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Everything I write is terrible

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Clever username, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I think it is probably healthy as a writer to do both.
    You don't want to think all of your writing is hot stuff because then you will never improve, but you also can't think it is all bad because that will destroy your confidence as a writer.
  2. You're definitely not alone. Most of the time I'm happy with what I write at the time (like Babs) but I'm not so impressed when I go back and read it. But if you just troll other papers the same size as yours and read some of the garbage that passes for journalism, you won't think so poorly of yourself (unless you're one of the guys I'm talking about).
  3. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    I can't tell you how many times I have said after sending in a story, "This is the biggest piece of horseshit I've ever written," only to realize later that it was fine.
  4. No, I agree. Everything you write is terrible.

    You know I'm kidding, Clever. Just busting your balls a little.
  5. Running Bear

    Running Bear Member

    I keep getting told, after saying, "It's in. It sucks, but it's in ..." that I'm my own worst critic.

    I prefer it that way. Keeps me motivated.
  6. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    Well, I'm far better than my SE. That's not being conceited or anything. It just is what it is. But that's also a problem. I haven't had an editor work with me since college. Everything I do is on my own, so any growth or regression is by my own measure. Lately I've just felt like I've been spinning my wheels.

    Edit: And writing things like, "spinning my wheels."
  7. This has sort of already been said but I've noticed that when I really like something I'm writing it always reads like shit in paper ... and then there have been a lot of times I beat myself over the head for not coming up with something better and then see the same story a month or a year later and I consider it clip material ...

    I think we get a little too clever, turning a phrase or whatnot, that it's easy to forget people just want clarity and thoughtfulness.
  8. MC Sports Guy

    MC Sports Guy Member

    I actually think I suck. I'm not even sure why I'm still employed.

    Maybe that's overdoing it, but sometimes I really do feel that way. But every now and then I'll get a complement from a co-worker or some random reader that makes me feel better.

    It's actually a feeling I need to get over, and quick, because I'm afraid it's holding me back from things like actively seeking out a higher-paying job.

    I do have moments where I feel like I do my job rather well, and those are coming more often these days. Maybe that's a good sign.
  9. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    I get upset because I feel like I'm not making use of every inch. I want to fit as much info in as possible without cramming it or forcing it and have it read great. Some of the best examples of that sometimes are in SI, in the scorecard stuff, usually the red boxes, or at the end. So much info without reading like a list with a featurey bent.
  10. melock

    melock Well-Known Member

    Just remember they're not on a nightly deadlines ala us minions. Is that spelled right?
  11. Yup. Minions.
  12. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    Typically, I hate every syllable of every story I write. Very rarely do I write a story that I like, and on those rare occasions, I know as I'm writing the piece that it's going to be good.

    That said, people who are far more accomplished in the business than I tell me that my stuff is good. So, I guess I don't suck.

    The best advice I can give is to find someone who will take the time out of their day to read your stuff. Be it in your shop or a friend or someone on here. Someone you can ask to tear your stuff apart. What worked. What didn't work. What you really should have rethought. What idea(s) you should have punted into the 57th row of the third deck.

    The other piece of advice I can give--and it's something that I'm still learning--is that not every story is going to be Watergate or Balco. Sometimes a 14-inch gamer is just a 14-inch gamer. Give the who, what, when, how and why. It's better to write a solid story than to spin flowery bullshit that tells the reader nothing.
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