Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Warning: This Is A Depressing Post

One thing I have realized is that I am not good at writing tips. If I even so much as THINK about how to write or the technical aspects of writing, I cannot do it.

That's how I feel anyway.

Why do I say this about  myself? Well, when I came to college I decided to major in English Writing. Why? If you major in Professional Writing at the University of Oklahoma (I don't know if this is the case for all colleges), you have to go through the college of journalism...and well, I wasn't prepared for that so I didn't even try. Also, no one really likes fantasy authors...though I find they are always the ones who hit it big! Anyways. I am an English Writing major...what does that mean? It means mostly that I have to focus my skills on Scholarly Writing.


Keep in mind, this is my fourth year at this major. The first semester went well. Perfect! I was the only kid who knew what Pathos, Logos, and Ethos was. Yay me. Next semester I took what's called Expository Writing. It's supposed to be focused on an area of interest so you don't lose interest. Right. I took Modern Monsters. I had a wonderful teacher...but I had to focus on how to write and then I couldn't write anymore. Writing became SO diffcult to me because suddenly I was faced with questions about my writing, told things weren't quite good enough, and I lost all hope.

Then I realized it's all subjective and it's probably harder to be an English Major than any other major. At least in Math you either have the answer or you don't. Everything I do is based completely on what my Prof likes. I've gone to 3 Profs for info on Grad School, they all tell me it's pointless to major in Creative Writing since I'm a fantasy writer. I've been told I shouldn't go into English Education because I'm not scholarly.

Yeah. I'm feeling the love.

I just wanna scream 'I'm a good writer!!!...........I think..."

At the end of the day, I don't know anymore. I look at my book and think 'You were great once' I remember editing it and laughing at the cunning humor of my characters. I was so passionately in love with my novel, nothing could keep me away from it. Now I'm almost afraid of it. I keep rereading my query, wanting it to be perfect, but I don't know what perfect is...I think that's subjective too.


  1. I am not an English major, and actually my back ground is technical. Based on this, I'm the last person that should be giving anyone English or writing advice. But at this point in my life what I can tell you is find what makes you happy. The most important thing for us as people is to enjoy what we do. I mean we only get to ride this roller coaster one time, so you might as well have fun doing it.

  2. The degree is the end all be all. You writing and you loving it is all that matters! The prof's just want to see themselves in you, when you're different they don’t how to handle it. Be who you are and forget what they say when it comes to your novel (not your school work) go ahead and read it again and laugh. Do it for the LOVE!

  3. Thanks guys! :) I had a real moment earlier. Sometimes I really think it's impossible. I'm sure we all feel that way though. I thoroughly believe in doing what you love in life. I've just gone through these ups and downs while in college with my writing and I'm shocked I can still hold onto my dream.

  4. J.A. gave the BEST advice ever. Do what you have to in order to hold onto a good GPA, but never compromise your downtime (writing what you love) and don't let them taint that. Keep it separate. You'll make it girl! We have faith in you.

  5. I was a math major. Now my day job is math and my nights and weekend are consumed with writing.

    Writing is subjective and we are all learning every day how to better our craft. Don't worry, fantasy writers can get their MFA. Besides, I love fantasy with a literary edge.

    Don't let them get you down.


  6. Best of luck Ashley, don't let it get to you. I mean I was told I was terrible at maths in school, they would not even allow me to do accounting as a subject....then I went on to get a degree in IT - which was all maths and then work in fund accounting!!!

    Being told how rubbish you are can be an incentive to tell em all to DUCK off and go do your own thing.

    Beir Bua (Irish for bring victory)

  7. I totally agree with Michelle & the others as well. I also received my degree in English & I'm probably the least scholarly person out there, on top of being a horrible editor. :P But when it comes to being a writer...YOUR writing is about YOU. I know that sounds selfish but being a writer is a pretty selfish endeavor. It's YOUR stories, YOUR words, and YOUR brilliant imagination come to life in YOUR books. Embrace that! Because if you can't, then who will? And as for "those other people", as Michelle so eloquently stated, "tell em all to DUCK off and go do your own thing."

    Keep Writing Ashley!

  8. Hey, really interesting post- I know exactly what you mean, but if it helps, when I was a more confident writer, I was a worse writer, so maybe all your recent lack of confidence means is that you've improved, and I'll bet your book is great! Also, that makes no sense that you can't do Creative Writing at Grad School because you write fantasy. What do your profs think 'creative' means?? Perhaps they should retitle the course: 'Pompous Literary Writing That Takes Itself Too Seriously'...Sorry, I'm annoyed on your behalf! Anyway, I've given you an award on my blog, so come see! Hope that helps cheer you up. :)

  9. Every writer at one point or another is told or discovers that they can write better. It does suck. But it's actually a great thing, because then you have room for improvement.

    When you wrote your novel, were you part of any writing groups/critique groups? The best thing for your novel right now, and for your query, is for you to seek feedback...well, maybe not quite right now. Wait till your writing confidence builds back up a bit. :)

  10. Not depressing really. Just kind of realistic in my opinion. We've all been there. Or will be there soon.

  11. @ Anita - Thank you. :) I think it's gonna be easier this year. I have better teachers.

    @ Monica - OMG, you're like one of those genius people who can do both math and english! That's crazy! Thank you!

    @Michelle - LOL. "Duck off" I'm gonna use that. You also have a genius mind like Monica. I can't do math to save my life! I'm so happy I'm finished with it. Thanks you! I love the Irish btw!

    @ Blaire - I love what you said! I guess I get so caught up in trying to make it perfect for everyone else, I forget why I began writing.

    @ Charlotte - lol! I love your title of the course! And thank you very much for the blog award! I do feel better!

    @ Lauren - I haven't actually joined critique groups, I've sent my novel to a few writer friends and they've sent me feedback sheets. Also, I did post my query on my blog and rewrote and rewrote over the summer. It's getting there, but I'd like a writing group! Support is always great!

    @ Jessie - well, I'm glad you didn't think so! lol. It is different from my usual cheerful self!

  12. Remember: English is your degree and Writing is your life. Your degree is to give you tools and background to help you accomplish your life. Think of it that way. And it is all very subjective. Learn as much as you can and use it how you know to use it. Work hard. Dare to dream and Do it! Amen.