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March 23rd, 2003, 05:49 PM
Just wanted to know what each of you guys thought about your own ability.

i know during my teenage years that i thought I was good enough to make it big, but age made me wise(ish) and I realised that i needed to get a bit better.

My own ability? And talent?

I'm SURE I could do a good job. I know i can.

But if there's one thing I am it is damn lazy.

That's my whole downfall in life.

People say I'm one of the most laidback and unruffled people around.

I know it's cos I'm too bloody lazy to worry/do anything!!

self-help therapy over

March 23rd, 2003, 08:27 PM
My opinion of myself jumps up and down. Sometimes I feel like I've written a great story and want to show it to everyone. Then there's other times where I wondered why I'm not hiding my story in my dustiest cupboard. Funniest thing is this will often be the same story.

I haven't tried too hard thinking about my own ability, because I like to tell myself I'm good when I start a story and drop my expectations of myself after I've finished a draft or two. This is because thinking that you're good helps you get motivated, and telling yourself that you're bad keeps you from being overconfident. Also telling yourself you're bad after you've finished means you don't raise your expectations.

If I were asked to judge what my real abilities were, I honestly wouldn't know.


March 23rd, 2003, 09:17 PM
I know I can write well, and I have. But I am too hard on myself and rarely finish anything. I have the tendency to read my chapters after writing them, but usually a few days later and my perspective has changed and I trash the file. That is why I am really trying now to not look back, and look back only after I am deep into the story or if I need a refresher on what is going on.

March 24th, 2003, 12:19 AM
Good topic... but one that most people struggle with. How do you know you are good until you have actual market validation? I am part of a writers group through Hatrac which is a great way to get solid feedback (if you have a good group). I have always believed that I am a good writer. Not a great writer, but a good one. I have continued to get good feedback, so it seems I am at least not wrong. I did get my book all the way past three levels of editors to the owner of a publishing house called Edge publishing in Canada (small press, but doing well). From slush, to editor, to managing editor and positive comments all the way. The owner sent me a letter with very positive feedback... but no publishing deal. Since then, I have improved further. I am now to the point that I know that my work is marketable. I don't actually care if it ever goes to a big press, but it will be available through POD (yes, there are POD's that actually have credibility and who actually 'select' manuscripts' that are worthy of using. Anyhow, the secret to success does not seem to be driven by great writing, but by great storytelling. I do believe I have great stories to tell. After this June, my most recent work is coming out through equilibruim books, and hopefully I will continue to get good feedback and allow folks to enjoy what I know to be a great story, and good writing.
The world is full of talent (and full of those that think that they have talent and don't...). Each of us has to make an honest assesment... and get honest assesments from independant sources to figure out which we are.

March 24th, 2003, 02:04 AM
Talent? In all honesty I don't know if I have any.

I know I can tell a good story.

I know I am as stubborn as a mule.

I know that grammar and all its complex forms is hard for me to grasp. I struggle and dither so much. I can write a work in a couple of months then spend twelve muttering about the grammar....

I know people I have never met have read my work and liked it. For some reason this includes a reputable New York Agent, who to my shock actually requested the whole of my recent effort after reading the first 50 pages...

But I am well aware that this agent, even if they quite like my work, could decide not to take me on and even if they do, Will my work sell? I dream that it will, but in reality I don't think so.

It's nice to have dreams, but on the whole I am a bit too old and cynical to believe they come true.

I will settle for someone reading my work and enjoying it, even if the grammar is bad....

March 24th, 2003, 02:10 AM
Originally posted by Richardb
Anyhow, the secret to success does not seem to be driven by great writing, but by great storytelling. I do believe I have great stories to tell.

Good point. That's how I feel as a reader and writer as well. I don't particuarly care if you are an artistic genius with words, I just want to know that you as an author can tell me a story that I can read and enjoy. And this is different for everyone. Writing for children is different then writing literary fiction and writing fantasy is different then writing romance. Just do your story justice and everything should be ok.

March 24th, 2003, 04:27 AM
I know what I am good at and what I am bad at. Perhaps more importantly, I know what I really enjoy writing.

Ability is a very hard thing to quantify in entertainment, and I class reading as a very important part of my recommended daily allowance of entertainment. Some of the most critically acclaimed and technically brilliant books, bore me to tears and I wouldn't use them as coasters for my coffee. On the other hand, writers who have been slated such as Matthew Reilly have written highly entertaining, page turning thrillers.

I write what I know I would enjoy reading and am happy to rely on someone with more expertise to correct the grammar and so on, without altering the flow... That belongs to me.

Lucky Joe
March 24th, 2003, 09:15 AM
I think that I'm able to tell an entertaining story, I honestly believe that my work is better than SOME of the books I've read, (And I'm sure most of you would agree, we've all read terrible books that leave us thinking how on Earth did that get published) but of course that is MY opinion and who am I to say. I can however say that with each piece I complete I am able to look back and see that I have improved, which is very important to me, if I'm not getting any better I'm standing still and where's the joy in that?

Even if I never get published - and let's face it that is a very real possibility for even the most talented writers - I will continue to write because I enjoy what I do and like the gambler that I am, I will always believe the next one is the one that will get the ball rolling.

March 25th, 2003, 12:28 AM
It's friends and family who think I'm lazy, because I'm trying to become a writer instead of pursuing a "normal career". I know I have an ability and I'm close to a breakthrough, but I also realise I need to improve a hell of a lot if I want writing to be more than a satisfying past time.

March 25th, 2003, 04:06 AM
I know that I can write drastically differently than anyone out there. I'm still not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. I can write a normal story, but in a way I can't because I won't. Sometimes I think my strange style is needed and people who are looking for the obsure will love it and it will instantly become a classic. On more normal days I realize that nobody will ever read it and the few that do won't even understand. Still, I am ABLE. I'm not lazy -- I'm crazy!