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I want to write but I have no self belief

(9 Posts)
sillytart Mon 13-Jun-11 12:25:01

I have been planning several books for the last few years but I just can't seem to get started due to a lack of confidence sad

I feel I will be wasting my time, that I am not clever enough to do this and that I can't express very well what I need to say.

I have started to write a couple of times but it just doesn't read/flow right and I end up deleting everything.

In short I think I am not intelligent enough. I am worried that my grammer is not up to scratch (along with my spelling) blush and I often have to use a dictionary or ask my dh what something means blush blush

Did/does anyone else feel like this?
Has anyone got any ideas on how I could get started?
How could I 'smarten up'?

I did think about a creative writing course, but I just couldn't justice the money.

Teladi Mon 13-Jun-11 12:31:29

Hello, I am the same. What helped me was participating in NaNoWriMo where the object is to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. I found it a massive kick up the backside and at the end, I had a first draft. It was a very dodgy first draft but it was something to work with and expand upon, and I had learnt a lot about writing.

Of course I still haven't actually done too much with my first drafts (yes I have more than one!) but it is a start, and better than a blank page and a whole lot of self-doubt.

Possibly worth looking into? You don't need to show anyone anything of your manuscript to participate, it is a personal exercise.

SenSationsMad Mon 13-Jun-11 12:50:45

Me too. It's my new year resolution every year, and I never do anything about it but dream blush

schroedingersdodo Mon 13-Jun-11 17:47:14

good writing is not about perfect grammar and spelling (but you can improve them if you pay attention to how good writers use them). It's about involving the reader and exposing ideas. Well, at least that's what I think.
And the only way to know if you can do that is ttrying.

wordfactory Tue 14-Jun-11 17:23:43

Writing is a difficult task in that it is hard to get positive feedback on your work (family and friends saying they love it do not count) and without positive feedback it's hard to keep going.

When I wrote my first book I joined a writing group and that was invaluable - a group of relative strangers all encouraging me was just what I needed. These days there are many online groups that must be worrth investing in for feedback.

atswimtwolengths Wed 15-Jun-11 20:43:21

What sort of books do you like to read, OP?

sillytart Thu 16-Jun-11 13:06:21

Sorry I haven't been back to this, been one of those weeks and I haven't had much time!

It's good to know I not alone. I know I just need to start writing and see where it takes me - if only just to get the story written down and then I can always go back and change things.

Teladi thanks for that link. It sounds good, I liked the parts 'it's about quantity not quality' and 'Make no mistake, you will be writing lots of crap' grin - that makes me feel a whole lot better!!

atswimtwolengths I like reading chicklit, and if I ever do write my books that is what I would be writing.

solongandthanksfor Fri 17-Jun-11 17:50:46

Sillytart,
I am (or have been) a writing procrastinator too. This year, I've finally got down to it. For me, I finally decided that it was worse not even trying to write - worse than writing something that might be terrible and un-publishable. In short, I wanted to know if I could write a novel. I've now rwritten about 10000 words of a first draft.
Things that have helped along the way: a good writing group, encouraging writing books (Natalie Goldberg's books have always inspired me), and a course I did (Iknow you say you can't justify the expense, but are there any adult education courses locally you could try - sometimes a bit cheaper). Good luck.

Frizzbonce Mon 04-Jul-11 11:42:53

sillytart - Hi. I write scripts but I also teach creative writing at the OU and one of the most helpful and accessible confidence givers I recommend to my students is Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. It's written in very short chapters and is all about freewriting. Which means you are being given permission to write any old rubbish - and out of that rubbish or 'composting' as she calls it, a sharp phrase, or a word or an idea will emerge.

Start small. Instead of planning novels which need structure and huge amounts of discipline, start a journal instead. Or a blog. Train yourself every day to write for five minutes - or ten or fifteen. Build up that way. And if you can, find a good creative writing class. The discipline of having to produce work will keep you on track.

Good luck! x

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