My writing playlists or my cringe factor over listening to forty year old songs at random times
That majesty is too much for me to bear. if bad books are as bad as bad fan fic or bad movies…
You just have to find the bad book. Not like, just a bad book. It’s your personal hell. That one book you want to shove down the author’s mouth (plus points if the author is a dick)
I specifically own a book (from this woman in my country) that I pick up whenever I feel down or not confident. Because if this woman, a TV presenter, decided to publish a romance where the final scene consists of the female protagonist sitting butt naked on a bidet and the male protagonist telling to her face while she washed herself ‘my grandmother used to tell me a man knows he loves a woman when he sees her naked on the bidet’ AND WALK TALL AND PROUD then I can sit my ass on my computer and write my damn story
LOL, that’s bow fifty shades of grey gets me! Mostly it makes me mad and hopeless lmao.
Out of spite, really. I keep telling myself that there are worse stories than mine out there.
I used to feel like this too. I decided to write for myself. 100%. For years I didn’t talk about the fact that I wrote stories and I didn’t show them to anyone. Learning how to write for myself helped. I stopped worrying and I just had fun.
So I still write with that mentality. It’s all for me and I don’t have to show it to anyone if I don’t wanna. I can keep it to myself and no one will ever know about it. Or, I can go through a bunch of editing sessions and then release it to the world.
But I still start with the same agenda: I write only for me.
There will always be that little bit of insecurity in every author, whether it be wondering if their work is original enough, or their characters interesting enough, or the future of their novel bright enough. And yes–while insecurity can induce anxiety, hopelessness, and writing plateaus–insecurity does some good, believe it or not. Without insecurities ideas cannot flourish. There would be no room for questioning ideas and plot progression and changing aspects of your story that you deem unfit. You are allowed to question your story, and look at parts and sentences and dislike them. That is completely normal.
And, similar to anything new that is being made, your novel must have prototypes. Ugly, weird prototypes that are incoherent and stupid. The common smartphone, at its heart, was probably a screen with exposed wires and rough glass and an operating system that barely operated. Obviously, the common smartphone is now refined way beyond its point of creation, and that’s expected. But it still had meat to cook. It still had a brief and a screen, and people to test it, and goals to achieve. Without having something there to work on, your novel will never become a novel. That could even be an entire first draft that is terrible, illegible.
In saying this, it’s impossible to expect a first draft to ever be perfect. It will never be perfect, or ready for publishing, but it has to happen. You’re going to have to let it happen. You’re going to have to write that terrible first draft. You’ll want to edit 80,000 okay words into 80,000-or-less good/even better words, rather than sit on 10,000 good words that have been refined constantly as a model for the next 70,000. That is going to be agonising, and your novel will never get done, or past the first stage. Sometimes a book must be edited 1 or 2 times over fully to be completely ready. But don’t do the editing as you write.
Regarding your ideas, I read somewhere that out of two ideas, the one you don’t pick is the better one. I totally understand this. It isn’t necessarily ‘better’, but I think it broils down to knowing your favoured idea TOO much to the point that it gets boring. Then, that other one has you thinking well what if? and then you start to make if happen and totally forget about your first story. To avoid this:
- Stop refining your story. Keep writing it. Seeing the same lines over and over will bore you. That fun is for the editing stage.
- Don’t ignore your other piece. You’re allowed to have more than one story. If you have a fantastic idea for your other story, write it down! The best authors in the world have written way more stories than just their ‘defining piece’. But, ultimately, you have a main project, which is what you’re writing currently. While you can abandon it, you really don’t want to. You will never know if it’s good if you abandon it. Keep writing.
In the end, you’re allowed to write ‘bad’. You’re allowed to have a first draft like this:
And then she did this. [something about a witty comeback; characters laugh]
Some can’t even communicate their ideas into writing. They have to pay people to do it for them. And then these people that are paid to do such aren’t superior to yourself; they, too, start with bad writing, which they refine into a story. It’s normal. It’s writing.
Also: plan as much as you need to get that first draft. I usually advise against planning so intricately that you know what will happen in every little scene, because sometimes you need the story to drive itself. If you get bogged down in planning, you won’t want to write. Story gets abandoned. You’ll move onto the next one.
Remember, there will always be people ready to read your novel at ANY of its stages. First chapter, first scene, first draft, last draft. And then these people have different expectations, and are subsequently different audiences. Someone reading your first draft is probably there to critique it, and won’t expect some grand novel. And how rewarding will it be (and feel!) to have that same reader read your last draft and comment on how beautifully it progressed over time. Just keep writing!
Regular sacrifices to satan
You come up with a plot you actually like and want to write about.
I am not at all confident, but I love writing the ends, so I love finishing stories. My main rule is not to post it till it’s done, because nobody liking it is a huge soul-crusher.
cough I look at the badboy/psycho billionaire stories on this damn website cough cough
I don’t (stay confident). I’m just stubborn. When I get to the point where I start hating my plot/characters/prose, I just fuel myself with spite and anger.
That’s relatable. I think it’s safe to say that all writers struggle with that at some point in time.
While I have self-doubt, I do manage to stay somewhat confident by just the fact that I can’t please everyone. I get the story done by being passionate about what I’m writing about and the fact that I’m writing something I would want to read. These two things help me get through the writing process.
Thank you! I’m always worried I won’t pick the “right” or best story choices, ones that I wouldn’t think of but then someone could mention later and I’d regret not doing it. But those are really “what if” thoughts.
I also struggle with this and, although I haven’t quite discovered a cure for it, I find that focusing on writing the story helps. Putting your story out to the world is a very personal thing so its natural for you to feel this way. But, as long as you’re writing and producing something that you feel is good, then the rest doesn’t matter. Finding confidence as a writer takes a long time and a lot of practice.
Wish you the best!