How Do I Know if My Writing…. Sucks?

does my writing suck little-girl-3399737_960_720This article has two purposes: The first is to discuss a specific question. The question, in its most simple form, is how do you know whether your writing is any good? Specifically, are you good enough to publish your first book and expect to be able to attract and satisfy readers and, if you aren’t, how do you figure out what areas to focus on improving to get there? Continue reading “How Do I Know if My Writing…. Sucks?”

Are We There Yet?

Photo courtesy Dana Ross Martin, WANA Commons

How many of us began dreaming at a young age of the day when we would be … a Writer? I have a feeling few of us had any clue what that meant, what our definition of a Writer actually was. But we longed for that day when we would know, for sure, that we had arrived.

So what day is that?

Was it the day we finished our first book? It obviously was not any of the days we completed the sporadic poems, sonnets, haikus and short stories we all wrote during our school years. Even back then, even when we were writing constantly, we knew those were more practice than anything else. But finishing the first book … that’s a milestone. But did that make us Writers?

For most of us, probably not. Continue reading “Are We There Yet?”

The First Draft Blues

I have discovered something about myself in the last year of writing. I suffer from The First Draft Blues.

Symptoms include:

– Thinking your story concept is complete rubbish and no one will like your characters

– Believing your writing rivals that of a six year old’s.

– Questioning every turn your story is taking.

– Wondering why you are bothering when it’s the worst thing you’ve ever written and everybody will hate it.

– Laughing at yourself for thinking you could ever make it as an author.

I had a very bad case of it with Betwixt and I am suffering an even worse case of it with my current work-in-progress. So how do I medicate myself against this rampant disease that threatens to destroy my dreams? Continue reading “The First Draft Blues”

Conquering Self-Doubt (Don’t be Afraid to Suck)

Author Brian Beam

One of my favorite fantasy authors, Brandson Sanderson, once imparted some wonderful advice for writers. Just five simple words. Five words that could possibly be the best writing advice I have ever heard: “Don’t be afraid to suck.”

When I write, I sometimes find myself wondering, “What will readers think about this? What will they say?” Before I know it, I am questioning every word, every sentence, and every paragraph that emerges on the screen before me.

Doubt worms its ugly presence into my brain like a bad pop song with crippling intensity, turning my productivity dial to 0. I realize that I am afraid to suck. Continue reading “Conquering Self-Doubt (Don’t be Afraid to Suck)”