Author Topic: Things about writing that drive me crazy.  (Read 1986 times)

Offline A.W.M

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Things about writing that drive me crazy.
« on: October 07, 2010, 12:28:20 PM »


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                 Things About writing that drive me crazy.


The voices:

I worked on this short story for weeks.  When it was complete, a voice said, “That isn’t very good, you could have done better…maybe not.  Still, it stinks.”

“Where on earth did you get the idea you were a writer?  Seriously, you think anyone wants to read that drivel?  What editor is going to take time to read that trash, much less gum up his presses with such nonsense?”

“Didn’t you just finish reading the best seller by that well known author?  Did you somehow miss the smooth sentences, the flow of paragraph after paragraph?  How perfectly everything he wrote seemed to come from upon high.  A genius, no doubt.  Then…then you have the nerve to think you can write?  Please.”


I’m an idiot:

I have finished the story, hit the submit button, then the panic sets in.  Doom, depression.  What have I done?  I’ll be the laughing stock around the coffee machine as the editors discuss the slush pile of the day.  Is there any way to stop the transmission?  At least if I had used snail-mail, I could have camped out next to the mail box until the mailman appeared.  As soon as he opened the box, I could have jumped him, ripped the envelope from his grasp, and escaped with my story clutched in shaking hands, as I raced for the shredder.  But how to stop my story, now traveling at warp speed through cyberspace?

I am feeling sick.  I promise I will never write another word.

The story complete, set aside for awhile, and then reviewed. Spelling, typos, and grammar are checked.  I read the story aloud; I read it backwards, forward, sideways.  Everything looks in order, no reason not to hit the submit button.  There, it’s done.  Oh, hell, I just noticed two misspelled words, the formatting is off, and there are too many spaces after that sentence in paragraph two.  I am feeling sick again. 

I have had enough, I’m not writing another word, trust me.

I gave in and wrote another story. 

I know, I know.  I swore I would never write again.  It’s like being out with friends, drinking until the early hours of the morning, just minutes before you have to be off to work.    You ask your God to please make you better, quick.  You swear you will never again drink to excess.  Your prayer is not answered until after a terrible day at work, a cold shower and eight hours sleep.  Then, the next evening, your prayer finally answered, you are ready to do it all over again. 

And so it is with writing.   

Most people live and die
with their music still unplayed.
They never dare to try.

~ Mary Kay Ash

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: Things about writing that drive me crazy.
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 07:11:09 PM »
AWM, I don't know if it will help or not, but a rather successful editor once told a group of us, writers and wannabes all, "Take your internal editor, stuff him in a bottle, put the cork in nice and tight, then throw him into the deep blue see."

His advise hasn't always helped me, but occasionally, I have managed to stuff the blighter into that bottle and tossed him as far from me and my computer as possible - hoping he can't find his way back.  ;) 
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I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
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Offline thatollie

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Re: Things about writing that drive me crazy.
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010, 07:13:12 PM »
I'm surprised you didn't figure it all out sooner.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline A.W.M

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Re: Things about writing that drive me crazy.
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 08:35:09 PM »
Country4Gal, that is indeed great advice.  I think we all face the inner critic more times  than we would like to admit.  it does, however, keep us humble.

thatollie, I don't think it is that I haven't figured it out, but just that I wanted to put into words what many writers go through as they pound away at the keyboard.  It was a bit tongue in cheek, so to
speak.  That being said, there is no doubt in my mind that all writers face the internal critic now and then, if they are serious about their writing.  We just must remember to make sure he understands who the hell is in charge.   

Thanks to both of you for taking the time to comment.  I enjoy  your input. 

I do, by the way, have that internal editor stuffed into an empty wine bottle, one of many, tightly corked and locked away out of  sight.   

 
Most people live and die
with their music still unplayed.
They never dare to try.

~ Mary Kay Ash

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: Things about writing that drive me crazy.
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 10:35:06 PM »
Quote
I do, by the way, have that internal editor stuffed into an empty wine bottle, one of many, tightly corked and locked away out of  sight.   

Good for you.  ;D

Some years back I took part in a workshop doing The Artist's Way.

One of the assignments was to imagine what our inner critic looked like, name it, draw/sketch its picture to put a face to it and take away its power.  I named my Ol' Noggin Knocker.

Shortly after that I was in a shop that sold ceramic/clay figures ready to be painted.  Going along, looking at all the choices on the shelves, and there he sat - almost the twin to what I had drawn.

Naturally I had to take him home and give him a paint job.  Now he sits on a shelf near my desk top so that I can give him what for whenever the mood strikes.

Or, I can turn him to wall, cover him up or whatever strikes my fancy at the moment.  ;D

Forgot to say earlier - I liked you piece and can easily relate.   
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Offline missybie

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Re: Things about writing that drive me crazy.
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2010, 12:08:16 AM »
Hi AWM!

I love your piece... I know what you mean although I am no writer. My critic is myself mostly and second my husband but I think husband doesn't counts as he will say like the previous ones I wrote "very good". He just saying not to offend me *sighs*...

Thanks for sharing.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Things about writing that drive me crazy.
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2010, 04:21:25 AM »
I love your piece... I know what you mean although I am no writer. My critic is myself mostly and second my husband but I think husband doesn't counts as he will say like the previous ones I wrote "very good". He just saying not to offend me *sighs*...

The Internal Editor has his uses, but , as with 'real world' people, it takes time to learn when the suggestions are good for you, and when they definitely aren't.   Sometimes the advice can even be good, but not appropriate to what you are trying to produce.

The trick lies in learning how to turn him off during the creative process, and then listening to him when editing.

Missy:  (And anyone else who doubts the sincerity of their family.)  Comments from spouses and family can be very helpful at times.  Unless they are just natural born flatterers.  But bear in mind the fact that unless they also write they are commenting only as readers.  This is no bad thing in its own way, because they'll 'know what they like', but they may not be able to offer advice on how to make it even better.  So look on them as part of your 'support system' rather than trying to turn them into professional colleagues.

Alice's idea of personifying the IE is a great one if it works for you.  It also channels the more destructive side of your own imagination into something useful ;-)

Best wishes,

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline DC

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Re: Things about writing that drive me crazy.
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2010, 03:55:45 PM »
Gyppo, I  assume that 'IE' means Internal Editor, and not a certain Microsoft application... Though I can certainly see the point in channelling the destructive side of one's imagination toward the latter... ;D

Oops, sorry for hijack; back to thread...
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to
skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - open throttle in the other -
body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming : "Woo Hoo, what
a ride!"

Offline A.W.M

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Re: Things about writing that drive me crazy.
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2010, 05:44:25 PM »
Alice, I wish I were able to draw, perhaps I could post a picture of what my internal editor looks like.  I did try a photo of him, corked tightly in the bottle, but as I dialed my camera down to macro, for a close up, and snapped the picture, my lens exploded.  No doubt he has powers I was unaware of.  We are not on speaking terms, and at times I must admit, I have tormented him for my own pleasure.  After several glasses of wine, I have been known to position the bottle on the floor and roll it to and fro with my foot.  I get great pleasure watching as he is tossed about like some rag doll inside the bottle.

Perhaps we could be friends, if he wasn’t so damn ugly and unpleasant.  

The fellow is not more than a few inches in height.  He has shaggy eyebrows, and cat like eyes that seem to glow yellow when he is angry.  His hair is long and matted, as if he has no comb.  His teeth, the few that remain, are yellow and tobacco stained.  He has a very large nose, red with blue veins, a large wart at the very tip from which a long curly hair has sprouted.  Did I mention the hair growing out of his pointed ears?

So you see, he is destined to spend his miserable life in a wine bottle, an empty one at that.

Alice, post a picture of your dear internal editor.  

Missy, as Gyppo said, having friends or relatives review your work is not necessarily a bad thing.  I do feel they are less likely to be honest with you for fear of hurting your feelings.  I would insist they read more than the morning comic section of the newspaper if they are going to comment on my writing.  There are so many people today whose reading does not go beyond the newspaper, text messages, or e-mails.  

By the way, Missy, did I detect a bit of an internal editor in part of your post: “I know what you mean although I am no writer.”  Quick, get the bottle and a cork.  You are, you know. a writer.  So come right out and admit it.  Surely, if you are a member of MWC, you write, and doing so makes you a writer.

Okay.  I’m going to have a glass of wine now, maybe two…or more.  Then the fun will begin.  That little so and so better hang on.

Evening.

 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 09:47:26 AM by AWM »
Most people live and die
with their music still unplayed.
They never dare to try.

~ Mary Kay Ash