Self-Conscious Writers

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SELF-CONSCIOUS WRITERS

That's right, I'm talking about self-conscious writers. And I don't mean the people who look in the mirror and think they're so ugly, or aren't proud of their talents. I'm not here to talk about that.

What I'm here to talk to about are the people who look at their writing, their own creation, and are disgusted. They begin to think they're terrible at writing because they don't have as many reads or votes as THAT person.

Back in my chapter about first drafts, I mentioned that it was okay to look back and be disgusted, because you can see how far you've come. What I'm talking about NOW are comments from writers like this:

"Ugh! I can't write anything because I'm a crappy writer!"

"Sorry for the new update, I know it's awful."

"I don't want to post it, because it's horrible and awful and you'll hate it!"

"I don't get enough votes or comments, so my story must be terrible."

(I could go on and on)

I have a few points to make:

1. Re-evaluate what you're writing for. -I mean it. Why did you start writing in the first place? Was it a way to express your emotions, or a way to escape into your own world? Was it because you loved to read and just had a passion to create your own story? Ask yourself WHY you began in the first place, and any time you get in a slump, remind yourself. If you write just for the votes, maybe it's time to try writing a book and NOT post it on Wattpad. See how you do without relying on people's votes to make you happy. You'll be surprised; it's very relieving! Not having to stress about if it will get votes or not.

2. You don't write for the votes, you write for YOU. -I think many Wattpad writers struggle with this. On here, it all seems to be about the votes and the reads, and who's on the "What's Hot" list. I'll admit, I've struggled with not having votes as well. It can be disappointing, especially when you see how happy those writers seem who have millions of reads. You just have to keep in mind what I said in point 1, and remember that NOBODY else understands the passion you have for writing better than you and that you alone know truly why you began writing. Don't stop just because you don't have enough votes. You write to let our your emotions, to be free, to escape to a different world, or even to express your passion for words. Many writers go into a slump in writing or "writers block" simply because they're afraid of what other's might think. Don't let this happen! You don't even have to post your story, but if you do then you shouldn't be afraid of what other people say. (Read #4 for more on this)

3. Don't you DARE say you are horrible. -You know those people who are absolutely stunning, yet they always say they're so ugly? No matter how many times you reassure them, they always deny it and say they're ugly. It starts to get on your nerves. And you know, the thing about those stunning people is, the more they say something it to themselves the more they start to believe it. They may truly believe they're ugly. In the same way, writers who tell themselves over and over that they're horrible soon begin to believe it. Don't let this happen to you. You don't have to think you're the greatest author in the world and are better than everyone else (that'd be kinda vain), but know that you write for a reason and that you enjoy writing. If you acknowledge that you have room to improve? Even better. Then you can seek for ways to improve your skills and become a truly talented author.

4. Bad reviews. -Yikes, I think this one has caused many, many writers to begin to see themselves as horrible. I mean, if you write long enough and you post your work for other people to see, you're bound to get some awful mean reviews saying your work is a piece of garbage. I've gotten reviews like that. IT HURTS. Trust me, I'm not going to tell you it doesn't. Don't take it so personally, because everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I'm not telling you to trash their comment either and completely ignore it, or reply in the same way. But what you have to do is try and see from that person's perspective. What don't they like about your story? Consider if you think that's a problem, if you don't then don't change it. However, if you do notice it's a problem, don't stop yourself from changing it just because you're angry at that person who made the comment and you don't want to give in to what they're saying. Some people don't know how to be polite, but you have to show them that you aren't afraid to be polite back to them. As writers, we WILL receive bad reviews. We have to be prepared, and you can't let just one or two reviews influence you to throw your work down the drain. Now, if you get a multitude of bad reviews on the same thing, it would be in your best interest to try and figure out what they're talking about so you can improve it, even if you don't really think it's wrong.

5. People will be better. -You have to keep this in mind, that there are going to be people who are more advanced in writing than you are. This is O-K-A-Y. As a matter of fact, it's good. This way, we strive to learn more about writing and advance our skill, instead of thinking we're the best and don't need to improve. Don't ever let this fact get to your head though and convince you that you shouldn't be writing. DON'T. Even those people who are "better" than you get horrible reviews also and have people who hate their writing, so this shows that no writer is perfect. We all have our own style, and that's my next point.

6. Hold on to your own style. -Despite the fact that I'm here, giving you tips about how to improve your novel writing, you need to keep your style YOU. I don't mean that you should go off and ignore grammar or only include conversation and no detail or feeling with the excuse that it's "your style." What I mean is, often as writers we tend to read a book we love and then we want to write exactly like that writer does, because we think they're amazing. The truth is, that's not going to happen. You can try, but most likely you will fail. We've all been through different things that make us see the world differently, and since writing is often an expression of our feelings and dreams, the way everybody expresses it will different. So stop trying to write like Suzanne Collins or J.K. Rowling, or anybody you admire. It's okay to admire and learn from these writers, and to improve your writing because of them, but don't be disappointed when your writing doesn't imitate how they write. Believe me, I know how frustrating it can be. All I want is to be able to write a romance like Nicholas Sparks does with A Walk to Remember. I love how he wrote that book, with so much emotion and it was so riveting, but I have to face the facts that my writing is different from his. I write variously different, even though I can take a few tricks and ideas from his writing to equip in mine, it won't be the same.

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CHALLENGE: There really is no challenge to this chapter, except to read the above and take it to heart. Don't let yourself stop writing just because of the lack of votes or a few bad comments. Let this be an excuse for you to KEEP writing and improve your skill. You write for YOU.

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