Monday Money: It’s Okay to Struggle with Writing

“The Writing Success Program believes in the power of words to transform and inspire. Collaborating with students in each step of the writing process, we assist them in developing the tools required for critical thinking and writing, thus contributing to their holistic growth as agents of social change. By supporting a more compassionate and confident approach to writing, students engage their voices with more power and joy.”

coffee and writing

I believe many writers, if not all, go through periods where they feel inferior or subject themselves to harsh scrutiny by comparing what they have to offer with what others are able to.

So expanding on the WSP belief, I wanted to provide a few pieces of advice  I have saved on my computer that can help you when you feel insignificant in the writing world.

1. Vocabulary isn’t the only thing you need to be a good writer.

People are quick to assume that a large vocabulary is synonymous with intelligence and better writing but that simply isn’t true. What you have to offer isn’t only affected by your personal lexicon, but rather how you choose to arrange and utilize your arsenal. That being said, I encourage you to expand your knowledge of language and literature and the best way to do so is to READ!

2. Writing is like a muscle: It’s not going to get stronger if you don’t exercise.

There seems to be this misconception that good writing is a skill that is granted to every individual and is easily called forth when needed. No. Writing takes time, dedication, and practice. You aren’t expected to be able to run a marathon the first time you put on sneakers so why make that the criteria for writing?

3. There’s always going to be someone better than you.

Do you think J.K. Rowling and Stephen King are sitting back and saying, ” Yup, I’ve triumphed over all other writers so no need for their silly work.” *throws books out the door* Of course not. The key to improving your writing is not to look at other pieces with envy. Instead, use other’s work as a way to motivate yourself and figure out why you think your work is any less than theirs.

4. Self-doubt is part of the writer’s condition.

Doubt can be good, despite everyone hating the feeling that comes with it. It means you’re still fighting to improve. The key is to not let this doubt stop you from creating. Writing is an art and like all creative outlets, I don’t believe their is a true master to bow down to. You can get extremely good at writing (and especially good at editing), but as mentioned in the previous point, there will always be someone better than you. And that’s okay.

Use writing as a way to learn, not just about literature, but about yourself. Allow the world to expand as you put your thoughts onto paper and accept that writing is only there to benefit, not intimidate, you. Embrace it and embrace it hard. It’ll try to run from you but you just have to keep fighting to make music happen.

“I’ve seen a lot of people lately agonising over the ‘fact’ that they write, well, crap. The plotting is clumsy, pacing nonexistent, they see the book so clearly in their heads but then go back and look at what they’ve written and it seems pale. Spiritless. Stupid. Pointless. They might as well just give it up because it’s not perfect or even very good. After all, they’ll only get rejected. Or they’ve gotten rejected several times already. And it’s horrible, but they’re starting to question this whole writing thing.

And I reply: God, don’t stop. This is when you’re getting better.

-Lilith Saintcrow, “Permission to Create ‘Bad’ Art”

Post submitted by Kelly

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