3 reasons to be positive about your writing

In this episode, Iain gives you three reasons to stay positive when the pressure is on and all seems lost with your writing. Essentially, fellow writers: for goodness sake don't panic!

Us writers are a negative bunch from time to time. We get needy about our work and think that the whole world is against us, even if the exact opposite is true. We love a good whinge. That’s just how most of us are.
In this episode (the shortest yet – I’m trying to keep it shorter and sharper) I give you three reasons to be positive about your writing. None of them are rocket science, but they’re important tips to remember nonetheless.

Have a watch and let me know what you think.

Watch this episode on Vimeo


andybee64@hotmail.com 20 January 2011 Reply

I tend to swing from the ‘No-one’s going to want to read this’ pole to the ‘You really should publish this, it’s not bad at all’ opposite almost daily.

iain@writeforyourlife.net 20 January 2011 Reply

Ha! I think that goes for pretty much all of us. Why do we do it to ourselves? I’m sure at some point we’ll eventually find that middle ground. I hope.

Anonymous 20 January 2011 Reply

“Sometimes you feel like nobody loves you” Haha… so true. I keep telling myself it’s really sometimes and not often!Thank you for this post. It’s a reminder that I’m not insane when sometimes it feels so hard to stay positive 🙂

iain@writeforyourlife.net 20 January 2011 Reply

You’re not insane – it can be very difficult to stay positive and a quick slap around the chops with the perspective glove is sometimes all we need to get ourselves back on track!

Anonymous 21 January 2011 Reply

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graz-111@hotmail.com 26 January 2011 Reply

Glad I found this site. I thought I was the only one that would from day to the next go from, “Man, this is great,” to “Man, this sucks.”

iain@writeforyourlife.net 26 January 2011 Reply

I’m very glad you found this site too – you’re very welcome! and you’re definitely not the only one to feel that way. In fact, I’d say it’s pretty much built-in to all writers.

graz-111@hotmail.com 26 January 2011 Reply

Thanks for the reply. I really did think I was the only one that felt that way. I’d like to share a few good tips and quotes I’ve picked up.
Write for the trash can. You can always throw away what you write if you decide that’s where it belongs.

It is better to finish a bad novel, then to leave a good novel half finished.

And from E.L. Doctrorow: “Writing is like driving a car at night. You only see as far as your headlights go, the next word, next sentence, the next paragraph, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

Now, back to writing. Bill’s evil father is a paragraph or two away from giving him a brutal beating. I can’t wait!

iain@writeforyourlife.net 27 January 2011 Reply

No problem at all – and thanks for sharing!

michaelramm@gmail.com 27 January 2011 Reply

First time visitor and reader. I found you through read and trust. This is such a good post about the insecurities that I personally have as a writer. More and better writing is one of the things that I want to work on in 2011, and this post has kicked me in the tail to start ACTIVELY working on my writing craft. Thanks so much, Ian. I look forward to reading more from you in the future!

iain@writeforyourlife.net 27 January 2011 Reply

Welcome! Glad your found me through Read & Trust, the group is such a great idea and I’m very pleased to be a part of it. Glad that this post kicked you into gear – get cracking!

graz-111@hotmail.com 27 January 2011 Reply

You’re a mind reader lain. I was getting ready to ask you for some feedback until I read this post of your’s:http://writeforyourlife.net/whatever-you-do-dont-be-a-needy-writer

And you’re spot on when you write, “The problem is, you’re likely to be at your neediest when you’re asking for feedback.”

Thanks for not giving me any feedback Lain.

iain@writeforyourlife.net 29 January 2011 Reply

Well it’s certainly true for me. I know when I’m struggling for confidence because all I want to do shout for help and feedback! And that’s okay, so long as you’re ready to hear the truth about your work (which may be that it’s brilliant)!

Anonymous 27 January 2011 Reply

[…] In this latest podcast I talk about writing confidence, including how to deal with a lack of it and what you can do to get your confidence back. It ties in nicely with last week’s video episode about being positive about your work. […]

Anonymous 29 January 2011 Reply

Iain, you got the right diagnosis … I feel all symptoms plus the so called writer’s block. Some argue that there is no such thing as writer’s block… and in a way I agree because if you want to write just anything, you will and in that sense then… there is no blockage… But it’s really about the combination of quality + creativity. Aaaand while I cure my symptoms, I’m glad I find so much content on your site. Thanks for the posts and I’ll come back for sure!

iain@writeforyourlife.net 29 January 2011 Reply

I agree with you. I’m not one for writing for the sake of writing. I’d rather move on to another project for a while or do something completely different until my confidence returns or the block has disappeared. It’s not always possible, of course. I’ve done my fair share of battling through too!
Glad to have you here!

graz-111@hotmail.com 29 January 2011 Reply

What I’m working on now, I started writing in the first person, then rewrote in the third person, then realized the protaganist wasn’t likeable enough or might not survive the until the end. In the original version, the story began in the present time. To flesh out the new protaganist or co-protaganist, who is the older brother of the first failed protaganist, I began the story thirty years ago when they were children.Now, at approx. 1/3rd, more or less, thru the story, I’ve caught up with the present time but have realized that up until now, the majority of my writing has been a few or more pages for one character, then a few pages for another, a few pages for yet another and then a few pages where they’re all, or most all of them are together in the same scene .
I’m being haunted by something I read warning about having characters drop in or rotate and out of scenes. But at the same time I’m trying to tell their stories as individuals, their seperate life histories that made them the people they are and will contribute to the actions they take as the “plot thickens.”
So am I sweating over nothing and just need to continue with what’s working so far or do I need to be aware of having the characters rotating in and out every 5-10 few pages as I get further into the story?
Thanks and I hope this question isn’t too convoluted.

iain@writeforyourlife.net 30 January 2011 Reply

I think the important thing to do is to try and be objective when you’re looking at your own work and you think you’ve got a problem. I can’t say one way or the other, of course, because I haven’t seen your work, but don’t be afraid to experiment the form if you think that’s the best way of telling the story. Characters can come and go and your protagonist can kick the bucket before the end – so long as that’s what you want to happen and the pace and rhythm of the story is right.
The only way to do that is to detach yourself from your characters – maybe leave it in a draw for a couple of weeks – then go back with a more objective eye. Stepping back every so often usually helps you find solutions to these types of problems.

Good luck!

Anonymous 19 April 2011 Reply

[…] what I talk about in this episode: why you might get the writing-related willies and what you should remember when it happens. Some worries are perfectly legitimate, but most of the time you just need to think things through, […]

Anonymous 5 June 2011 Reply

[…] I’ve touched on a few times here on Write for Your Life, looking at things like confidence, positive thinking and dealing with the topsy-turvy emotional side of […]

hardoakpress@gmail.com 22 September 2011 Reply

Brilliance is often achieved through accident.  There may be no ‘correct’ way to spin a story.  You just have to spin it.  Take the time and do it.  Graz, did you decide the protagonist wasn’t likeable enough or did you get second opinions?  Some of the best characters in literature are rogues, unlikeable bastards.  Let the guy/gal come to fruition.  
Ray Bradbury told me to “just write, and don’t think”.  At any rate, you’re taking part in the great mystery that is storytelling.  It is a rewarding journey, even if you don’t sell a single book.  Or, that depends on what you define as rewarding. I’ve never had writer’s block.  I do my thinking before I sit down to write and work myself up into a frenzy.  Walking or running and then sitting down to write work well together.  I recommend writing in war zones and dangerous places or going on a month’s long vacation to a place where you don’t speak the language.  This will really get you focused and putting English down on the page.  Letting ideas marinate in your mind without writing them down works wonders.  Chewing your cud before sitting down to scribble on the page is beautiful.  You can always add/change/delete because we have these wonderful things called computers.  Don’t be scared.  Just do it.   Jeff

iain@writeforyourlife.net 24 September 2011 Reply

Thanks for the comment Jeff – great stuff.

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