Writers Anonymous
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That Way

It's something I've been thinking about after visiting/posting in this forum on almost a daily basis for the last few weeks.

Sometimes I feel as if I'm so caught up with talking about my writing, or just writing in general that I take away from the actual time I have to write. And not just here: I mean with teachers, critics, reviewers, friends, or even to yourself. I know part of it is because it's much easier to talk about doing things than actually doing them. But I also know that talking about things before actually writing them can help me work certain issues out or remind me to keep certain things in mind before I get started.

In one of my graduate classes (Teaching Writing) the material emphasizes how important it is for young writers to talk about what they're trying to do and what they want to do. But some things indicate this need decreases with time and success, which hopefully a lot of us here have already experienced.

So I ask you, my fellow writers and discussers of the written word, your feelings on the matter. Do you think your writing really benefits from taking part in discussions like those in this forum or are you just procrastinating? Or are you were merely to offer your guidance and wisdom for the benefit of others?

9/29/2012 #1

I talk about writing because I'm actually interested in writing. And I tend to throw myself into something totally, often to the exclusion of all else. It's just how I am. Lots of time, only a few interests. And when I don't have as much writing I feel inspired to do, I talk about writing instead. When I do feel inspired, sorry guys, but I drop you all like a hot potato. XD

Anyway, what I get out of talking about writing is new ideas and better ideas on what to do, how to do it and what kind of things to write about. I also get a perspective on how certain techniques come off to various people so I can decide if I really want to write like that. For me, talking about writing just gives me the tools to improve my writing and keep me thinking about it when I'm not writing, not replace it or keep me away from it.

And along the way I can help other people improve their own craft, which is an added bonus.

9/29/2012 #2

Interesting question, That Way and I've often thought the same way you have about posting and discussing writing in taking away from time actually writing. I look at it like this; as writers, whether professional or enthusiastic hobbyist, it is very easy to get lost or trapped in the bubble of our own minds since we spend so much time there. Discussing writing offers an outlet and a time to share with others of the same interests. We can "feed" off each other's energy, offer advice and take advice given. We get new perspectives and ways to attack writing problems from another angle.

Also as Darkwinter999 so eloquently put it; when I am uninspired, I look to the boards, when the writing mood strikes, see ya later. I just love writing; whether talking about it or doing it, it fuels a fire within me.

One thing that does drive me absolutely nuts is how quickly a simple debate can turn incendiary and just downright nasty. I realize we are all passionate (as writers we kind of have to be) but some of the back and forth, pompous and bloated with self-importance, arguments I see are a real turn off.

9/29/2012 #3

I agree. I'm getting really sick of the fights. I'm all for a discussion, but a reasonable, prove-your-point-logically-to-'win' sort of way. I hate the nasty name-calling, threats and belittling. That's why my favorite phrase is 'agree to disagree'. That way everyone can keep their own beliefs and no one has to feel wrong. But then again, some people feel wrong just by someone thinking they aren't right and I just hate hanging around people like that. There's always trouble people like that happen by (not talking about anyone presently here...this was a while ago).

9/29/2012 #4
Corinne Tate

I love the topic.

I think I've run the full spectrum here. I first started popping in here to learn. The things I didn't know could fill a book, and I have learned a lot just lurking, or reading old posts. Strangely, I've learned through some of those heated discussions, no matter how little I like them. I'm sure I'll need those lessons in diplomacy when I finally publish something for profit.

I love discussing my actual writing with anyone who will listen. Nothing gets the creative energy flowing better than being able to bounce ideas off of a receptive person. But sadly that's not usually an option among my friends and family.

I have spent hours lurking and posting, and getting into discussion threads. Usually it's pure procrastination, but I've also found that being a writer (yes, I consider myself a writer,) is lonely and isolating. I sit in front of the screen with my back to the room and when the ideas are flowing, I don't want to be interrupted or bothered. But when those ideas are elusive, sometimes the best company is other writers.

And sometimes I'm arrogant enough to think I can help others with advice.

9/29/2012 #5

Why are we talking about writing?


Cause talking about lefting would make no sense! :D

*sideglance* okay I had to :P

Talking about writing is a good way to get motivated.

And bad puns....they unmotivate you...I should be -pun-ished...

*facepalm* sorry....really...

9/29/2012 #6

We talk about writing because, although we wish to write, for some reason we don't feel like writing at that moment; so we talk. Perhaps we feel unprepared. Perhaps our muse is in hiding. Perhaps we are simply procrastinating, or tired. Whatever the reason, talking about writing is broadly a substitute for writing. Of course, there are exceptions - important exceptions at that - in research, reviews, critiques, style questions, and the all important bouncing of ideas.

I'd make a Venn Diagram, but this forum doesn't allow pictures.


Speaking in plural is rather enjoyable.

9/30/2012 #7

I detect more stealth insults! Heh.

Anyway, I'm mainly here to procrastinate. Not that I don't want to write, but I simply am too lazy to open the file and start writing. Pfft.

That and I need to see how the Internet works more, because it certainly doesn't work in the clear cut way as real life does.

9/30/2012 #8

...but I've also found that being a writer (yes, I consider myself a writer,) is lonely and isolating.

It sure can be. That's another thing I get out of these discussions. I can finally connect with someone. I rarely get that chance through reviews because no one really seems interested in talking to anyone. They just want to say their piece and disappear or get accolades and help from behind a curtain. It's weird, but at least I can get the contact I need out of the forums.

And sometimes I'm arrogant enough to think I can help others with advice.

I know you meant that for laughs, but there are people who actually believe it's arrogant or presumptive to think they should say something when they see it. The fact is, some people are moderately good all around in writing, and others (like me) are insanely good at a few of the writing skills but have tragic difficulties with others. And sometimes it just requires an outside opinion. Either way, I always encourage people to say something to me, because no matter how much better you might think I am at writing, I still value everyone's opinion, and I'm sure there's a lot of other writers who feel the same.

Didn't mean anything against you, Corinne, as I said, it has nothing to do with what I think you believe, I just think it needs to be said for anyone else reading. I know there's always a lot of people who pop in and just lurk and you never know what they think or know.

10/1/2012 #9

What? Well, being a writer isn't that isolating to me. Maybe because our school has this student run "Animation Club" that has a fanfiction portion to it. Also my friends read my stories.

I think it's nice representing my thoughts without typing them out blatantly (because that would be awkward).

The word "arrogant" is very unsuitable for this situation. In general, calling yourself arrogant is not arrogant (but I do it to so that makes me a hypocrite bleh), and helping others is definitely the opposite being absorbed in oneself. You're being overly self-deprecatory here.

10/2/2012 #10
Aspiring Hobby

I think being a writer is sometimes isolating, well in my case. I lurk here out of procrastination and as well to learn more about writing. I get the contact here which I just not seem to get at home.

And sometimes I'm arrogant enough to think I can help others with advice.

I don't think so you need to feel that way. I don't know about anyone else but you are one of the authors whose opinion I always look forward to. I certainly don't think so you are arrogant. As yiranY pointed out, no need to be self-deprecating. :)

10/3/2012 #11

Another vote for procrastinating.

But also for research. I write about teens. I am not a teen and I haven't been one for a long time. Many of the posters here either are teens or were teens fairly recently. There aren't that many places where I get to interact with teens without wearing my "mum hat". Here we're all just writers.

10/3/2012 #12

1. Yes, I'm procrastinating. Thank you for joining me; it's so much more fun when it's more than one!

2. I enjoy talking about writing because it's a current passion. I especially love offering advice, though take everything I say with a cliche of salt.

3. (Sometimes) it helps motivate me to write further, such as when I post a snippet to be reviewed, or a fellow author and I 'resonate' on an idea and discuss it.

4. It might help me get more reviews. Social networking and all that.

5. Conversely, I sometimes review stories by forum members I admire.

6. Writing takes prolonged concentration time. This only requires short snippets.

7. I think of this as "possibly productive" like browsing Cracked.com or TvTropes.org.

8. On FP, I've made one or two good friendships that started with just forum banter.

9. Did I mention it's fun? Or that I procrastinate?

10. There is no rule 10.

10/3/2012 #13
Corinne Tate

Hmm, a lot of discussion over that word "arrogant." I really didn't mean it all that seriously in my post. I do love to give advice, but I also feel I'm still on the upward swing of the learning curve myself, and I'm just as likely to mislead as advise. I hope readers here understand that I'm only giving my opinion, and not citing a hard and fast rule.

Anytime I post something on this forum, I'm aware that there's likely someone else who will say it better, or disagree with me. If I say drop unnecessary dialogue tags, someone else will disagree, and cite reasons for them and respected authors who use them. If I say limit author's notes, someone else will argue for page long footnotes. I think it would be arrogant for me to think there's only one way to do things, and my way is the right way. I advise of what's the right way for me, and leave it up to you whether it's sound advice.

And yes, I'm procrastinating again.

10/3/2012 #14

Anytime anyone reads anything on a forum such as this, it should be inherently understood that anything said is wholly the poster's opinion. Furthermore, seeing that few of us are published authors, our words of advice, no matter how well-intended, aren't really anything more than helpful attempts.

Sadly, I've had to say that explicitly because someone mistook my passionately (or should that be pASSionately?) stated opinions to be statements of fact.

I don't care if someone comes across as arrogant. If worst comes to worst, I'll just ignore the post.

10/3/2012 #15

You guys know what my first priority is? PROCRASTINATION! :D

There's a hypocritical statement of the year :3

I always write like...late at night...I have no clue why, I'm more focused then I guess...


And who cares what we talk about as long as it's writing related...it's a writing forum ... so obviously we're gonna talk writing stuff here...

10/3/2012 #16
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