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Creative Writing/Should i stop or keep going?

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Question
Hi again Brian, so i have started writing my light novel and i shared it on a forum so i could get feedback, i checked my grammar,checked to see if anything was wrong, what holes i needed to fill, everything.I got some people saying it was good/ok and they liked it but gave me some critique on what i needed to fix, but i also got some very rude people saying this:

"I hate this,i hate is so much!"

"How old are you actually are?"

Here is the one that got me really sad

" You know its not good. So right now, it doesnt matter how many people say its good. you know its no good because you know you need to change it, and we all know its not because we told you what doesnt make sense. And we know you know we are right because so far youve done nothing to defend your work, just showing us the exit sign. Which is the worst kind of writer, when you know it has flaws but shows them out the door even though it does need to be fixed.


So far you have ignored.the questions....which means youre not worried about having an audience at all.


You know at 15, you may think you know everything about writing....you think you have the best ideas....and overall if one person supports you, you think you can get published....


Grow some humility, look where you are in life and youll see in just 1 year....1 year, youll see why this story has to change for at least 50%.


You have youth vs real crime issues....and one is affecting the other in a bad way.....its like kids searching for a kidnapped prostitute who happens to be his mother and they have this happy go lucky attitude. I have a feeling you know nothing about drug cartels and I know this because of the large inconsistencies. I know this is more about a group on a hunt to save someone else more than it is about drugs.


What we are saying is the truth and you try to avoid facing it when you say its fine that we dont like it. But at this point, int, its not about whether we like it....I dont care about whether you waste time finding your way to make it work or that I will like it.

There are inconsistencies....you want.to improve? What will you do?


I have a feeling youre not changing because its good but because it affects the plot twist. Youre not writing for the story but for the twist.you think is amazing.When you are never going to be amazing.(i copied and pasted this from the forum by the way)

I felt a bit discouraged and something inside me was telling me to stop or i will get more hate, what are your thoughts, should i stop or just keep going?

Answer
Hi Misty!

Sorry to get back to you so late, but thanks for bringing this to my attention.  While this is not a writing question per se, it is a question of motivation and judgment, two things I also love trying to help others with.

In most aspects of life, you will have two extreme ends.  In this case, you have certain naysayers offering what they think is simple, straightforward, objective advice: just quit.  They're looking at the world from a pretty simplistic, black-and-white lense.  They see the world as "people who can write" and "people who can't".

Well, they're flat out wrong.  Such a perspective is too simplistic to be accurate.

But I have to warn you, the people on the other end of the spectrum are wrong for the same reasons too.  They are people who will tell you things like "if you just believe in yourself, you can do anything!" or "Don't listen to the naysayers!  Just ignore them!"

I'm here to tell you they are both wrong, and they are both right.

The most accurate perspective to adopt is a balanced, reasonable one.

Regarding the negative aspects, you do need to listen to what the naysayers say, but only if it's constructive.  Much of what you shared with me is not.  Telling someone "I hate your work" and leaving it at that is completely useless.  So what if you don't like it?  How does that help me?  I don't like broccoli, does that make broccoli bad and useless as food?  Of course not.  In order for criticism to be of valuable, it has to help me somehow, it has to teach me something.  "This sucks" doesn't do that.

On the other hand, there are some people offering ideas.  If enough people tell you "This part doesn't make sense", you need to pay attention to that.

You might be wondering why?  After all, it's YOUR unique work.  It makes sense to YOU.  Let me respond to this with a few other questions:

1. Are you an expert writer who is already so good she cannot improve at all in any way?
2. If not, then do you acknowledge that you could get better, and that other people could help you with that?
3. If so, then do you think it's worthwhile to consider that maybe some of those people's criticisms - while unkind - may be worth listening to?

I also want to talk about staying positive though.  Anyway who tells you that writing for you is hopeless, a waste of time, useless, etc. are flat out WRONG.  While you may never become famous or write a bestseller, it is never, ever the case, with anyone, that they can't become better than they are now, and thus become a GOOD writer.  To say that an intelligent and creative human being cannot become a good writer is nonsense.  There is no value in listening to people who make statements like that, ESPECIALLY if that is the ONLY thing they have to say.  Any idiot can say "You'll never be good at ABC".  Saying that is the easiest thing in the world.  That hardly makes it TRUE.

The key is to have realistic assumptions that push you towards effort.  These assumptions include positive things like:
*I can get better at this, or anything I choose to do
*I can write something that SOMEONE will enjoy
*I can do SOME things right, even if I can't write something perfect

But also realistic things, like:

*I can't write perfectly, no one can, but that's ok
*It will take serious work to get better, but I can do it
*I will make lots of mistakes at first, but that's ok.  I will make fewer and fewer as I gain experience.
*Many people will not like my work, make fun of it, say mean things.  That happens to everyone, even great writers.

So you need to keep going.  You need to keep your expectations about your work and about yourself realistic.  You, unfortunately, need to bear a lot of criticism but, most importantly, be able to sort out the useless criticism from the useful criticism, even if it hurts.  The first two comments were useless.  The last one, although it made you sad, was useful.

Good luck!  I hope this helped.

Creative Writing

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Brian Connelly

Expertise

I can answer questions about how to start writing creatively, how to keep motivated to finish a creative writing project or write creatively on a consistent basis, how to come up with creative writing ideas and how to improve creative writing in general.

Experience

My university major was English literature, and I've been a (mostly) amateur writer for about 20 years.

Publications
Quill Books Poetry Anthology Local Alaskan newspaper

Education/Credentials
Bachelor's in English Literature (North Carolina State University)

Awards and Honors
Editor's choice award for one short story and one poem Three published poems in national anthologies

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