Archive for self-criticism

A comparatively reasonable post

Posted in personal with tags , on January 9, 2014 by theweirdphilosopher

It is one of my sore points that I have failed writing. But for all my claims that I´m a failure and for all my arguing that writing tips cannot help me, I never admitted to myself that I see something wrong with my writing.


I cannot separate my writing from myself. It was never a discipline which I had to conquer if I wanted to claim it for myself. It was part of my anatomy. To dislike my writing is to dislike myself. Not that it doesn´t happen quite regularly.

Writing was never something I could feel enhanced me or made me a more experienced person, someone who had learned and evolved in the process. It wasn´t a process I underwent that left me beatified and wiser. And yet I jealously claimed it for myself – maybe precisely because I couldn´t get that fundamental experience out of it. I feel unworthy.

I feel unworthy because I never put proper effort in my writing. I wrote the way I knew how to write and I alternately demanded and angsted that/if this was good enough, but I would never seriously have considered the idea that my writing could be better. I never truly worked to convey that special spark that I felt when thinking up stories, I only waited for the ability to communicate it to come.

This is not about pleasing others. It is about communicating, putting to paper the thing that made me live in this story and become the characters.

Writing tips indeed do not reach the core of this problem. This is not about writing an objectively good text or pleasing an audience, it is about getting across precisely the feelings the story evoked in me when it came to my mind. It is difficult, as what is so evocative typically is the story´s summary which comes in form of a drastic contrast or a bittersweet message. The question I really need to ask myself is how to draw that out over the course of the entire story. There will be many single feelings and emotion-ridden scenes, but how do I make the final picture, from a step away,  evoke what I want it to evoke? And this is the part I never worked at hard enough. I wrote one scene that conveyed it all, and then I gave up. I´m good at writing symbolic first paragraphs with tons of foreshadowing, but I feel I´m ruining everything by writing anymore.

The thought that writing could become something manageable, something I know how to do, is very exciting.