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Forums » Smalltalk » Ever get the 'nope, that sucks' feeling?

This applies to both rp and writing in general.
Do you ever write out something, read it over, delete it, write something new, read it over, delete it, write something new...
I'm trying to work on a book right now that's driving me crazy because I've started to notice I'm doing this. Even during the draft stage when you're supposed to just write the most basic version of what you've doing I find myself trying to make it perfect and failing, which leads to me getting annoyed at myself. Then when I was typing out my reply for an rp earlier I found myself deleting and rewording the same paragraph like four times in a row before it got to the point that I was willing to call it done.
It's so annoying.
I know what I want to say and how I want to say it, then I write whatever it is I'm thinking of and I hate it. I really don't know how to word it but half the time I end up reading back what I've just wrote and suddenly I hate it, even though it sounded great in my head.
Does anyone else get like this or am I just a little odd?
This is pretty common for writers. It can even be healthy to an extent. Something I find helps is showing your work to others who you trust to be honest-if they say it sucks, it probably does. If they say it's good, you're being too hard on yourself.
I find a good way to deal with it is just accept it's terrible for a bit, and then just finish it.

If you keep going back re-writing and re-writing, you'll never finish. So my advice is to just write and write and write, typos and stupid ideas and all. Maybe fix it the next day.

You can always fix it later, but if it never gets finished there's no point fixing it.
Yesugei Topic Starter

RoundTableKing wrote:
You can always fix it later, but if it never gets finished there's no point fixing it.

That's true I suppose, it's just hard to actually bring myself to finish it.
Yesugei Topic Starter

Nettle wrote:
This is pretty common for writers. It can even be healthy to an extent. Something I find helps is showing your work to others who you trust to be honest-if they say it sucks, it probably does. If they say it's good, you're being too hard on yourself.

I might do that actually, see what some others think of my work so I can figure out if I'm just overly harsh on myself.
Claine Moderator

A little self criticism is a healthy part of the art creating experience. People who think everything they create is perfect and flawless have no reason to improve at their craft.
That's actually exactly why NaNoWriMo exists: to be a method of forcing oneself past draft perfectionism by setting a period to prioritize quantity over quality. There's a whole community (as well as micro-communities around various sites and cities) that help each other with various options for tips and tricks, encouragement, etc, as well as editing later on.

I know that in my case, a big concern in various projects is the risk of forgetting about a thing entirely, or forgetting some important aspect, like "I know I was supposed to do something with this, but what, and where?" If that's playing into your concerns (or maybe even if it's not), maybe you could try just leaving yourself little notes along the way? Just a quick little blurb either noted in the same document (and visibly different enough to spot without being too distracting) or in a secondary one kept alongside, like "spice up description of X," "rework prior explanation on page # to close plothole," or even just "don't like this segment, don't know why, seems too Y and should be more Z." Basically whatever you can concisely get across to explain enough to help your future self fix the problem. Plus having those notes might help discourage you from changing things before it's time to focus on editing, especially if you're specifying things like "page 34, paragraph 3" to help you find things, since editing too soon (and also not either working back from the end or keeping an unedited copy for reference) could mess up how to actually find things. I think there are some word processors that include a "note" feature that should simplify that, though.

While I was typing that, there was also a thought that kinda hit me. When I do mazes (just the kind where you draw the path through), for some reason, I almost always find it to be significantly easier to do it backwards. Instead of tracing a line from start to finish, I go from finish to start. I think this could be looked at a bit like that, too. Getting the initial draft written out is just setting up the maze. Once you have that laid out, you can start going backward, making adjustments as needed to better fit the events to the outcome. If you start editing from the beginning, you have a greater chance of introducing minor change that ends up requiring much bigger changes later on. ^^; But the important part is still getting that first draft laid out. Could be that something you thought you should change is actually what works best for the specific way things play out! I know I've definitely had cases in RP where something that seemed like a mistake or something early on managed to come back to help beef up or solve the plot, or even create a whole additional plot.
I think that feeling is a very natural part of writing, or creating in general. When it comes to rp, the feeling you are prescribing is at least 50% of writing in another language than your native language, hahaha. I have been writing in danish almost the entire time I have been rp'ing, and have only recently shifted to english. When I write a post, the image stands out so clearly to me, but when I re-read it, the wording seems clumsy, and it's just not as harmonic at all, as it would have been in danish. Or I realize too late that a word that I have translated from danish, that is perfectly normal to use in danish, is completely outdated and misplaced, when it comes to the english sentence, haha.

I think what I have learned is partly to not take RP too seriously. We are all just people producing large amounts of texts in a relatively short amount of time (compared to writing a novel), and if you generally have a good time with your rp-partners, they will probably hardly notice a mediocre paragraph. The other thing I have learned is, that carefully re-reading and re-wording is a really really good way to practice the melody of writing. It can be fun and interesting, if you take your time with it, and don't get caught up in the standards you set for yourself. Some metaphors, og demeanours can be quite complex to describe. There are endless nuances to describing facial mimics, tone of voice etc, and often you want to get it right in a small sentence. It can really be detail-work, but taking it slow and paying attention to what words you replace in favor of others, and what exactly it does to your text will, in my experience, eventually lead to a bigger repetoire of descriptions, and more bricks to build with.
Yesugei Topic Starter

Zelphyr wrote:
That's actually exactly why NaNoWriMo exists.

I've actually never heard of NaNoWriMo, I might have to give it a look since it seems like it might actually be pretty helpful. Thanks for the tip! :)
Yesugei Topic Starter

G-zus wrote:
I think what I have learned is partly to not take RP too seriously. We are all just people producing large amounts of texts in a relatively short amount of time (compared to writing a novel), and if you generally have a good time with your rp-partners, they will probably hardly notice a mediocre paragraph.

I wish I could learn to not take it so seriously, I just tend to overthink even the most basic thing haha
I should work on that though and try not to worry about every single response.
Not uncommonly, certainly. I often find myself revisiting character stories, extended drabbles, and the like only to either gut it and find myself with a desire to repurpose it or to scrap it entirely. In terms of role-playing, I have admittedly at times held other writers up higher than myself, and not realised that people do genuinely enjoy engaging with my creations (anon or otherwise), and that I should just write. But the self-criticism hat is a hard one to remove.

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