Low writing Self-Esteem

by KT

Question: Hi, I'm 14 years old and I'm trying to write a story out that I'm planning on drawing out into a comic. But when I start, I feel anxious. I can't get my mind off of thinking "whelp, here i go, i really hope that I'm not going to write anything dumb or uninteresting." I'm so scared that its gonna turn out disastrous. I've failed many times resulting that I felt my idea was unoriginal and repulsive.

Answer: I'm going to recommend you go to the following link (copy it into your browser). It will take you to a two-minute video by Ira Glass on the creative process that I think answers your question as well as anything I could say. Watch it over and over until it sinks in.


But just in case you're not going to do that, you need to know that almost every writer spends a lot of time - years, in fact - writing things that are dumb and uninteresting. And there are a lot of people who could have become good writers who didn't because, when they saw that what they wrote at first was dumb and uninteresting, they quit.

Writing, like any art form takes practice. No one expects you to sit down at a piano for the first time and play a tune worth listening to. No one expects your kindergarten paintings to be hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. No one expects you to be a great singer or dancer without a lot of practice.

BUT - and here's where I agree with Ira - the fact that you can look at something you wrote and realize it's not as good as you hoped shows something important. It shows you have a sense of what good writing and bad writing look like. You can tell the difference. And that means that, with practice, your writing will get better.

Give yourself permission to write disastrously for while. Maybe even see if you can write the worst story ever. Seriously.

Then go back and rewrite until your story is closer to your vision. Maybe you'll have to write it 30 or 40 times before you're happy with it. So what? Be patient with yourself. It's just like musicians doing scales or dancers doing plies. You're building your writing muscles.

Sometimes you have to set a story aside for while, maybe write some different ones, and then come back to your first story later with fresh eyes.

Just don't stop because your story isn't great yet.

And watch that video.

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