Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 4 weeks ago

Does a person's own writing always seem wonderful to them, even if it is actually horrible?

If someone writes a story, does it always seem like beautiful, engrossing writing to them, even if others would read it and find it boring or amateurish?  Is it impossible to be critical of your own work?

12 Answers

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Definitely.  That's why self publishing is such a thing now. Writers simply refuse to believe what they've written is complete crap. They self publish because no reputable publisher will publish their book. It's not just a few "lucky" people who get their book published and become successful authors. If it wasn't for publishers high standards filtering out garbage then you'd been reading an awful load of tripe. Every single who gets theirs rejected is well deserved. Don't believe me? Go on amazon and read a self published book.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    No, I'm a published writer: articles, short stories, poetry, essays, etc. Perhaps when I was younger I may have "inflamed" my worth.

    However, most writing if reworked, reworked and edited can become something worthy. Currently, I'm writing 2 stories--one was accepted, the other is still at infant stage.

  • 4 weeks ago

    I love to write in my free time and while I’m writing it, I think it’s pretty good, but when I go back to look at it...I literally cringe! So, I think that it may depend on the person, but in my case, I am very critical to my own work. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    I am very critical of what I write. I often toss whole stories because they are just too stupid. Bu5t I know of some who believe what they write and self publish is pure gold. I read a friend's work and was very glad they didn't ask what I thought.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    No, it is not impossible to be critical of your own work. I believe most writers are. I certainly am, to an almost debilitating degree sometimes.

    The writers, who believe their truly atrocious writing is prize winning literature that will make former Pulitzer Prize winners weep with envy, are typically novice writers so unskilled that they cannot see the flaws in their own work.

    That, or it's a writer with an ego the size of the Grand Canyon.

    Who knows? It could also be a combination of both.

  • Marli
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    I'm often surprised that my favourite "children" are the least praised and my "difficult" or "flawed" children are commended for wit or skill. My readers saw something I have not discovered, and I pound my head to get at what it was.

    Sometimes the ideas and words flow. Then I am so euphoric I 💋 the screen or the mirror. Then I wouldn't change a word.

    But a day or two later, I read it again and wince. It's flat. It's wordy. It's insufficient. It's dull. Oh, it's such work to rewrite. Nothing I do can give it life.

  • Tina
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    It can go (often without writing a word) to thinking "That is the best idea for a story EVER, I could probably make that a trilogy, its got everything" to "That's a cliche. It's horrible. Didn't M R James write something like that? perhaps I should shoot myself now...Oh, well..."

    When you actually start to write it gets worse.

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    To make a broad, sweeping statement and go so far as to claim that ALL writers ALWAYS see their own work in only the best possible light is just silly. Obviously not all writers do that. Of those that do, they are usually compelled to do it for one very simple reason - because they aren't interested in learning how to write well, honing their talent, developing a sense of style and progressing with the craft... They are only concerned with being seen as writers, with people attaching that label to them, and nothing more. When being a "writer" is what defines your whole self-image, you're not going to be receptive to telling you that you don't have any idea what you're doing. 

    I've known many, many people who were completely defined by being immersed in something - art, comedy, music, theatre, writing, etc., and some of them didn't possess a single atom of an iota of talent, but that didn't deter them one bit. A lass my sisters knew in school was always involved in local theatre, organising productions, putting herself in charge of the sets and the auditions and the costumes... And of course she'd always give herself a big role, and because she was so invested in the enterprise, she was able to maintain that presence and that influence despite being the most horrendously godawful actress you could ever possibly imagine. 

    I worked with a bloke for years who fancied himself to be an amateur comedian. When I was studying abroad he and I were in the program together. He would continually sign up for these open mic amateur comedy nights in pubs and he would bomb terribly. His material was cringe-worthy. He had zero stage presence. The likelihood that he very well may have made a better captain of a water polo team cannot be discounted. It was just atrocious. 

    But you know what? Neither of those two buffoons ever had any real interest in improving. They had decided long ago that they were going to be an actress and a comedian respectively and they simply never looked back. It didn't matter that people didn't respect their work or think that they were any good. They were both deluded enough to think that their critics were wrong and that their work was brilliant and that one day they would be recognised as being fantastic. 

    If you've ever met a real aspiring writer who truly wants to learn how to write well, you can immediately see the difference. Firstly, most serious amateur writers who aren't in it for the image factor talk about reading a lot more than they do about writing. If I were to add up each and every single snippet of writing that I've done over the course of my lifetime, published and unpublished works going back three decades at least, I doubt it would come in at one percent of one percent of what I've read. Aspiring writers who are serious about the craft read a lot. And their primary concern when talking with writers who are a few rungs up the ladder normally revolves around what each person has read, what each person is looking forward to reading, what books have influenced them and comparisons and recommendations on books and authors. 

    Just look at the endless parade of buffoons who display that dismissive, snotty type of behaviour here... "What do you think of my idea..."? and "What do you think of this paragraph...? and "How does this sound...?" And anything that isn't a glowing, perfectly positive review is met with insults and indignation. People who provide constructive criticism are branded snobs. People who point out errors are branded as being nitpickers, looking for any excuse to let the negativity flow. 

    If a person can't be critical of his or her own work, that person isn't interested in learning and growing. It's not about development or progression - it's about pretending. Most have a psychological need to do this, again you can see that many of the posters here in this section have serious psychological issues and are constantly compelled to fixate on their abysmal writing, and simply refuse to listen to anything they don't want to hear. 

  • It depends on the writer.  Louis L'amour never wrote 2nd drafts.  His writing was okay, but it wasn't the best.  He wrote so many books that his style became fairly formulaic.  Then, of course, you have someone like Tolkien, who spent decades getting his work ready enough to be worthy of publishing.  The level of detail he put into his stories strongly indicates how meticulous he was and how self-critical he was.  And I'm willing to bet that even when he did publish his work, there were changes he still wanted to make.

    While you're writing, it is engrossing.  You're pretty sure that you're writing gold and if you can get into a great rhythm, it feels gratifying.  More often than not, though, when you go back through what you wrote, you may cringe at how awful most of it is.  The idea is to keep writing, though.  Sift out the garbage, save the good stuff, and build on it.

  • It’s very hard to be objective when criticizing your own work, but the more you write the better you get at it. It’s normal for beginning writers to think they’ve created a masterpiece, only to be forced into self-doubt and the reality that your work is cliche or uninteresting. But that’s unfortunately just a part of being a writer - rejection and public scrutiny forces you to be more self-critical. 

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