The Collaborative Writer Forum For Aspiring and Published Writers

#1

Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:44 pm
by collaborative writer
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What were your earliest experiences with writing like? Do you remember getting attention, approval, being told "not to quit your day job"?

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#2

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:59 pm
by Capucine • 14 Posts

My first experience of writing was a disaster. I was 10 years old and was sufficiently paralyzed by the criticism to refuse to put pen to paper for the next ten years, no matter what the punishment or consequences. I learned to write precise, clear orders to my subordinates in my role as a senior financial executive. Literary ability was not a requirement, if one could manage the money efficiently. Since my retirement eight years ago I have been writing short articles on subjects that I have some knowledge of, but I still have a reluctance to share this output. I need to find out just how bad they are.


Capucine

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#3

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:49 pm
by collaborativewriter • 85 Posts

I have read what you've written with a fascination that is hard to explain until you get a chance to know why I started this forum and why your experience is so important to me... I want everyone who wants to write to feel like they can. I would respond, as an educator and as someone who wants to change the way people think about writing and writers, that I want you to find just how important it is that you allow yourself to write; not that you find out how "bad" (or even how 'good') your writing is. The first step is not to find out the 'worth' of one's writing output from someone else's perspective.... The first step is to let one's self write. :-)

This is not to say that one should not submit writing and see what the response is. I do that. I just don't want people getting discouraged and believing that what editors and publishers say is the last word on the subject. I think it all depends on what your ultimate goal is, though, and why you write in the first place.

Also, there's something important to this process called 'locus of authority.' It turns out that where you place the locus of authority matters to how much agency, or personal power, you believe you have. If your locus of authority is externally placed, then you will expect others to tell you what they think of your work, and you will place too much weight on their approval or disapproval. If you have an internalised locus of authority, of course, you get to be the one who decides the quality or worth of your own writing.

Now, clearly, I would rather that beginning writers, and those who are still struggling to find their way, be more internally than externally focused. However, the internal locus can be misleading, when you're up against outside opinion, because if 50 publishers, or agents, or editors tell you 'no,' you have the choice to keep resubmitting—or not.

So I hope it's fairly clear that the goal is to find a balance between the internal and external loci of authority. Too much of one or the other, and you're going to run up against some barrier that will impede you.


Last edited Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:50 pm | Scroll up

#4

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:59 pm
by Capucine • 14 Posts

I am not sure how I can answer you without giving too much detail and explanations. I will try, though. Basically I am externally controlled for all matters other than money, finance, and corporate authority. My writing reflects this, since I never dare to write about anything other than money and ideas, or more boldly stated 'power.'

I know this is rather an inadequate response, but perhaps we can advance little by little

Capucine


Capucine

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#5

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:32 pm
by collaborativewriter • 85 Posts

..not a problem, and you can always reach me either by PM here (private message) or via my email, collaborativewriter@gmail.com

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#6

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:54 pm
by Mercurial Malachi • 5 Posts

The Iron Neck Turkey. A turkey swallows a tin can and can't be axed for the Thanksgiving dinner. An elementary school story.

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#7

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:17 pm
by collaborativewriter • 85 Posts

You might have to elaborate, Malachi, to be completely understood....


Last edited Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:18 pm | Scroll up

#8

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:22 am
by Northern • 9 Posts

One of the first times I wrote creatively was for a 5th grade class project. We had to make a short story about a hero who saved the day in some way. My brain went into overdrive and I began to throw a whole mess of things ranging from X-Men to Thunder Cats to Sonic the Hedgehog. It was incredibly fun and I, in my young mind, thought I had a real winner. When the teacher eventually handed the papers back I was excited to see what she thought of my hodgepodge story. Other kids around me got theirs first, marked with red pen in both critique and praise. I was pretty much shaking by the time I got mine back. The only red I found was on the last page where I had been given the grade of B-. I was disappointed, both by the grade and the lack of feedback, but went home without approaching the teacher. I re-read the story again a few weeks later and realized what an insane mess it was. I was embarrassed for having ever turned it in. I'm sure the teacher was embarrassed reading it as well. I suppose her silence on the matter was the kindest way of indicating that I shouldn't continue writing. Even though that story was horrible it did make me realize how fun it was to write and I continued. The downside was that I became very picky about letting people read my stuff for the longest time because of it.

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#9

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:12 am
by collaborativewriter • 85 Posts

... very interesting... I had to look up Sonic the Hedgehog... but silence is one of the least pleasant responses to one's writing that I can think of. Boy, there sure have been a lot of different responses writers I've known report getting from their teachers. Most people do dread the red ink more than anything, but a lack of response... even worse, possibly? Welcome to the forum, and thanks for posting such a detailed response. And I love your puppy. :-)

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#10

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:34 am
by Northern • 9 Posts

I think the initial fear of that red ink is bad but, when considered in hindsight, a blank paper is even worse from an educational perspective. And thank you for the welcome! My scary puppy and I are happy to be here!

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#11

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:43 am
by collaborativewriter • 85 Posts

I really hope you and Scary Puppy will rummage around and post stuff in the other threads, since no one else does. <sniff>

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#12

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:12 pm
by Mercurial Malachi • 5 Posts

My earliest writing experience" is a story called the Iron Neck Turkey which I wrote in elementary school.

Editors!@

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#13

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:22 pm
by collaborativewriter • 85 Posts

now all is clear. It's too bad we can't see your story... I think.


Last edited Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:22 pm | Scroll up

#14

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:34 pm
by Mercurial Malachi • 5 Posts

We kept it brief because we were answering what the 'earliest writing experience' was. Elementary school stories needn't be judged, but should be encouraged,we think you'd agree.

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#15

RE: Your earliest writing experiences...

in Your previous experiences with writing... Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:51 pm
by collaborativewriter • 85 Posts

You don't have to keep it brief; write as much as you like. That's one thing I do want to encourage.


http://collaborative-writer.com

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