How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

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noeinan
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How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#1 Post by noeinan » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:06 pm

I posted an overview of an adult scene I wrote a while back, but ended up deleting it after a few days with no replies. I have social anxiety, and was pretty convinced that my writing was total shit-- and the shame of my writing being bad made me unable to relax until I took it down.

I'm primarily and artist and programmer, and haven't done any story based writing since high school. However, because it's so hard to find people to collaborate with, I should try to write the story on my own. (I have heard that if you do the work others will come, but although I've started several projects and have done a great deal of work in both art and programming, I'm seeming to have a difficult time finding reliable writers who are interested.)

I feel like my lack of ability to write is holding me back, but my shame over being unable to write keeps me from improving. In addition, I really don't enjoy writing so it's even harder for me to practice-- but I don't want my projects to be hung up because I don't have a writer.

Does anyone have advice for me in this situation? I feel stuck and am not sure how to get out.
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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#2 Post by Godline » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:34 pm

I don't want to add to your anxiety at all but it's good that you're admitting your shortcomings! :)

There are numerous VNs out there that are the product of bad writing (or even MORE horrendous - spelling and grammar mistakes) and I commend you for not being one of them who doesn't care or not if they put out a crappy product. Ugh, I could go on a rant all day about this - if English is your second language FOR PETE'S SAKE GET HELP BEFORE RELEASING!!! PLEASE!!! For the love of all that is...

Ahem. Yes.

Why are you finding it hard to find people to collaborate with? :( Is it because you have a particular vision for a story? Or would you be willing to truly collaborate and share a new vision with others?

It's too bad so many writers are stuffy about co-writing, because that would give you ample opportunity to practice without having the weight of it all on yourself. (I like co-writing FYI, and I'm good with a shared burden, so if you wanted to message sometime feel free - I already have a few projects to finish but if you wanted to help out with any, I'd be more than willing for help).

But it's good. Play up your strengths. Not everyone can play at everything. Most writers like me are sucky artists and programmers. But thankfully for this forum we can meet talented peeps and be friends with them and create something truly beautiful. :)

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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#3 Post by Mad Harlequin » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:44 pm

daikiraikimi wrote:I feel like my lack of ability to write is holding me back, but my shame over being unable to write keeps me from improving. In addition, I really don't enjoy writing so it's even harder for me to practice-- but I don't want my projects to be hung up because I don't have a writer.

Does anyone have advice for me in this situation? I feel stuck and am not sure how to get out.
First and foremost, attend to your anxiety and feelings of shame. Your health is more important than any project.

I think you could practice by just writing your thoughts down---they don't have to be related to any of your projects. Focus on that kind of writing for a while, and you'll get more comfortable with the task.

You don't have to be The Next Big Thing to be a capable writer (or musician, or artist). It's also true that sometimes it can be hard to get attention when looking for help. People tend to pay attention to threads with a lot of pizazz, regardless of how much substance is actually there. It's not necessarily because your work is poor that you got no replies.

If you still feel you're not up to the task, don't worry! Godline's right. We all have talents and weaknesses. It's okay to ask for help.
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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#4 Post by OokamiKasumi » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:41 am

Darlin', the easiest way to get over this is by playing Terrible games, and reading awful stories. I am dead serious. Playing something truly awful will make you realize that you're really Not that bad.

Case in point: I just got finished playing a game where the creator apparently did not believe in capitalizing "I", as in "I am here." Nor did this creator believe in using periods -- at all. I wonder if English was their first language because not only were quite a few of the sentences pretty mangled, plus it was written entirely (and badly) in Present Tense, but a couple of the spelling mistakes were spectacularly bad. We're talking multiple additional letters that really didn't need to be there. The results were so bad, I couldn't even laugh at it -- and that was just the writing! I refuse to go into the...art.

As for your lack of comments...?
-- A lack of comments is a sign that you did something Right. Seriously. It's when you get something Wrong that everyone and their third cousin crawls out of the woodwork to say something about it. So no comments = "Good Job! They found nothing to complain about!"

Okay, so in short:
Point 1: There is always someone worse than You.
Point 2: People tend to comment tons when it's Crap, but rarely when it's Good.

Feel better?
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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#5 Post by Dread Lord » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:50 am

“Don't give in to your fears. If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart.”
- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.”
- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Coelho quotes aside, you really should deal with these feelings of shame or anxiety or any other personal quality you identify as a flaw within your own reflection.

It would be the height of arrogance for a stranger to dictate how you should address those things that are unique to you but as for my part I have a simple suggestion that has served me well if you would care to 'hear' it. The simple approach is to recognize the flaw, mentally assess it in order to discover its exact dimensions since it is obviously alien and inimical to your mind, heart, and soul, weaken it through the awakening of what you are in balanced rational opposition to it then directly counter this bit of extraneous mortal dross that isn't truly a part of who you are by engaging it on the appropriate battlefield in small but incrementally significant ways to allow yourself to effectively open up fresh avenues and new directions within yourself.

Simply put you find some means of expressing those qualities you want to see in your reflection in place of the qualities you would cull from who and what you are.

Do this often enough and you will have reshaped yourself into a form that can not be broken or torn away from you.

To put it with heavier terms that are slightly more profound that says the same thing, consider the following:

So shall we come to look at the world with new eyes. It shall answer the endless inquiry of the intellect, — What is truth? and of the affections, — What is good? by yielding itself passive to the educated Will. ... Build, therefore, your own world. As fast as you conform your life to the pure idea in your mind, that will unfold its great proportions. A correspondent revolution in things will attend the influx of the spirit.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

At present, many modern first world societies tend to be very poor at developing a shared sense of community and engendering adequate social trust in others, isn't it? Technology as expressed in its current form tends to isolate and compartmentalize us even more than our daily work which in turns draws us into prisons formed with our own minds. Many that live simply go to work or school and go home to the machines whose actinic glares fill our everyday lives with tales of worlds other than what is real. Finding fulfillment enough to satisfy our own Hierarchy of Needs becomes increasingly more difficult when we can not find the balance of purpose, social interaction, love, etc. once our basic needs are met. It is a societal issue but also a deeply personal issue and one you should examine thoroughly for wherever you now reside in the world.

As for the writing bit, I feel your pain. Not even one of my family or friends are particularly interested in writing, or even in reading much during this age of crappy plastic TV shows that insult my intelligence or watch out for the invisible strings of foreign masters hiding behind the veils and secrecy of corporate fascist oligarchy who utilize among other things propaganda news organizations like those owned by the World Bank to selectively 'divide and conquer'/program the teeming washed and unwashed masses for fun, power, and above all else profit. Writing is a solitary hobby where I've learned how to walk alone by simply doing it since no-one around me is there to help or support or motivate so I must help, support, and motivate myself aside from a bit of help using this wonderful artificial medium I've come to admire in many ways and despise in others.

I could also state the obvious thing by saying you are not alone but that sounds stupid so as for attracting writers given artwork then take a page out of the leaflet of Katawa Shoujo and showcase your art. If that yields no results, then concentrate on creating an overview not just of your entire scene but of your entire plot: spelling out who the protagonist is, what his goals and motives are, what secondary characters are there what are their own personal goals and motives, their connection to the plot, etc.

Great resources are available in this sub-forum's FAQ such as:

102 Resources for Writing Fiction

...specifically the section that deals with conflict, structure, plot, and outline should be very helpful to you in creating just the right outline to draw others to your work...

Take a look at those and you should have writers intrigued enough by your idea to help you give your dream form and give your writing its substance.
Last edited by Dread Lord on Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:24 am, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#6 Post by OokamiKasumi » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:10 am

Accidental Double post.
Last edited by OokamiKasumi on Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#7 Post by Kinjo » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:27 am

Does social anxiety actually have any impact on writing? That sounds more like low self-esteem to me. There's nothing social about reading written words to yourself -- you're not interacting with anyone. According to Wikipedia, self-esteem is only one component of social anxiety. So specifically I think this is about self-esteem, rather than social anxiety as a whole.

I would suggest that if you believe you have social anxiety, please take it seriously. Go see a doctor, and if you're diagnosed with social anxiety, get it treated. That way it won't negatively impact your daily life. If you already are seeing a doctor for treatment, then that would tell me this isn't really a social anxiety problem, like I said. Even people without social anxiety disorder can have low self-esteem, and it's very common in the creative industry. Of course you will think worse of yourself when critics are everywhere just waiting to tear things apart!

Also, about the lack of comments. I don't bother to read any of the writing snippets posted here. I wouldn't take offense to it. Most likely means people don't want to take the time to read it or comment because they're lazy or just not interested and would rather work on their own things.

Find out why you're making a visual novel. If you're not enjoying the writing, why do it? Maybe make it a game without text? Either that, or just keep writing, or find a writing style that works for you. There are lots of alternatives. Best of luck.

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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#8 Post by Godline » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:00 am

OokamiKasumi wrote:Darlin', the easiest way to get over this is by playing Terrible games, and reading awful stories. I am dead serious. Playing something truly awful will make you realize that you're really Not that bad.

Case in point: I just got finished playing a game where the creator apparently did not believe in capitalizing "I", as in "I am here." Nor did this creator believe in using periods -- at all. I wonder if English was their first language because not only were quite a few of the sentences pretty mangled, plus it was written entirely (and badly) in Present Tense, but a couple of the spelling mistakes were spectacularly bad. We're talking multiple additional letters that really didn't need to be there. The results were so bad, I couldn't even laugh at it -- and that was just the writing! I refuse to go into the...art.

I love you. And I ought to go comment on your awesome games some time, because I really have been meaning to. :)

*cringe* I wonder if I've played that game you're talking about. Lol. :)

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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#9 Post by OokamiKasumi » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:30 am

Godline wrote:
OokamiKasumi wrote:Darlin', the easiest way to get over this is by playing Terrible games, and reading awful stories. I am dead serious. Playing something truly awful will make you realize that you're really Not that bad...
I love you. And I ought to go comment on your awesome games some time, because I really have been meaning to. :)
Thank you sweety!
-- I don't mind if you don't comment on my games as long as you enjoy playing them. That's all that really matters. ('Cuz when I get things wrong there are plenty of comments to let me know what I need to fix.)
Godline wrote:*cringe* I wonder if I've played that game you're talking about? Lol. :)
You'll know when you find it.
-- I haven't commented on that creator's page because if the creator is as young as I suspect, it could kill their creativity entirely, or cause a temper tantrum the world might not recover from. Or both. The truly scary part is that I think the game was created out of genuine 'wish-fulfillment' admiration, and it may in fact be their very first attempt. If so, they did indeed try hard. I just wish they'd thought to use Spell-Check when they did it. (And maybe practiced their drawing a bit more.)
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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#10 Post by Haze » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:57 am

daikiraikimi wrote:I feel like my lack of ability to write is holding me back, but my shame over being unable to write keeps me from improving. In addition, I really don't enjoy writing so it's even harder for me to practice-- but I don't want my projects to be hung up because I don't have a writer.
If you want to improve your writing, then there's no getting around it: you're going to have to write. I write a song every week to improve my music production, and even if I feel like there's something more I could have done, or that I need another week to do it, I release it. Maybe you should do something similar: write, say 250-500 words every week, and then post it somewhere. I understand if you think your writing skills aren't the best, but quantity will trump quality every time when it comes to improving your writing. After a couple of weeks, compare what you wrote for week one with what you wrote last week. You will see some improvement, and seeing that improvement will help you overcome this shame that you're feeling.

Since you feel ashamed because you think you can't write, then I suggest looking away from the keyboard while you write. Yes, I'm serious. This is something I often have to do because, if I don't, I'll be revising every other sentence and not make any progress(I also do this when writing sad scenes. I think it's because I feel bad for putting my characters in such situations...but I digress). If you can't type without looking at the keyboard, then just look slightly to the left or right of the keyboard, so that a little bit of the keyboard is in your main vision, but most of it is in your peripheral vision. Then just write.

Playing a visual novel or reading something with bad writing, like OokamiKasumi said, can help to boost your confidence for a little bit, but believe me when I say that it's not a permanent solution. It's kind of like chess: you won't get better by constantly beating up bad players: you'll get better by overcoming the challenge presented by players equal or slightly higher than your level.
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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#11 Post by Mad Harlequin » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:45 pm

OokamiKasumi wrote:A lack of comments is a sign that you did something Right. Seriously. It's when you get something Wrong that everyone and their third cousin crawls out of the woodwork to say something about it. So no comments = "Good Job! They found nothing to complain about!"
Generally, this is true. People love to pick at flaws. But silence shouldn't be taken as a sign that everything is perfect. When I had to have essays peer-reviewed in grade school, I was SOL if I didn't have a friend in class---everybody else would see my immaculate grammar and spelling and assume my papers were perfect. I had to beg the teachers to look over them so I could get the necessary assignment grade even though they would be scoring the final draft anyway. That was awful.

(I'm not saying one should assume everything is wrong, though. We tend to be our own worst critics. If you're missing out on feedback, Kimi, turn to someone you can trust to be honest.)
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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#12 Post by Angelee » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:18 pm

OokamiKasumi wrote:A lack of comments is a sign that you did something Right. Seriously. It's when you get something Wrong that everyone and their third cousin crawls out of the woodwork to say something about it. So no comments = "Good Job! They found nothing to complain about!"
Aww, I feel like there's truth in that but it's kind of sad isn't it? I'm the opposite though. I usually make a point of commenting on things I like. Things I don't like, well...if you don't have anything nice to say, right? Sometimes I give out constructive criticism if I feel like it's a big problem and no one has mentioned it already but normally I just don't say anything unless I know the person. You never know how a stranger's going to take it. Unless they have that nifty "honest critique" button / text in their signature that they have here. I think every website where you can post your creative work should have something like that. :)

Um, back on point though. I definitely know how you feel. I'm primarily an artist but I write my own stories as well now, though I do enjoy it. I think everyone goes through what you have, even seasoned writers. All the writers I've talked to has felt at some point or another that what they're working on (even if they absolutely loved it a day or a week ago) is complete crap. I've actually gotten used to the feeling now, like it's part of my natural writing process. At that point I usually take a break from writing and work on something else, like the artwork or programming until the feeling passes. Deep in my mind I know that I don't know anything about whether my story is good or garbage. Because it's not up to me. It's up to my readers and if they like it or not. All I can do is accept that, keep working on it, release it unto the world, and hold my breath.

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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#13 Post by Kinjo » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:01 am

Angelee wrote:
OokamiKasumi wrote:A lack of comments is a sign that you did something Right. Seriously. It's when you get something Wrong that everyone and their third cousin crawls out of the woodwork to say something about it. So no comments = "Good Job! They found nothing to complain about!"
Aww, I feel like there's truth in that but it's kind of sad isn't it? I'm the opposite though. I usually make a point of commenting on things I like. Things I don't like, well...if you don't have anything nice to say, right? Sometimes I give out constructive criticism if I feel like it's a big problem and no one has mentioned it already but normally I just don't say anything unless I know the person. You never know how a stranger's going to take it. Unless they have that nifty "honest critique" button / text in their signature that they have here. I think every website where you can post your creative work should have something like that. :)
EDIT: Whoops I think I misread how the Honest Critique Button works. Anyway, I still don't like the idea of needing to wear a button to get people to tell me honest things. It kind of implies lying is the norm. The first thing someone is going to do is check whether or not the writer has the button. They might be looking for honest feedback and have no idea about the whole concept of the Honest Critique Button and so they don't use it. And then they don't get the feedback they're looking for. I'm not really a fan of giving a sugar-coated version of critique to people. And there's certainly no way to stop someone from giving a harsh critique (not insulting, but harsh) to someone who doesn't have the button. I wonder how many people have given me "lighter" critiques just because I don't have it in my signature?

Lack of comments means a lack of comments. Just because someone hasn't pointed out a flaw doesn't mean there aren't any. Like I said, the most likely scenario is just that people don't feel like commenting for whatever reason. It could be really bad and so nobody wants to touch it. Or it could be really good and so nobody wants to touch it.

And also, I don't bother posting anything for critique either. If it were me, I'd just get some close friends to look at whatever I have. Because generally people are always going to find flaws in your work if you ask them to look hard enough. And posting on a critique board is doing just that -- asking for flaws to be found. So you'll probably end up being informed of flaws that most people really wouldn't care about while simply reading for the sake of entertainment. Of course, not looking for someone to proofread at all is not a good idea either. Strike a balance, get your writing to a point that you are okay with, and then let it go. Fail faster, learn from doing, and eventually you'll feel more comfortable with your writing from the start.

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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#14 Post by PN04 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:49 am

I started writing a novel several years ago, I didn't really understand all the nuances and prerequisites that it entailed, but I figured I had a story, a fair grasp of grammar, and every computer these days can spell check so I started typing. I worked on and off for 3 years before anyone saw a single page of it and eventually found someone I trusted enough with a strong enough background in literature to give a look. She discovered dozens of grammatical errors, awkward tense changes and such to the point that the corrected file almost sounded like a different book. I took it back, made a great many changes and continued on thinking I understood the issues that she'd pointed out. Crisis averted!

Years later, after taking a lot of time trying to fix issues and learn about what I may not have known about writing, I was doing a read through of the story and I realized I had made a slew of other NEW mistakes that I needed to correct. This lead me to feel like I would never be done with the book and that I should give up without ever showing it to anyone, but shortly after I came down from that feeling of anxiety I realized mistakes are an unavoidable part of the process. Writing something poorly just means there's room for improvement and learning from those mistakes. Hiding your work from others does nothing but keep you from growing as an artist. So Find someone who does something similar to you and just ask if they could give your stuff a honest once over.

When you finally get praised for your work you'll feel like you earned it... and then you'll go right back to trying to improve because the instant it goes live you'll see a bunch of little errors you didn't see before. Heck, I triple checked this post before hitting submit and I suspect a better writer will still find a half dozen corrections. (see I literally just found one after posting and corrected it!)

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Re: How to Deal with Shame as a Writer?

#15 Post by noeinan » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:49 am

Thank you all for the great responses, I feel heartened by getting so much support. (To try to keep this post length under control, I'm putting part of each person's comment in quotes but not necessarily the whole thing.)

Godline wrote:Why are you finding it hard to find people to collaborate with? :( Is it because you have a particular vision for a story? Or would you be willing to truly collaborate and share a new vision with others?
I'm not totally sure-- I've managed to get two writers on board with my project so far. One went really well-- I specifically left room for a writer to create the story in collaboration with me, I only started with a general genre/theme (slow paced slice of life/coming of age story about centaurs) and images for seven characters. Together, we made personalities and a story. But this writer had to leave for personal health reasons.

I got a second writer but things did not go well-- this person claimed to have been following the project and understand the general setting etc. but ended up having a 100% different idea of how they wanted the story to go. (They wanted to make the game a fast paced, high fantasy, romance/comedy/fanservice RPG.) They very loudly quit the project basically saying I could go f*** myself and don't bother replying because they were deleting their email.

Somewhere along the line I also stopped receiving emails from our background artist for that project, and I've volunteered free art for three projects on my own but in all cases the other team members disappeared.

Maybe I'm too easily discouraged and should just work harder to find better collaborators. I know that on a free project, I can't expect people to put the project first and that people are going to disappear in indie development. I dunno. :(

Mad Harlequin wrote: First and foremost, attend to your anxiety and feelings of shame. Your health is more important than any project...
I'm not totally sure how to deal with this feeling of shame towards my writing-- I think it stems from a bad experience I had after coming to college. (Had writing piece that was very well received in high school, tried to share it in college and it didn't go well.)

I think maybe I would feel better if I just finished one project, and maybe if I just tried to make them smaller it would feel more doable. Unfortunately, it seems even my small ideas feel very intimidating to me. I think I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to make "The Next Big Thing" quality work (not that it has to be popular, but *I* want to feel like I did a professional job) and I'm just not at that level.

(Oddly enough, I actually have no problem with any other type of writing except fiction. I write academically in places where it is open for criticism from large groups of people, and also keep a journal to record my physical and mental health for my doctors. It's only fiction where I have this block...)

OokamiKasumi wrote:Darlin', the easiest way to get over this is by playing Terrible games, and reading awful stories. I am dead serious. Playing something truly awful will make you realize that you're really Not that bad...
Haha, I think this is actually an excellent idea. If I think about it, most of the time when I feel a confidence boost and like I can really make a visual novel, is after I have read one that is fairly short and simple (not necessarily bad) and I think "I could probably do something like this."

If you have any recommendations and are comfortable sending me a pm, I would greatly appreciate it. :) And your comment definitely makes me feel better!

Dread Lord wrote:Simply put you find some means of expressing those qualities you want to see in your reflection in place of the qualities you would cull from who and what you are.
I don't feel like I want to lose qualities per say. It's more about feeling shame at attempting something I'm not skilled at (which I realize is a little silly becaues you don't learn by never doing things you are bad at) rather than feeling bad about who I am or what qualities I have.

I do think that my anxiety, and not knowing, is much worse than actually receiving critical feedback. I take critical feedback all the time in other areas of writing (and art) and feel pretty comfortable dealing with it. It's the not knowing, the complete lack of comments, and I just chickened out, haha.

On attracting writers, I feel like I have a pretty good showcase of the game art, along with a summary of the plot, character motivations, etc. (Link here if you wanted to see: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 50&t=25515) Maybe I should work on it a bit more, though... I'll take a look at that writing resource page, thank you.

Kinjo wrote:Does social anxiety actually have any impact on writing? That sounds more like low self-esteem to me. There's nothing social about reading written words to yourself -- you're not interacting with anyone.According to Wikipedia, self-esteem is only one component of social anxiety. So specifically I think this is about self-esteem, rather than social anxiety as a whole.
For me, social anxiety definitely comes into play because while writing itself is not social, I firmly believe in sharing writing with others to get critique before I release it. I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and am seeing a therapist, but seeing a therapist doesn't magically make it go away, haha.

But you're right, a lot of folks don't bother to read the writing snippets-- it's just with anxiety that not knowing turns it into a much bigger, more out of control thing than it should be. (That's why it's a disorder, of course.)

I hadn't thought about making a game without text before... I really enjoy heavily story oriented games, and want to make those, but I could try to do something much more visual and that might be really cool.

Haze wrote:If you want to improve your writing, then there's no getting around it: you're going to have to write. I write a song every week to improve my music production, and even if I feel like there's something more I could have done, or that I need another week to do it, I release it. Maybe you should do something similar: write, say 250-500 words every week, and then post it somewhere. I understand if you think your writing skills aren't the best, but quantity will trump quality every time when it comes to improving your writing. After a couple of weeks, compare what you wrote for week one with what you wrote last week. You will see some improvement, and seeing that improvement will help you overcome this shame that you're feeling.
I think releasing something before feeling it's "perfect" would be really hard for me, due to my strong perfectionist nature, but I also feel that because of that it would probably be good for me to do it anyway. I have a habit of holding onto things way past when they stop being healthy for me, and learning to let go would be a good skill. Maybe I can try working on very short short stories, like vinegettes, and release them as "teasers" almost?

I generally don't look at my keyboard when I type, but maybe I can try something else, like trying not to criticize what I'm writing as I'm writing it. (A critical eye is good afterwards so you can make it better but if you're critical while trying to work it probably just undercuts motivation?)

PN04 wrote:I started writing a novel several years ago, I didn't really understand all the nuances and prerequisites that it entailed...
Thank you for sharing your story, I found a lot to relate to. I shared my story with my partner, who is a writer and generally got "it's good" but I was reading it aloud and since I have experience with oration I think it came off as more engaging than it actually was.

I think also, one of the issues I am running into is that my "eye skill", or my ability to critique a piece of writing, is fairly well developed from an entire lifetime of consuming fiction novels, but my "hand skill", or my ability to actually write, is completely under-developed-- so everything I write looks horrible and it's difficult to motivate myself to continue. (Good video explanation here: http://youtu.be/Qb0g_gWrNf8?list=PLgiHZ ... tpeegFLCin ) I may just have to try to push through it, or work on smaller projects that give me less time to talk myself out of it, haha.
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