38 thoughts on “Agree? Disagree?

  1. I don’t relate to this at all. I’m embarrassed by my terrible work, yes. The sappy teenage poems, the awful first drafts, the supposedly-brilliant ideas I realize in the sober light of day aren’t even remotely salvageable. But why would I be embarrassed by my best work? I think this only applies if you’re writing very personal confessions (see “sappy teenage poems”).

    I could buy “scared” — as in, you get to your best work when you push the envelope and try something new and risky, something you are nowhere sure is going to fly.

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    • I think it means to really dig deep and put your emotions and thoughts onto the page. To really exposure yourself to where you could be embarrassed by it. To be that honest. To be that open and relatable to everyone means to be vulnerable. And to be vulnerable opens the door to be embarrassed. But scared is an equally valid consideration.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I understand that, but I still think it only applies to writing about yourself. If I’m writing about a fictional character, that character can go through all kinds of vulnerable, deeply emotional moments. I hope I’m portraying them honestly and movingly – yes, by digging deep into things I’ve thought and felt and watched others go through. But I also hope my readers understand that it’s a fictional character, not me.

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      • Thinking more about this, I realize that my response to this issue in terms of writing fiction is relative to my previous creative experiences, where I was writing poetry and songs – and performing them live – that were obviously about my own life, and were *intensely* personal and revealing. I was never embarrassed by that either, though, because hey, people are complex, messed up things who make mistakes and love the wrong people and are weak and do things they aren’t proud of sometimes. I couldn’t write good poetry without going there. Compared to that, writing fictional characters feels much more freeing, less risky.

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  2. Totally agree. When I write about my characters being so in love and touching each other I think ” where did that come from? ”
    Some of the things I make them go through are embarrassing but I think it makes it interesting? Maybe? Not for me to judge

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    • Oh, I agree. The stuff I wrote in The Water Castle was that way. The simple feelings the dad showed for his daughter by dressing up in a plastic suit of armor that didn’t fit, or the awkward and fumbling love scenes between the Tommy and Stacie, all of that is putting yourself out there emotionally and risking embarrassment. What if my parents read this? Will my friends think I’m a pervert, talking about sixteen year olds and their first time? That’s when I know I have to do it. I have to put it out there. Damn the torpedoes. It’s interesting and totally immersing for a reason. And when we do that and DON’T die, we grow and become less afraid to go deeper next time and really show universal emotions on a deeply personal plain. That’s a step toward great writing.

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      • What did you say to me about LA2? Write stuff that will make my mother blush? I told her that and she said it takes a lot to make her blush… well, you’ve read chapter 12, and she’s desperate to get the book between her palms. I think she’s going to have a shock, not to mention what the nuns will think……..!

        I’ve just finished a 10k plot outline for LA3 (follows straight on from LA2), and the heat is increasing by a few more notches!

        So, yes, I agree too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I suppose it does depend a lot on what exactly embarrasses one’s self. Yet I feel it represents in some way that truism in art of which I disagree that says the more shocking, the more unsettling it is, the better the art. Sometimes great art shocks our sensibilities. Sometimes great art affirms the blessing of being. And so on and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Agree. The reason being is in that small space between comfort and exposure, we thread a needle delicately. And if you have ever watched anyone do that, the level of care and precision they have to exercise is downright excruciating.

    Liked by 1 person

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