This post should probably be called “Traits to avoid when becoming a better writer,” but the current title serves its purpose. We all fall into the familiar pride and envy routine. Too proud of our words to change them, too jealous of others to write anything of our own. Every writer falls prey to these….disillusions? NO. Offenses. At the top of the list, a familiar sign….
Everyone at one point or another (hopefully) has been proud of something they’ve written. Maybe it was that 3 line haiku that you spent all morning on, or an 8 page research report. What ever it was, high amounts of pride can be debilitating to your writing and yourself. Being too proud can cause you to refuse help, and it can keep you from changing/altering any part of your work.
Sloth (Writer’s Block)
This keeps us from writing. This is when we stare at the computer screen, the cursor blinking back at us, calmly reminding us we have nothing done. Sloth and the so called writer’s block keep us from doing anything writing related. If you’re ever stuck in sloth, just type half a completed sentence over and over again. You’ll eventually finish the last half.
A new one. Doubt is all those little sidesteps you make, the warning signs that cloud your creative light. Remove doubt and you have a world of unexplored creativity. With doubt, you have a structured voice. There is a time and place for doubt, but it isn’t at the beginning of a writing project. Have doubts about whether or not your character should have green hair and 9 toes, not doubts on whether or not you should write her story.
Greed. Need I say more? Greed causes a cycle of doubt and sloth in ourselves. I can never write something as great as that….I can never mesh words together so beautifully…. We doubt so we don’t write. We write and then we doubt. Writers must look to other writing for inspiration, not for comparison. Mimic techniques, styles, and form. However, don’t take someones success as a failure of your own.
Don’t be angry at your writing or your writing abilities. Anger, though useful at times to get you past slothy moments, isn’t useful 100% of the time. Maybe 5% of the time, write angry, get your thoughts on paper with no filter and no fear. Eventually though you need to go back and edit with zero anger in you.
Everyone has fears of submitting or publishing their work. What if no one likes it? What if it isn’t accepted? What if it’s not ready yet? Similar to doubt, fear is only a sidestep, a warning sign that is natural in everyone’s head. Do not be afraid of fear because fear is ironic. How can anyone like or accept your work if you don’t even give them a chance?
The best writing comes from a need to be heard. A writer must want to showcase what they write because they want it to be heard, not because they want some sort of prize or recognition. Write for your story. Write because it is necessary to communicate your ideas through words.