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I feel too self-conscious to write

(9 Posts)
Whusky Thu 05-Dec-19 12:01:13

Looking for some advice guys.

I've always been a writer, since I learnt how to write. I stopped in my late teens for whatever reason.

For the last ten years, I've felt twitchy, restless, and desperate to write something, anything, but I suffer from crippling self-doubt in my ability and feel embarrassed of my 'crap' work. I can't stomach writing for even my own benefit - I hate the thought of reading it.
In a moment of bravery, I let dh and some close friends and family read a short writing-prompt, and they all agreed that it was really good and I should pursue it. Can't help think that they just said it to spare my feelings.

How do I get over this?

Zilla1 Thu 05-Dec-19 14:30:05


I've nothing to say that you couldn't imagine yourself. Just write, get words onto paper, try not to get caught up in editing. Tell the stories you want to tell and would want to read then once you've told your story, get feedback on here or with non-family and friends if you won't believe their feedback.

Good luck.

Cmagic7 Thu 05-Dec-19 14:34:54

Hmmmm.... I have the same with music. If you figure it out - let me know!

schmalex Fri 06-Dec-19 09:08:46

Perhaps try doing morning pages (see The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron). Start churning it out daily and don't reread it for several weeks.
Also, take heart because everybody's first drafts are crap!

FlamedToACrisp Wed 11-Dec-19 02:39:20

Join a writers' group, take a writing course or post some work on an online forum where you can get feedback. Of course family will tell you it's good - but that doesn't mean it isn't! Where strangers can help is by telling you HOW and WHY it's good, as well as offering suggestions for improvement.

septembersunshine Fri 13-Dec-19 19:42:52

I keep my writing very quiet op. I just get on with it. I think part of the fear of writing is fear that other people will judge your ability and find it lacking. Sometimes its best just to take some time out for yourself. You don't need to present anything to family or friends. Your writing is your writing. Write for yourself because you must. Walk the road alone, you don't need anyone else or their opinion. You don't need permission. You don't need anyone to tell you that you are good enough. Just let go. And also, perfection is the death of creativity. Don't try to write perfectly. It won't be perfect to begin with. Just presss on and know you will revisit that sentence or page or chapter many times over. Its just the process.

Helmetbymidnight Sat 14-Dec-19 19:10:35

im reading Elizabeth Gilberts 'big magic- creative living beyond fear' - she deals with questions like yours. Do check it out, i think youll find it really helpful.

fluffysocksgoodbookwine Tue 17-Dec-19 20:58:37

Me too! Watching with interest, will check out the Elizabeth Gilbert book.

I wrote a lot as a child/ teenager, but then my parents were always disparaging of creative stuff as being less worthwhile than academic pursuits, and I was told I had to do a vocational degree if they were going to fund it. There was always the subtext that creative pursuits were childish, and I would need to grow up at some point. So I went to medical school (mostly to learn more about people so that I could write better). And here I am, 20-odd years later, not writing due to self-conciousness, miserable and burned out in clinical practice, with notebooks full of story ideas.

I'm working on getting up the courage to write badly, as a first step towards writing well.
I do realise that I just need to get on with it, but barriers are barriers, even if they don't seem valid to someone else, and I struggle with feeling silly and frivolous if I try to write fiction. Which is ridiculous, because I respect authors immensely and enjoy reading a great deal.

Anyway, as I said, watching this thread with interest. Thank you.

Whatswrongwithme90 Tue 14-Jan-20 22:33:30

There’s a really great course called Write Like a Grrrl and it tackles this exact problem - I think they run several each year in different UK cities. It’s aimed at women only, I went to one and there were women of all ages.

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