Sunday, September 15, 2013

Advice on negative self talk when writing

Ok, so I have been busy with school, work and writing; and yes that is three separate things. I have recently for the past couple of days been successfully writing a thousand words per day, and I didn't feel as if it was ruining my story or I was pushing myself too fast. So, why am I doubting myself?

Well, I can't quite answer that question, but I don't have a lot of confidence in my writing which is a shame because I am not  a bad writer. Due to this predisposition towards negative self talk, I decided to have my friends and family member read my writing and let me know what their first impressions were. The first person was my friend, after she read the opening of my book she loved it. She even went on to say that she wanted to know what happened because I only sent an excerpt of the first chapter. At first I was excited, but then I started to think, she's my friend of course she's going to be positive about my writing. Talk about unrealistic expectations. My friend was genuinely taken aback by my writing and I still trying to come up with a reason for why it wasn't as good as I or she thought it was.

 Next I tried my aunt, who is a voracious reader and has a very critical eye. After she read the book, she first said that it caught her attention and made her want to keep reading. She did make a couple of comments on there being certain words that didn't fit or there being too much information (science fiction book) and I can understand that. When she pointed out these quirks I thought, great, I'm actually not putting my book down for once. I welcomed the criticism, but I also felt like I learned something from here opinions. She overall liked the book.

So, do I still doubt myself? Yes and no, I think I will always doubt myself at least until I have the book finished. I am a hard core procrastinator, so unless the book is finished I will always have a critical eye on what I write and on whether it can be better or not. On the flip side, I feel more confident in the fact that I know I have good writing skills that entertain others. I am no literary genius but then again, I don't want to write those kinds of books. I want books that help people grow and gives them something to feel good about.

One advice I would give those that have this problem is to get someone that you can trust, someone that understands the structure of good writing  and have them read and critique your work. Having someone you trust and someone that respects you would be your best option. If you have a mentor such as a Teacher or Professor, even better but not necessarily needed.

"Without conflict you haven't got a story" -- JK Rowling

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