In Which: Overwritten is Unwritten

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I remember when I got my first review that really hurt (as an adult). It was about a year ago on one of those online pieces that every member of an online forum has written at one time or another, and while it was nothing truly official, it still stung. My writing was called ‘pretentious’.  Something about that word hurt more than a reviewer just saying my writing might be boring or  sloppy. But why was that I wondered? I thought back to all my early english classes in grade school where my dyslexia was still so bad I could barely write a sentence the teacher could understand. I remembered the joy I found when things finally started clicking in college and I could express myself in academic essay format and tone.

And then it hit me : The word pretentious troubled me so much because somewhere in my mind it meant my tone was now getting in the way of my writing being understood  in the same way my spelling use to. My writing was eating its own tail and I wanted so much to fix it. But what to do?

I still haven’t answered that question. Writing very bare bones doesn’t come naturally to me, but I also don’t feel like the John Green level of literary YA is in me either. Stylistically, I’m a bit stuck between a rock and a hard place.

What do you do to keep your writing relatable? Do you care about style? Would being called a ‘pretentious’ writer get to you at all or would you shrug it off?

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3 thoughts on “In Which: Overwritten is Unwritten

  1. Well, as long as you write about things that mean something to you or your writing contains a message/ethos that would mean something to you and maybe others, then being confident with that, is the key to keep writing. 🙂 Well, at least it works for me. I published two books in that spirit.

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      • I know how that feels. Even when I’ve published two books, I still feel there are better writers out there than me. I almost burned my two manuscripts in the beginning, thinking who cares, it’s rubbish anyway. But I managed to get that far. The confidence is hard to muster in such fierce competitive industry, but plough on and you will get there little by little. 🙂 I wish you every inspiration and success.

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