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The 'I Suck' Syndrome.

Burnt Flower

Horror Mistress
...OMG, I actually made a thread here. :O

Anyway, while I was actually writing my latest chapter of my fic, I came upon an unexpected problem I never predicted before.

I disliked my writing.

It took me a whole hour to write just one paragraph or line (how I wish I were kidding) because I immediately erased what I wrote down because I thought it was mediocre, below average, crappy... You get the idea. :p

Have you ever had this problem before (I think everyone did at one point, but just in case)? How did you overcome it and how long did it take? In your opinion, is it worse than procrastination or some other writing problem? Or maybe it's your subconscious telling you that your writing in fact stinks?

Post, please. :3


When I'm uninspired, I feel like I can do no right when writing, but when I actually have ideas to express (as with my most recent poem, Differentiable [linked below]), I'm less critical of the words I write down as long as I think they say what I'm thinking.
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well, it probably depends on what you're writing about.

if you like, no love the subject you are writing about, then it should come naturally to you.

There's no point in continuing something that you know you're going to dislike, so it would be okay to take a break from it, maybe it'll come back to you unexpectedly.

It also helps to have moral support in those times as well.


Lost but Seeking
Oh yeah, I can definitely tell when my writing is not up to par. It's odd; sometimes I'll write something, be convinced that I suck, and then come back to proofread the next day and actually like it. Other times, I'll write something, think that it's bad, and then come back later and be like, "Well, yeah, that's crap." Generally, it's only when I look at it after that I can tell whether I've done well with something; even if other people like it, I might be dissatisfied because I know that it's not my best work and up to my usual standard, that is, if I were reviewing it, I would dislike it.

Usually, the only thing that I can do is write through what I'm looking at and hope that I'll be able to change it later if it sucks. Sometimes I'll just not be able to figure out how to get a sentence exactly right, but end up just getting fed up and leaving it with a worse wording and deciding to come back to it later. When I proofread I can usually fix it, as I've not been staring at the thing for minutes on end, trying to make it go right. Other times, I just can't, and chapters have gone to press with stuff I know is bad in them, but just can't seem to fix. In that case, I hope there'll be a reviewer who'll notice and help me out, or it won't detract enough from the chapter for people to care.

So I guess my advice is... just write it. Sleep on it. Come back to it the next day. If you still think that it sucks, that's when you should really start to worry.


Yes, I have this feeling every single time I write as well Patty. Happened with the second chapter of A Very Special Pokemon, I had strong knots in my stomach after writing A Scarlet Christmas, and nearly every chapter of Whirl Island Quest seems like crap to me. Maybe it runs in we procrastinators ;__;

But I find that usually its best to ignore the dislike until your done. Like I suggested to you last night, don't worry too much about quality in the first run and then come back to it once you finished the entire chapter/one shot. Proof read and you'll be surprised how much of the stuff you hated you like the second time around! In the immortal words of Serpant Syra (God rest his soul, he will be sorely missed...), "See you don't have confidence! You need to be confident! Something something we love you Patteh..."

Also it might help if you have a friend look over the parts you don't like, if he can help you fix it up, you might know how to fix your problems in the future. Also, you may find that the friend actually likes what you hate. I found that happening to me loads of times as well.

In short, when someone has as great a reputation as you (or me), it is perfectely natural for them to feel apprehensive, knowing it might not be up there with their best works. But try to push the apprehensiveness aside and just WRITE. Worry bout the politics once your dang 8month delayed chapter is finished written!


Well-Known Member
It depends on who it is that I'm focusing on writing for. If it's one of those vile people who evilly reviewed my first fic, then I feel as though I should stop writing. If it is for my good friends, then I like my fic. It's called your Ideal Reader.

Whenever I run into those kind of moods, I take a break from writing, holding off for a while until I feel that I do have something important to say. Then I head back with more gusto than before.


I had that problem about two years ago. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't write something that I was happy with. I tried everything, but nothing seemed to work. I couldn't think of any ideas, either. So what did I do? I did what a lot of people told me to. I took a break. It was longer than I had wanted it to be, but when I finally felt like I could write again, I could... and it felt great. If you think you need a break, then I strongly suggest you do it. When I came back to writing fiction, I was a lot better than I had been before I took my break.

It's all up to you though. I hope you find some way of resolving your 'syndrome'! =/


It's weird, I've never really had that feeling when writing Sabrina's Story, if I did, I would have stopped writing it a long long time ago.

I guess it would be because my standard would be far too high and I'd never acheive it.

I'm content with other people saying it's good. If people stopped reading it, then I'd probably stop writing it. Although writing only for being noticed is not a good reason for writing something, there has to be an enjoyment in what you're doing...


insert custom title
Every time I write. I often feel that what I did was bad. But I still post my poems here and I also submit them to our school literary mag. They get published and I get praised and all but most of the time, I didn't like what I wrote too much. Like the poem linked in my siggy.


Yeah, I have that same problem too. There is actually this one time I was working on this novel (non-Pokemon) and after working almost a while on that novel, I was unhappy with the results. I was so unhappy that I literally quit writing for a while. Luckily I came back to writing and am learning some things. All of us tend to think wheteher our story is good or not and there will be times we will be happy with the story or sometimes we will not be happy.


black cat, black cat
Yeah, I was writing my current story. (look below) The first chapter was off to a good start. Second wasn't too bad. But the third chapter was the worst. I got turned off a bit. I wasn't too enthusiastic about writing the fourth one, but I had since gone bored, so I did it. I am currently stuck on the fifth one. I have almost no inspiration as of now.

Maybe to get over the 'syndrome', you have to brainstorm for quite awhile. Don't force yourself to write it or else...(thinks about third chapter) it'll come out wrong. Making you backspace, or erase, what you've been writing/typing. Basically, maybe you''l have to hold the ideas in your head, like a dam, for some time and when you have a lot, make it flow on paper. Wow. I just made a pun. Dam up the ideas, then let it flow onto paper... (Sometimes I even amaze myself...)


Saffire Persian

Now you see me...
Oh yes, the "I suck" syndrome is quite prominent.

I'll write something, think it's good when I write it, and when I look over it the second time, I think: "Oh my heck, this sucks. I can't believe I wrote this." Usually, I get over it after editing, and am content. ^^ I guess just keep writing, edit it, and be content with what you've written.

I remember a friend of mine and I were talking about this, and his mother had told him that him being dissatisfied with his writing showed he was becoming better in his writing skills, as his old skills didn't quite satisfy him anymore, and he wanted to become better.

So if you think of it that way, it's all a process of becoming a better writer.

After all, if we never wrote the "sucky" stuff in the first place, we would never become better.

El hariyamer

Order of the Green
Everyone feels the wrath of the 'I suck' syndrome at one point or another. For me, it was when I realised I can't type without staring at the screen. Though that's probably unrelated. In any case, if you don't accept it and move on, welll...you aren't moving on.

If you are plagued with that syndrome all the time, take a break and try to improve. Otherwise you won't succeed.

If you never face that syndrome at all...I suppose it happens to good authors sometimes, but more often than not, you have problems. Problems that will plague the casual reader/reviewer and frustrate the serious one to no end. Hopefully, those in this forum will never face this syndrome. No idea what to call it. 'Utter and complete lack of 'I suck syndrome'' just doesn't have that ring to it.


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keep battling on!
I feel the effect of said syndrome nearly every time I go to write something, frankly. Unless I am really pumped up (in mega OMG WRITE NOW! mode) I cannot seem to write to my own satisfaction. Perhaps sometimes I get lucky, but other times I will look at what I've written and go, WTH is this crap?! *stab Delete* Also, it depends on my mood. If I'm happy, I tend to ignore my flaws, but if I'm depressed/miserable/angry I will find something wrong in every single sentence I scribe.

Heh, scribe. Funneh word.

...o_O XD



When my lack of writing skill gets me down, I listen to Red Hot Chilli Peppers' song Californication. I have no idea why, but it always makes me feel better. That and taking a break to play cricket/baseball/any sport. Just do something fun to make yourself less miserable. o_o --> ^_^


Well-Known Member
It usually takes me several times to edit a story's chapters until I feel sastified with it...I suppose it's more like I'm a perfectionist about quality--most likely we all are. XP


hooray, it's Jetx!
Sometimes, I take a break of over a week in the middle of a chapter, whenever I begin writing the chapter again, the part I've written seems lame to me... So, it happens to me, but not quite as extreme as the way it happened to you.

Smile Guy

Keep Smiling...
That has happened to me before.

Often it's not your writing that's crappy, it's just your state of mind. It's quite an annoying form of Writer's Block, I believe. It most happens when I don't have an idea of what in the hell I'm doing (writing-wise).


Yeah, the old Writer Depression syndrome here has made me write up four different versions of Chapter 1 of Song of Stars, all of them utterly different.
I'm sticking with my last one, otherwise I'll be preparing this for years before you get to see it.