways to be brilliant with them.

    By the way, I think your owl background is just adorable!

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  9. I dont think you his a plateau. You're probably doing great, and just can't see it.

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