Right now, I would not call myself a good writer. Not in the slightest. Recently, I’ve been working on a writing project with an odd premise, being a person who gets access to a large hub of camera feeds from around the world and his descent into that world of parasocialism. I think the concept itself is good, however, I’ve been struggling a lot with it. I think most of it might come down to the fact that I am writing at 11pm most of the time (which is something I’ve talked about before I think, I really need to fix that :/). However, there’s a few other things I’ve sort of come to see about my work on it:
I don’t feel like I’m having fun with it. The whole point of me writing is to get better at it because I enjoy it. However, with this project, I don’t feel like I am, I feel like I’m doing it just to fill a quota for myself to get it done. And I know that getting better at narrative writing isn’t going to be a smooth way up at all, but this doesn’t feel fun. It might be because of the fact that I feel like I’m constantly pressured to make my writing good, so I actively think about “hm, how should I do this better?”, which is good until it becomes an obsession/paranoia. I cannot think about my writing without thinking about how it can be better, and most importantly, how bad I think it is. I need to learn that it’s okay that my writing is bad, and that I should be writing it for myself, not for others, and I think that’s an important lesson for beginners to learn. Do not let the pressure of other people or you putting pressure on yourself to make others happy ruin things for you. This doesn’t just apply to writing, but to anything.
I feel like I’m not taking it seriously. It’s a weird thing to talk about, since writing does not need to be serious at all, but I mean that I’m not taking the learning part seriously. Instead, I’m just writing for the sake of, like I said earlier, meeting a quota. So instead of thinking about how a scene should play out, or how to cleverly write something, I just ended up writing as I thought. That itself is not a bad thing to do, it actually helps a lot for rough drafts and just getting something down to work with and fix, but for finalizing, it’s not good. Unless it ends up good miraculously, I don’t know haha.
”DEEP” OR CLEVER WRITING DOES NOT MEAN GOOD WRITING. I feel like I have this very distorted idea of what good writing actually is, and I’ve started to come to terms with it. I thought that good writing was incorporating everything as descriptively as possible and trying to make symbolic and deep meanings out of every element of my stories. Symbolism, complex writing, adding deeper meaning to writing through subtle hints and that sort of stuff does not make good writing. It merely should serve as a bonus, a treat to readers. I always thought I needed to make it complex to make it good, but the truth is good writing is something that is surface level. When it comes down to it, the heart of good writing is the concept of “show, don’t tell”, which I never thought much of, despite how much my English teachers hammered it into my head over the years, but it’s true. “Show, don’t tell” is what makes writing good, and I feel like things like symbolism fall under that umbrella, but should be treated as an extension of it, it should not be relied on, but rather used as a tool to further writing that already has a good foundation. Relying on those extensions is bad, and to use them, one must first learn the fundamentals of good writing, and I think that’s my biggest problem when it comes to my learning how to write, but I think it’s a valuable thing to remember for everyone.
I’ve debated to myself whether or not I should just can the story or continue, but honestly, I think writing a story like this requires more skill and planning than what I have now. I really need to think this through more, so I think for the time being, I will be holding off on it, and trying to think on whether I should work on something new and simpler or to rework the idea. In the meantime, I will still work on writing other things, like these netlogs, and perhaps other skills as well, such as drawing or programming.