A rant about writing

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A rant about writing

Post by Hirundo Bos Yesterday at 6:22 pm

I've spent the time since my internship ended, which is a little over five months ,working on little else than to improve my writing, but it's becoming harder and harder for me to get anything written at all. There's a good progression for first two or three paragraphs, and then it stops. I just write and delete, write and delete, write and delete. And I know that that's not how you're supposed to do it, but when I try to do the other thing, to just let it flow and worry about editing later, one of two things happen. Either I just can't think of any words at all, or whatever comes out is so disorganized, I can't even begin to shape into something coherent. It doesn't matter what type of text – personal letter, fiction, grant application, essay… forums posts, which is part of the reason why I haven't posted for quite a while... I write a few paragraphs, and then I'm stuck.

I've sort of latched on to writing as the only thing I can do fairly well, put a lot of my self-worth into it, comforted myself with the thought that some day in the future, I'll be good enough and disciplined enough that I can actually finish up projects and have them published.

It's almost like I'm back to where I was eight years ago, when I first made an effort to write every day, and to stick with a writing session for a set amount of time, whether I was making any progress or not. The intent was mostly to desensitize myself to the raging anxiety and frustration that came with being stuck, because anxiety and frustration made it even harder to write. And it worked, slowly, gradually… I became better at calming myself down, access my own thought, put some structure to my material that allowed me to move on… but it seems like I've forgotten all of it now and I'm as frustrated and anxious as ever.

I'm frustrated and anxious right now, and angry at myself, and not sure where to move on from here.

(Marked as rant more than request for advice, but mostly because I can't see any questions inherent in the post. If some of you can spot questions I wasn't aware of myself, feel free to answer them. Although as mentioned, the most common advice in these situations, the "just let it flow and worry about editing later", is something that doesn't quite seem to work.)
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Hirundo Bos

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Re: A rant about writing

Post by KMR Yesterday at 11:53 pm

I wonder if the stress and anxiety during the act of writing is causing you to be more critical of your work in that moment than you normally would be? If that's the case, maybe when you get to that point where you feel like you want to delete what you just wrote, you could instead save and close the document and take a step back, take your mind off writing for a bit, then come back later and re-read what you wrote to see if you still feel the same way about it. That way instead of deleting all that work, you might find that there's something salvageable there and it might help you feel like you're making some progress in the long run (even if it's small, gradual progress, it's better than nothing).
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