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That Feeling You Get When You've Written Something and...


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..you think it might be rubbish.  However, you continue plodding away, hoping your boring drivel might appeal to someone, somewhere, somehow.  The further you get, the more you doubt. 

 

Woah, we're half way there
Woah, livin' on a prayer

 

Did you just give away 20 hours of your life?  

 

The question Monty asks is 'what's behind door #1 ?'

 

  • a sack of coal
  • toilet paper
  • A NEW CAR!!!

 

Decisions, decisions...

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3 minutes ago, Acogah W Swann said:

I think the only thing that might be worse than the uncertainty, is feeling confident you've written something great and it's not.

True...Although we wouldn't know if our work isn't great unless someone is kind enough to tell us. 🙂

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Did the story ricochet between your ears until you wrote it down? Did it seem to have a life of its own? That life form is worth honouring with study. Study your craft until the words do the story justice! 

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In many things in life, writing included, some of our efforts will be learning experiences rather than works of art. No matter where we are in learning a skill, we can be growing and learning and moving way beyond where we are now.

 

If we learn something from it, we haven't given away anything; we just gained something different from what we expected. It's okay; embrace the adventure.

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7 hours ago, Nicola said:

Did the story ricochet between your ears until you wrote it down? Did it seem to have a life of its own? That life form is worth honouring with study. Study your craft until the words do the story justice! 

Hi Nocola.  I don't know if I experienced any ricochet, but it was easy to write the first 5 chapters.  I've just stopped for now, waiting on my editor to read it and give me some guidance.  My editor is more like a cheerleader and texts me things like "I love it!  Continue with that plot"

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2 hours ago, Amosathar said:

I often feel that way, I certainly did with the latest chapter I wrote, that is until someone is gracious enough to offer their time to read it and tell me if I missed the mark.

Amos, me thinks the problem is that not everyone likes the same books, movies, food, etc. So Maybe you got the guy who has no taste buds.  Haters gonna hate.  IIRC, in statistics, to have any significance, there needs to be at least thirty in the test group.  I'll just think about the book for now and then if/when editor gives me a green light I will resume writing.

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1 hour ago, Wes B said:

In many things in life, writing included, some of our efforts will be learning experiences rather than works of art. No matter where we are in learning a skill, we can be growing and learning and moving way beyond where we are now.

 

If we learn something from it, we haven't given away anything; we just gained something different from what we expected. It's okay; embrace the adventure.

Good attitude, Wes.  You are a cup half full type of guy.  I have a tendency towards a glass half empty outlook which is likely a character flaw.

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5 minutes ago, Acogah W Swann said:

Amos, me thinks the problem is that not everyone likes the same books, movies, food, etc. So Maybe you got the guy who has no taste buds.  Haters gonna hate.  IIRC, in statistics, to have any significance, there needs to be at least thirty in the test group.  I'll just think about the book for now and then if/when editor gives me a green light I will resume writing.

I'm sorry, I don't think I understand what you are trying to say.

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3 hours ago, Amosathar said:

I often feel that way, I certainly did with the latest chapter I wrote, that is until someone is gracious enough to offer their time to read it and tell me if I missed the mark.

What if that someone had specific genres he or she liked and wasn't a fan of the category you chose?  I don't think we can get 30 people to proof read for us, so that was an exaggeration, but maybe have at least two people tell you it stinks before conceding

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58 minutes ago, Acogah W Swann said:

Good attitude, Wes.  You are a cup half full type of guy.  I have a tendency towards a glass half empty outlook which is likely a character flaw.

 

Thanks so much for the kind words. In reality, I'm an engineer/programmer who's neither half empty nor half full (I just recognize that you've selected the wrong-sized cup...)

 

I've been privileged to know many kinds of artists: painters, sculptors, potters, woodcarvers, etc., and have at least dabbled in each. Along with the engineers & programmers, all freely accept that we have to produce a lot of c$%p to develop any kind of craft, and that usually it's only a fraction of those who do that go on to produce real art. It's only some of the writers who seem surprised by this. That may or may not include you; not pointin' any fingers...

 

And while we all enjoy exploring without a plan, 'cuz it sometimes leads to exciting breakthroughs, it's only writers who are surprised when this more often produces c$%p even faster. That's just part of the experience...

 

I'm just sayin' that we can sometimes get too preoccupied with outcomes, when we all have to pay our dues & put in the time to learn. Sometimes it takes longer than we've expected, but those who do accomplish great things are those who kept going and put in the time. It's a good thing, but only when we look back at whatever progress we make.

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15 minutes ago, Wes B said:

I'm just sayin' that we can sometimes get too preoccupied with outcomes, when we all have to pay our dues & put in the time to learn. Sometimes it takes longer than we've expected, but those who do accomplish great things are those who kept going and put in the time. It's a good thing, but only when we look back at whatever progress we make.

I owned a financial services company for twelve years, that at its peak had 80 employees at one time,  I've hired hundreds of sales people.  The observation that I've made and the advice I give to younger people, is that it is not necessarily the people who have the most God given talent and abilities who succeed, but rather it is the people who face adversity and are willing continue to trudge through it.

 

Like a boxing gym.  On day one they throw you to the lions and give you a beating.  The reason being, is that they want to see what kind of heart you have.  if you show up the next day after taking the abuse then they welcome you to the gym.

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5 hours ago, Acogah W Swann said:

Amos, me thinks the problem is that not everyone likes the same books, movies, food, etc. So Maybe you got the guy who has no taste buds.  Haters gonna hate.  IIRC, in statistics, to have any significance, there needs to be at least thirty in the test group.  I'll just think about the book for now and then if/when editor gives me a green light I will resume writing.

For novels, the highest mark was 2%. 2% of the whole world bought something from one author. And the "something" could have been a book, the entire series, a ticket to one of the movies, a ticket to some, or to all, a wand, a wizard's hat, funky glasses, and other fan-favs. Yup. As big as Harry Potter was/is, Rowling only got 2% to buy her story.

The average, and only for those who get their stories all the way to "selling," is 3000 books.

 

I did send out queries to all the agents who (honestly) represent MGs and I could accept morally. 114 agents received my query. 58 responded in some kind of way. Not one accepted it, however three told me close-but-no-cigar. THAT made my whole series worth the effort, and I have five-and-a-half more novels to go. 😊

 

Put it into a test group and it is very possible no one would want to read it. How interested would you be to read a teddy bear epic? I have that one very cool thing going for me. I have the story most don't want to read, and I completely understand.

 

And yet, if Rowling can do 2% of the world, I'm good with .001%. 75,000? Yeah, I'd be okay with that. 😆

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Been reading through 1st 8 chapters of Ruth on train this weekend.

 

Some of it is OK  Some in need of rewording and some cutting or major rewrite. In short 2nd draft is going to need some serious work on it. At the moment I wouldn't show it.to my dog. 

 

The good news is this is how I feel with every novel I have written in the early stages so as the sing goes things can only get better. I hope.😃

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6 hours ago, Shamrock said:

 Some in need of rewording and some cutting or major rewrite.

This reminds me of how my mentor, a creative writing teacher in our local writing group, would gently let me know I had some clunky phrasing that needed to be fixed... she'd say, "You might want to revisit that sentence...." (or paragraph, or whatever).

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Posted (edited)

A little late to this party (story of my life).

 

I posted a meme in another topic that said "You know you're a writer when you think your manuscript is the worst crap ever written in the history of written words."

 

While that's extreme for laughs, sometimes we do need to come to terms with the fact that at least some of our work is crap.  And that's okay, just as long as we catch it before it's published. 😄

 

The thing that really gets to me, though, is when I write something that I didn't really put much thought into. It could be a benign transition of some sort, or a brief observation from a character, or whatever. Then suddenly readers chime in and think it's a brilliant piece of writing. My pride takes a hit because I know it was all unintentional, or by mistake, and that part(s) I did slave away at never get mentioned. 🙄    

Edited by Accord64
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46 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

The thing that really gets to me, though, is when I write something that I didn't really put much thought into. It could be a benign transition of some sort, or a brief observation from a character, or whatever. Then suddenly readers chime in and think it's a brilliant piece of writing. My pride takes a hit because I know it was all unintentional, or by mistake, and that part(s) I did slave away at never get mentioned. 🙄    

 

That's not just about writing; the whole world seems to work that way...

 

We see the work we put into various things, and we place value on our time, as we should. But the world sees our work in terms of whether their needs are met or not. That's all.

 

If we're familiar with the Pareto principle (sometimes called the 80/20 rule...) we'll expect we'll put a lot of effort into things that won't have much impact. While it's kinda' good advice to write what we're passionate about, that's incomplete in itself. We also might pay attention to what our audience wants, and find some overlap or at least some middle ground.

 

Many people stumble into a one-off that met peoples' needs with little effort, but they're never heard from again: everything from viral videos to one-hit-wonders in the music scene. These are just lucky gifts, that were wasted because their creators hadn't first developed their craft enough to build on a sudden burst of attention.

 

YouTube creator Tom Scott, who produces meticulously crafted, entertaining videos that look like simple, casual chats, got two big bursts of attention when he didn't know what to do with them. One was a quick parody of a government website that he set up as a kid, as a quick joke and the next day went viral around Britain. The second was a fun little quiz on a certain British quirk that got viewed by one out of ten of the people in his country. These things can just happen.

 

He now puts in some real work, though you can only spot it by studying his stuff carefully; he makes it look easy and casual, and that helps make it all fun. (Fun enough to get almost 4 million subscribers, and it's thoroughly well deserved...)

 

Anyway, while luck can be good, hard work is better, and strategic use of Pareto's principle to put the hard work where it actually matters is best. (Yes, that's easy to say... no, it's not so easy to do... not claimin' I've got it nailed down, by a long shot...)

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On 6/6/2021 at 8:39 AM, Accord64 said:

My pride takes a hit because I know it was all unintentional, or by mistake, and that part(s) I did slave away at never get mentioned. 🙄    

Accord, pride is not a good thing.  The bible says that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  I know everyone on here is not a Christian and I don't know what you believe, but I believe that God's strength works through our weakness, so it's not always our effort but God's that matters.  For example, there was a dramatic historic event that took place in the 1 Kings 18 with Elijah (who was all alone) and 450 prophets of Baal.  The 450 put in all kinds of effort from morning till noon and nothing happened.  Then Elijah accomplishes the task with just one short prayer.

 

God gives us talents and one of yours is the ability to write well.  For me, I just want to advance God's Kingdom.  I felt compelled to write a novel and wrote 74,000 words start to finish in 45 days.  I say if the published work stinks it's because of me, but if it is good then it is because of God and He gets all the credit.

 

TLDR: Nothing wrong with hard work but God is able to work through you to accomplish greatness with little effort, always give God the credit

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