Am I a bad writer?

My phase of writing first thing every day broke today. I meant to write, but I had quit yesterday at the end of a scene thanks to not knowing what the next one would be. Even though I told myself the scene would come to me yesterday, I sat down today still clueless what the next scene would be. I’m still clueless now, and I haven’t written a single word on the book today. This is the first day that has happened.

I’m going through a bit of a writerly crisis. A lot of it stems from general negative feelings, but the root of it is that my writing’s boring, my voice is boring, my writing is terrible, I can’t create conflict, my characters are static, and I do everything wrong when writing a book except maintain clear and correct grammar throughout the text. I’ve already vented on this topic to multiple people and in my journal, so there’s no use spilling my emo guts here as well and making myself feel bad.

See, I’m working on the third draft of the pumpkin novel. The timeline and setup are completely different from those of the first two drafts, and for most purposes I’m trying to treat it like a first draft. I’m trying to make it less terrible than my usual first drafts because this will likely be the draft I’ll be working from when editing. Or at least I hope it is. I’ll probably write even more drafts of this, but I really hope this one is the last one I write primarily from scratch. A coherent story needs to happen, and I’m worrying about my ability to create it.

I’ve started wondering: is my current state of worry a phase or a legitimate concern? Am I really that bad of a writer, or am I just in that stage of the story where everything appears to be bad? This evening I thought I haven’t improved as a writer at all. There’s one way to show that. I have a novel sitting on my hard drive from November 2002. It’s time to take another look at it, if only for the lulz. Stay tuned.

6 thoughts on “Am I a bad writer?

  1. I think you need to keep writing! If you think it’s not good then read books about writing and stuff! You should go check out storyfix.com it’s a godsend for me and anyone who wants to learn the straight facts about story structure, how to create realistic characters with depth and tons and tons of other things, I’ve only began perusing the archives of the sight and have learned so much!

    So don’t give up! Learn and keep writing!

    • @BookOwl Thanks for the site! I’m going to take a look at it tomorrow. Things like character creation, plotting, and those fun things that most people do before writing still elude me because I’m a pantser instead of a plotter. I think it’s time I learn (and I mean really learn, not just know the facts of) how to do those things.

  2. You should just calm down and wither skip ahead a bit in the writing ro leave it off for a while and try writing something else (or not write at all. Read some good books and hold everything else off. It can be really inspiring to just knock off for a week). don’t lose confidence in your writing. I’ve felt the same way in writing my Code Lyoko novel. You might even want to satart some things over. You have my full support and keep writing, even if for the fun of it. Don’t think like you’re writing a novel. Just write to write. Write for yourself. Write with no attatchments…Oh, and stay awesome.

    • @Alaska_Is_Beautiful I’m definitely reading some good books; I’m reading The Chronicles of Narnia, and the prose of C.S. Lewis puts mine to shame. Maybe I should give myself the rest of the week, though I’m only halfway through the week break if the break is the case.
      Maybe this break will be what I need to figure out the plot. And I’ll do my best to stay awesome. 😀

  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself! You can’t appreciate all of the great writing you do without enjoying the non-writing. Take breaks, don’t feel bad about days off, and the words will come when they are supposed to!

    • @JonHearty I hope those words come when they’re supposed to; if they don’t, this book will never get written, and I want it to get written because I love the story that much.
      For what it’s worth, I haven’t written in the book since Friday, and that included a trip last night and today. No new ideas have come yet. I hope they come. Thanks for the encouragement!

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