I have to admit this title is a bit flashy, because I don’t believe in mistakes while writing in any given way; whatever you write – it’s great, and everything’s just fine. Also, while preparing for this article I consulted a number of videos (on this topic), read at least 10 other articles and 2 books, and I can tell you that it’s all nonsense. Each and every of these advices are quite limited and in my opinion could make any begginer-writer go crazy, plus some of the biggest names would easily deny each and every single one of these mistakes. Therefore this article is completely different, and won’t to dare say much more relevant, but definitely written with good intention, approaching this topic with much caution, so it doesn’t hurt the fragile souls of usualy hypersensitive writers.

During first week, I was talking about why are you writing, then examined inspiration as such, but now we’ll discuss the mistakes – with the main goal to understand that writing is a process and as such has certain phases and certain beliefs (eg. for writing, one shall need an inspiration or a talent). Of course people can learn everything, even writing; you need to practice, and that means to (yes!) write. Still, last week’s task had gone pretty bad, because it required you to write (and write and write), and you on the other hand would like to write only when inspired and in some ideal conditions, which does all sound great. In order not to break your heart in pieces, I’ll simply tell you right away – that’s not a real picture. To be a writer you have to write and, to learn how to write you have to make mistakes.

If you still do write (or want to write) you’ll realise that mistakes are a big part of learning, and that it’s ok to be wrong. If you’ve never fell off a bike you’d never learn to ride it. The same thing goes for witing. The mistakes are there for us to learn from them, and bad writing is just a step that leads you to good writing.

Of course the “mistakes” in writing, as I said at the very beginning, are quite a relative thing. Therefore here I’ll deal with some imposed mistakes (I repeat, no one actually makes mistakes), the ones that can be easily corrected (revised) so that your writing is nicer, cleaner and very pleasant to read.

kreativno pisanje

Here are some common writing mistakes:

1) Not reading through your writing and not allowing it to ripe

The most common and serious challenge for all the writers that actually just requires some patience.

  • Re-reading – over and over again. Once written, a text should be read at least 3 times (minimum). Solution? Read your text several times and make any corrections necessary.
  • Allow it to ripe. Your text needs to wait! And again: once written, your writing has to be allowerd to ripe! Solution? If anything bothers you in your text, just leave it to rest for about a week, and then go back through it and correct any mistakes.
  • Text that is corrected too many times. Of course, as the result of too much reading through, it can easily happen to modify your writing in a way that it loses its whole given form. Solution? Find balance between too little and too much. If you don’t like it any more after too many alterations, write it out of you sole memory, without looking and returning to the original.

2) Idea VS. Style

Style and topic should (usually) dance togther well, but it often happens that one is quite opposites the other…

  • Well written with no idea. This is such a great challenge for those poetic souls who know how to express themselves, but aren’t really sure what they wanted to say. Solution? At the very end, think about what you’re trying to say. Focus on the facts and go easy on the peacock feathers.
  • Great idea with no style whatsoever. You have an idea and you’re having it down on a paper with no looking back. However, when you stop and read it through, it all sounds like a fact attack and it sounded much better in your head. Solution? Write descriptively to develop a personal style, or switch to screenwriting.

3) Writing too much, or too little

There is no way you’ll ever express your ideas this way.

  • Writing to tight (underwriters). Not letting your ideas come out from you out of fear, or just because they sound stupid is immature. A paper is a paper (or a screen), it does judge any thing or any one, plus everything can be easily solved with a delete button or a simple tear of a paper. Solution? Go skinny dipping. If that doesn’t work, take a paper and write whatever comes to yout mind and leave it to settle for about 3 weeks (without any deleting). Write with as many details as possible as and don’t erase them.
  • Writing too long (overwriters). Too many details that affect the flow of the story. Oh, poor Levin, scythe and scythe… Yes, it can be considered as a work of art, but only if you’re Leo Tolstoy himself. Solution? Go through your work and cut things, just like Levin cuts the grass. Be ruthless with yourself and your writing. Save discarted sentences in a separate folder, for colder days.

4) Showing teeth at criticism

I can give my life that anyone of us thinks they are doing their best, and artist’s vanity is perhaps more specific than in average Serbian desk clerk’s, who had to cut her 3-hour coffee break short for you. I know it’s not easy to hear that something you’ve done is not perfect, but it’s for your own good, and for the good of your own writing. In the past, the very nature of my job was to point out some flaws and suggest corrections, but what happened to me a million times is that I had to listen to someone explain to me why something should stay here and there, and how some really important idea is behind it, or worse, listening to someone who takes a strong defensive stance. Solution? Work on yourself as a person, and then on your writing.

kreativno pisanje

Introduction to the task

First of all, what it means to you, to make writing mistakes? Let me be clear, mistake is not a chosen topic or grammar or you as a writer. What are the rules you write by? Try to specify your own writing principles, but detach the things you like or dislike or from what’s according to the “rules”. I’m sure you write by your own rules (quite possibly without even knowing it), but remember writing against these principles can also teach you something.
The thing is that we as writers (and people) very much rely on what we know, or what we think we know. In order to be better writers (and people), we have a lot to learn, but we have a lot of rules to forget too, because some of our assuredness are based on what we have experienced or read. As we read and write more and more actively, our writing mutates and becomes newer, more mature, and our frame of reference (that is a set of rules) becomes more complex and dynamic.

Exercise: Where do I make mistakes?

Type of exercise: requests feedback

Length: 500 words

Imagine that you are a very fulfilled and successful writer. Present your whole life’s work in 500 words where you present your work and books. Suppose you had a very successful career and that your readers are many and propitious (what I wish for you from the bottom of my heart). Knowing how much you’re appreciated and loved by your readers, this is probably the only chance for you to be completely honest, so write a short text explaining to all of them – all of your weaknesses. In the last paragraph indicate which are the lessons that can be passed on to young writers, who are just starting.

Aim of the task

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to tell yourself the truth. Describing our own flaws contributes to developing writer’s sincerity, and it’s also necessary for development of one’s integrity.

Expect another Creative writing lesson next Wednesday, and by then practice this one in the comments below. Of course, after writing, rate someone else’s writing, and help this wonderful virtual course to flourish. Also, feel free to share and like, comment, or simply take the author of this article on a trip to Maldives… as you wish. Here’s me on Instagram, and this week there’s 3 posts on a blog, so feel free to subscribe for free (top right corner) to see which interesting things I’m preparing.

Enjoy!

To keep everything in one place, here’s the whole online course here: 

INTRODUCTION: Why Do I Write

FIRST PART: Screw Inspiration

SECOND PART: Common Writing Mistakes – it’s this text 🙂

THIRD PART: Surprise Your Reader

FOURTH PART: Enemies & Allies Of Writing

Author

If you're too tired to go out tonight, just think how you'll feel at seventy two!

7 Comments

  1. Eldar Jaškić Reply

    Iskreno mislim da pisanje i nije nešto što se bukvalno uči, da se vježa to O.K.
    Smatram da je svaki pokušaj pisanja “nazor” poprilično primjetan prilikom iščtitavanja teksta, tako da mislim da je najbolje samo se prepustiti, odnosno pisati onako kako kako misli teku. I da, normalno je imati neke ispravke, ali bježim glavom bez obzira od prepravki nakon kojih ni sam više ne prepoznajem svoj tekst. Mi moramo biti jedno sa našim djelima, jer su ona mi, a mi ona i mislim da je svima onako kako je to bilo i Murasaki, njeno djelo je postalo njeno dijete. Iskreno vjerujem u to jer sve što napišemo to je mali dio odvojen od nas i podjeljen sa ostatkom svijeta. Ali, naša djela su djeca sa najmanje pažnje, nažalost. Dosta nas ima tako malo vremena da se teško može natjerati da piše, a trebali bi, ja prvi. Ali, da zamislimo situaciju iz zadatka, ja bih se odmah prebacio na savjete 😀
    Jedino što bih mogao poručiti mladim kolegama je da se ne suzdržavaju jer se primjeti, i savjet koji su i meni drugi dali, a to je da pišem za onu manjinu kojoj se sviđa moj rad.
    A što se tiče kritika na sopstveni račun, mislim da su lahko shvatljive iz prvog dijela komentara, a to je premalo odvojenoga vremena za pisanje i duševna povezanosta sa tekstom, kako ću dirati u dijete svoje 😀 😀 😀
    Naša draga Ana zna koliko sam ja kratak sa tekstovima, tako da ni ovaj komentar nije neko veliko odstupanje od toga, ali se nadam da je dovoljan 🙂
    Lijep pozdrav
    P.S. Pronašao sam se u “Ideja nasuprot stilu” 😀

    • Dragi moj Eldare, hvala na komentaru 🙂 a s vremenom za pisanje kuburimo svi čini mi se :/ Mora da se naučimo disciplini kao u Karate Kid-u… Ili Kung Fu Pandi, kako kome odgovara 😀 😀 😀

      • Eldar Jaškić Reply

        Dovoljno sam lijen za Karate Kid, a dovoljno mršav za Kung Fu Pandu … ali si budem već nešto našao da mi odgovara 😀

  2. Tina Vuković Reply

    Draga gospođo, pisanje je nešto što se ne uči….nemojte traćiti vreme na sajtove koji žele da vas izokrenu naglavačke i ubiju vašu maštu, usput i likove dovedu do samoubistva. Vodite sami svoje misli, svoje radnje, svoje likove krož džunglu reči doživljaja. Mislite o svom pisanju, negujte ga, i volite.
    Lično, ne treba mi niko da mi govori kako da pišem, ja svoje likove oživim, oni dišu kao ja…osećaju, smeju se, žive ili umiru.Dajem im energiju.
    Ako budete čitali sve što drugi pišu o pisanju, vas i vaše priče nigde neće biti. Ako dovoljno želite, ostvariće vam se.
    -Pisci su posebna bića, neshvaćena i povučena iz spoljnog sveta. U nama je vrtlog koji se igra sa našim umom i izlazi kroz pisanu reč.
    ,,Nijedna knjiga,nijedan roman,nisu uzalud pročitani” Sviđa mi se ova rečenica, više puta sam je čitala i kod drugih. Veliki pozdrav!

  3. Zdravo Ana,i svi ostali.
    Žurim,ne znam gde mi je galava,kratko ću se osvrnuti na sve ovo uz izvinjenje što prošle srede nisam uzela učešće u vežbi,promaklo mi je.Ispraviću kad stignem.Uz još jedno, “Hvala,Ana Gord”.
    Prva greška,bolje organizujte svoje vreme,ako se ikako može.Ako ste posvećeni samo pisanju,kao Tolstoj,onda može sigurno.Ako imate da plaćate račune,da radite,ček i nedeljom i svim drugim svecima,kao Dostojevski i ja,ako Vas juri dućandžija,kao mene i svašta nešto Vas muči kao Balaševića,i jedva imate svirce plaćati,onda neka Vam je Bog upomoć!
    Ne pokušavajte da prodate nešto,u šta sami ne verujete i što i sami ne biste kupili,odnosno:Čitajući napisano,a pomislila sam da je to završeno delo,shvatila sam da neki delovi izgledaju,onako keko bih ja volela da izgledaju,ne onako kako bi to zaista život i dozvolio da izgledaju.Budite otvoreni,za korekcije i za samokritiku,pre svega.Pošto žanrovski ne pišem naučnu fantastiku,morala sam mnogo da ispravljam.Da prilagođavam životu.
    U vezi nedostatka vremena,ponovo osvrt na to:Ako Vam neko od Vaših bližnjih kaže u dva sata posle ponoći,da niste normalni što sedite i pišete,da je bolje da spavate,ne verujte im na reč,sutradan ćete imati grižu savesti jer ste otišli da spavate,a niste završili kocept,ili poglavlje.Takođe,nije loše ni da ih poslušate,jer ujutru su stvari jasnije i jutro je pametnije od večeri.Zaključak:Nekada se mora ukrčkati napisano,kao sarma ili prokule.To je formula dobre sarme,vreme.
    Bez korekcije,prvobitna zamisao,deluje kao da je neko ugrubo prepričao neko poglavlje,pasus isl.Dobro je imati kostur,za priču,od likova i događaja,ali neki likovi počnu da žive nezavisno od moje zamisli,iako sam samo htela da ih spomenem.Neki drugi deluju nestvarno,idealizovano,pa ih prepravljam i prilagođavam realnosti.Sporedni likovi su vrlo bitni,to nisam odmah shvatila.
    Delovaće da nema veze sa ovom temom,ali ima.Jedan moj lekar,mi je jednom prilikom rekao da sam “razmažena žena”,jer sam insistirala,da mi uprkos njegovoj intervenciji,nije dobro i da ja osećam još intenzivnije tegobe zbog nje.Pre neki dan sam opet čula,isto od jednog lekara,neverovatnu izjavu:”Ako Vi mislite,da je to-to,onda ću ja Vama dati to i to!!!”Što se prvog slučaja tiče,ne propuštam priliku da diskretno natrljam nos,tom istom lekaru(prvopomenutom),da je mislio da sam razmažena žena.Može biti da je u pravu,kad tako reagujem,ali njegova je obaveza da posumnja u sebe.Kao što je obaveza ovog drugopomenutog lekara,da ima elementarnu veru u sebe.Znači,kao i svi drugi,kao i ovi moji lekari i ja nekada grešim,ili problemu pristupim sa previše samopouzdanja,pa napravim propust,ili sam nesigurna nad nekim likom,ili situacijom,pa prepustim da sami donesu sud.Nekada to ispadne dobro,nekad mogu zalutati ti jadni likovi,kao i pacijenti koji imaju problem a njihov lekar traži od njih da imaju i rešenje za taj problem.Pišući,shvatila sam,da je potrebno saslušati,šta likovi i događaji imaju da nam kažu,ali ih je potrebno voditi i upravljati njima.Ne mogu živeti mimo nas i naše zamisli o njima.
    Još jedna vrlo bitna stvar.Kad sam zbog raznoraznih izmišljenih i realnih razloga,odustajala od pisanja,nikada nisam prestajala da čitam.Nijedna knjiga,nijedan roman,nisu uzalud pročitani.Iz svakoga sam po nečto naučila.
    Što se tiče stila:Bila sam treća godina srednje škole.Moj divni profesor je jednoga dana došao na čas i pitao nas da li smo i čime smo trenutno okupirani,šta čitamo osim obavezne lektire?Naravno da sam čitala.Hesea sam gutala tih dana.To sam mu i rekla.On je šetao između redova sa klupama,vratio se do mene,sedela sam u prvoj klupi,da bih upijala svaku njegovu reč,obožavala sam tog čoveka,sad je pokojni,uneo mi se u lice i rekao:”To je prodavanje magle!Da ti ja kažem,bolje ti uzmi nešto konkretno,to je za tebe!Nešto fokusirano!Uzmi Kronina,jesi li čitala Kronina,pročitaj,Citadelu i Judino drvo?!Je l’ ti misliš da razumeš Hesea,dok ga čitaš?”Bio mi je naklonjen,kao nekome ko je po njegovom mišljenju išao pravo u središte stvari,i bila sam iznenađena,koliko je bio ljut na mene.Rakla sam mu da mi se čini da razumem Hesea,na šta mi je on odgovorio,da sam u pravu i da mi se samo čini,jer ni Hese,baš nije razumeo Hesea,dok je pisao,a verovatno bi ga još manje razumeo da ga je čitao.Zato pokušavam,da ispravim sve ono gde se zapetljam,pa ni Dara ne razume Daru.Tada najbolje deluje ako odmah idem u središte stvari.Kronina sam prvi put čitala,petnaestak godina,posle srednje škole.Do njega sam pročitala,tušta i tma,romana,pripovedaka,poezije,uputstava za korišćenje kojekakve skalamerije,svega i svačega.Mislim da je pogrešno vezati se za stil nekog pisca,treba težiti ka svom stilu,ali nesvesno pokupimo i od drugih nešto i to je dobro,ne treba to izbegavati.Ja nekad kod sebe prepoznam Kronina.
    Najbitnije od svega,a to je ujedno i jedan od mojih velikih propusta i grešaka.Brzo pišem,ali sporo kucam,tako da se ovo oteglo iako žurim.Možete samo da zamislite,koliko će trajati dok sve što imam da kažem u jednom,recimo romanu,ne bude završeno?Svojevremeno,sam odustala od kursa daktilografije,činio mi se kao gubljenje vremena,sad bi mi dobro došao.Još jedna stvar,mora se držati otvoren um i stalno učiti.Čak i stvari koje nam se čine nepotrebnim,i koje na prvi pogled nemaju veze sa pisanjem.
    Stvarno sam htela da budem kratka,otelo se kontroli.
    Izvinjavam se,jer sam samo nabacala stvari,možda nije svakome najjasnije.Pozdrav.

    • Dopada mi se ova paralela sa lekarima 😀 A najviše da ni Dara ne razume Daru, u tome se ljudi mogu lako prepoznati 😉

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