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cap, captain miss america
Don't pick anything apart too much.

emo_snal said to me the other night that it seems like the worse a writer is, the more oblivious they are to the inherent badness of their writing. This would mean that the better a writer you are, the more likely it is that you're convinced you suck, right?

Maybe! Anyway, many of us writers have a tendency to question ourselves, to go back over things we've written and take them to pieces, until we're sitting in a puddle of "no, no, it's not ready! I can't show this to anyone; it's too embarrassing!"

Don't do that shit!

One thing I learned from cartooning is that in order to really learn how to draw comics, I had to throw away any preciousness I had about my own drawing. I'm actually fairly talented at drawing semi-realistic cartoon figures. I love drawing semi-realistic cartoon figures. But when I start to draw them, I start getting hung up on all the details: proportion, perspective, anatomy...I don't submit myself to the act of drawing, I don't use my pen to communicate.

So I had to start over. I forced myself to draw in a very simplistic style in order to learn to love my flaws, to live with them, to get over them and realize that those flaws didn't have to be flaws: they could be strengths; they could be what sets me apart as an artist from every other artist is is a more talented technical draftsperson than I am.

All forms of art have personal quirks to them, writing included. Your writing has telltale signs in it, signs that make it uniquely yours. Signs that mean that forensic linguists all over the world could identify you as the author of that ransom note or that anonymous screed about the neighbbor's dog that you sent to the local paper after it peed on your begonias. Even if there wasn't a fingerprint or a trace of your handwriting. Your words and your writing style are as unique as your DNA.

Well, unless you're an identical twin. Then your writing style is technically more unique than your DNA.

So go with it. Figure out what makes your writing you. Pick out those quirks and idiosyncrasies, but instead of trying to drive them out of your writing, embrace them! Love them and build on them, so that your voice stands out as something special. Because there will always be someone who is technically a better writer than you, but there is no one who can be better at being you. And being yourself will inevitably lead to more varied and exciting writing than being perfect.

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I liked this post! It's kinda.. nice and supportive :-)

I have a comic, and for many reasons it is called "The Drawing Doesn't Matter"

great advice!!!

I hope no one wakes up and says, "Gee, I think I'll write like lawchicky today, or joeymichaels, or zia_narratora."

Though, like the write-like-Hemingway contest, that could be an interesting challenge.

that's certainly been my philosophy with drawing... just fucking draw! Forgive yourself! or at least if it is bad, that's okay, you can always do better. Any kind of creative process takes effort and practice to get better. In fact i think people who are naturally excellent at drawing tend to not improve or seek improvement because they're intimidated by how hard it is to get better. People who struggle are already tempered.

I think i'm a good story teller but my prose is bad... so that probably evens out to mean that i'm a mediocre writer. X3

I really like this post. It's just the sort of pep talk that I've been needing about writing.

Part of my writing includes intensive self-edits. I'm still never happy, but edits are necessary.

Well said. I think all of us, as writers, need to hear this.

*hugs* I'm pretty down on my own writing so I resemble this post in a huge way :) Now, just to get back into the groove of it again.

I love this post. I really found my niche last season :)

Also, your beginning made me laugh because I very vividly remember a discussion on a friend's LJ last year about writing where a girl who is one of THE worst writers I have ever come across actually said her problem was that she was a "really good writer who just lacked ideas"... very publicly oblivious!

At the moment completing my degree is contingent on getting over my burning hatred of my own writing, so this is exactly what I needed to hear ;p Thank you.

Okay so I read this whole thing not realizing it was a home game entry until I went to comment, BUT ANYWAY, I feel my problem comes from feeling like I write differently every day, when I'm in different moods, etc. I worry that I'm inconsistent, and that the inconsistency is very obvious to everyone reading, and maybe that worry is just making things worse and doing the over-analyzing thing and I don't know. But thanks for posting this because I needed to read it. :)

You did a really good job on this entry. The way it tied to the prompt was very creative. I wouldn't have thought of this.

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