I Don’t Like My Writing

And I don’t know how to improve. Writing every day seems to steady my discipline, but that’s about it.

It feels like everything else you can overthink. Instead of getting into it I freeze up due to either thought loops or trying to keep the actual act of typing up with my head that’s eight steps ahead and already thinking about worst-case scenarios. The approach isn’t wrong, but this isn’t driven by deliberate improvement but anxiety. With everything else it’s always been solvable once I recognised that pattern, but writing still brings out my worst qualities.

Since quantity doesn’t seem to do it on its own I decided I’ll approach it like a video game. Just playing helps you get to a certain point of skill in first person shooters. Beyond that you have to actively think about what’s happening during gameplay. My positioning was off, I got too greedy on the trigger, I’m too calm here and too hectic there- and then improve on it. Worked wonders in games like Team Fortress 2, but again writing is putting up much more of a fight.

There are sentence structures I  prefer. While writing this blog I made the decision to avoid these. The results are unfortunate – my flow is broken and I slow down, and the finished text seems to not be much (if at all) better than what I would’ve written otherwise. I also grew to shorten sentences and remove excess words and it just doesn’t cut it for me. If I’ve improved I can’t see it myself. I still ramble, keep chaotic structures, overuse conjunctions, use a limited vocabulary, and have this odd voice overall. This voice is possibly the thing that bothers me the most.

While writing scripts that I’m gonna read for a video or similar I sound much more like a person. In instant messages I can portray distinctly different personalities. Even while speaking I have much more control over myself. As soon as I write a blog post or an article however this dense, slightly pretentious tone comes out and can’t be squelched.

My best guess is that I write like I think I should write. There’s many layers to it, but after years of it it seems to be my natural state. Coming to this conclusion earlier could have possibly saved me from diving in too deep. That’s not a good thought to be stuck with, so I’m looking for solutions. The big one would be proper editing. For a blog of course that’s unreasonable, but I’m confident I’ll find possibilities to toy with that in the future.

I’ll keep writing even if it kills me. It barely has any relevance in my life, but I ain’t a quitter. Maybe I should just read more, because right now I just… don’t. Possibly less garbage than usually as well.

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2 thoughts on “I Don’t Like My Writing

  1. Stuart Danker says:

    I too have always struggled with liking my own work. No such luck yet. I can relate with producing pretentious prose. This line, “and the finished text seems to not be much better than what I would’ve written otherwise” really resonates with me as well.

    You say that you can’t tell if you’ve improved, but you write better than 90% of the stuff that appear in my Reader feed. So do keep writing, because I think your work’s great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan says:

      Thanks a lot for your comment! I mean, I feel for you, but it IS good to know that, out of the few people who read this, there’s someone who understands. Let’s keep at it and move forward.

      I’m running into the same issues when writing in my native language by the way. It’s really frustrating to not notice any progress.

      Like

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