Insecure vs Secure

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  • Insecure vs Secure

    I'd appreciate it if comments could be kept to answering the question. If you think it's pointless just walk on by.

    We keep hearing about the introverted, insecure writer, so much so that it's become a stereotype. I also wonder if people adopt the stereotype because they feel it's expected of them - I know a few who took to writing in coffee shops for this very reason. So do you class yourself as insecure or insecure?

    Note: I am not talking "quality" and have no doubt there are secure but terrible writers. I'm not looking at this from an ego POV so I hope you don't either. I don't want people fearing they'll appear big-headed if they say "secure" so they trot out humble lines like 'you can never master writing so you can never feel secure'. I'm also not talking about the occasional bouts of insecurity but permanent self-doubt that whatever you write is utter junk.

    I suspect, despite popular belief, the insecure writers are in the minority - hence the belief our first scripts are awesome and the plethora of amateurs acting like fountains of knowledge - and so I'm interested to find out the ratio here at DDP. No need for i-depth replies, just whether you're secure or insecure
    SundownInRetreat
    Member
    Last edited by SundownInRetreat; 02-24-2013, 05:50 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Insecure vs Secure

    I'll paint the bulls-eye on my chest - I feel secure in the knowledge I can write.

    However I also know that has no relation to whether I'll have a successful career as a writer. And in a weird way, accepting that is what makes me feel secure.
    My stuff

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    • #3
      Re: Insecure vs Secure

      I'm utterly insecure. My overdeveloped superego will be the death of me. I just cohabit with it because if I don't write I go mad. Put it another way, there's the despair of writing and the despair of not writing. Not a choice, for me.

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      • #4
        Re: Insecure vs Secure

        Thanks for the answers, guys!

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        • #5
          Insecure Writers?

          Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
          So do you class yourself as insecure or insecure?
          Neither. I'm not a hack and don't haunt coffee shops, (with the trappings of a faux celebrity with an entourage of fans and business acquaintances). I doubt that I fit into any stereotype. Insecure writer? Nope.

          If a "secure" writer is one confident in his work, I'd class myself as one. I get the occasional reminders when something I wrote about a few decades ago sparks an e-mail inquiry. I may not have become financially successful, (as do many hacks who've succeeded as "professional" writers for a long time), but my writing has stirred imaginations and inspired others to investigate some of the unusual topics that I've dealt with. Also, it's fun to think that I got a rejection notice from Nature for a letter about the Tunguska explosion of 1908, (in which I refuted the "black hole" hypothesis), as the editorial staff did not think that anyone was interested in that subject. Maybe, in 1974, the scientific community cared little about massive atmospheric explosions caused by meteoric phenomena, but one only needs to read news headlines in the past ten days to see that there's been a renewed interest in that subject.
          JEKYLL & CANADA (free .mp4 download @ Vimeo.com)

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          • #6
            Re: Insecure vs Secure

            I like that these pointless, psychological, and not-screenwriting questions are posted in "About the Craft" when it has absolutely nothing to do with the craft.

            Yeah, I didn't just walk on by, either. Sue me.

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            • #7
              Re: Insecure vs Secure

              Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
              I'd appreciate it if comments could be kept to answering the question. If you think it's pointless just walk on by.

              We keep hearing about the introverted, insecure writer, so much so that it's become a stereotype. I also wonder if people adopt the stereotype because they feel it's expected of them - I know a few who took to writing in coffee shops for this very reason. So do you class yourself as insecure or insecure?

              Note: I am not talking "quality" and have no doubt there are secure but terrible writers. I'm not looking at this from an ego POV so I hope you don't either. I don't want people fearing they'll appear big-headed if they say "secure" so they trot out humble lines like 'you can never master writing so you can never feel secure'. I'm also not talking about the occasional bouts of insecurity but permanent self-doubt that whatever you write is utter junk.

              I suspect, despite popular belief, the insecure writers are in the minority - hence the belief our first scripts are awesome and the plethora of amateurs acting like fountains of knowledge - and so I'm interested to find out the ratio here at DDP. No need for i-depth replies, just whether you're secure or insecure
              I don't know that "secure/insecure" is really the right way of thinking about it.

              I think it makes more sense to think in terms of "introverted/extroverted" -- people who tend to work best and find their energy when they're alone as opposed to those who work best and are most energized when they're working with other people.

              Most directors (but not all) tend to be extroverts. Most writers (but not all) tend to be introverts.

              Now, that's not to say that being an introvert means that you can't ever be around other people or even that you don't want to be.

              No -- what it means is that being around other people is *work.*

              I know people who go to work (at an office or whatever) and after work, they'd go out with friends for a few hours for drinks, and then they'd come home, change, and go out again 'til all hours of the night -- more interactions with more people.

              When I had a full-time job, I'd come home and I'd have to go into a room alone and be myself -- because I had to be by myself. I had to have that "down" time. And the idea of going out? Having people over? Oh, God. The thought would be horrifying. No. No more people.

              As it is, I pretty much restrict my contacts to my wife and kids and a handful of people I do business with, mostly over the phone and on-line.

              But I know writers who are quite different, who are very extroverted -- they work on writing staffs, work in teams, write in public places. They like to do their work in the presence of other people, because it's in the presence of other people that they find their energy.

              As to security issues -- whenever I finish a draft of a script and send it off, I'm always a bit uncertain as to how people will take it. Usually it's well-received. Sometimes not. You can never really be a hundred-percent sure.

              But I think it's always like waiting to get the test back from the teacher. I think anyone who says it's any different is a lot more confident than I am, and I've been doing this for over twenty years.

              NMS

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              • #8
                Re: Insecure vs Secure

                I watch alot of youtube vidoes about screenwriting to get my creative juices flowing before I start to write.

                I even cam across a certain William C. Martell's interview with the BBC.

                There's two components to a screenplay. There's the craftmenship and there's the content. I watched dozens of interviews rangeing from Sheldon Turner, Scott Rosenburg, Susanha Grant, Paul Haggis, the list goes on.

                Not one of them thought that they 'couldn't do it'. Not one of them was insecure about the craftsmenship of screenwriting, actually, to the contrary, they all felt like they would be good at it. So, no, I don't think good writers are insecure at all when it comes to the craft.

                You can however be insecure over the content. Maybe the story is about a lustful homosexual relationship, and you think, 'Gee, I wonder how people are going to receive this.' That's normal. Especially if you are brutally honest in the telling of the story. Maybe the film centers on a Child Molestor, that's another area where you may feel insecure about how the material will be received.

                But, as far as I can tell, good/great writers are very confident that they know how to craft a story.

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                • #9
                  Re: Insecure vs Secure

                  I know I'm way more secure when writing stuff in my comfort zone which, for the most part, is my day job writing. And this security only came with the passage of time combined with getting paid to write.

                  I think getting paid is a big factor. Until you get people to agree your writing has monetary value to them -- and they actually cut you a check that clears -- I think there will always be some level of insecurity to one degree or another.

                  With screenwriting, or with the prose fiction I work on, I'm always haunted by the feeling that I can do better and I'm not "there" yet. So, I guess the answer is I'm not secure that my screenwriting or fiction is firing on all pistons.

                  My personal demon, for lack of a better word, is my tendency to keep certain excellent writers in mind who serve as benchmarks for me. It's likely self-defeating to hold myself to those standards which, when self evaluating, it's clear I'm still far from reaching. This puts me in a place where I'm rejecting my own work before anyone else gets a chance to reject it. This is probably why I've had so many starts and stalls with my "writing for me" fiction work over the years.

                  However, this thread question seems like the "am I good enough" issue. I don't think you can avoid the psychological factors at play. There are people who -- due to their own mental wiring, upbringing, what have you --possess an abundance of confidence in what they produce regardless of its quality. Confidence is a huge factor in success, there's no way around it.
                  Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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                  • #10
                    Re: Insecure vs Secure

                    I'm very secure in my ability to identify and articulate what I perceive to be weaknesses in others' scripts. I'm incredibly insecure when it comes to writing my own.

                    Jcgary mentioned something about this in another thread, and I think he's dead-on: I believe developing and practicing the former skill has effed up my mojo when it comes to the latter.
                    Schrodinger's Hat
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                    Last edited by Schrodinger's Hat; 02-24-2013, 04:04 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Insecure vs Secure

                      8am - So secure I'm virtually shouting at the screen as I furiously type.

                      8pm - So insecure I'm pretty much blubbering into a bar of chocolate on the sofa.

                      Also can vary depending on which way the wind is blowing etc.

                      FWIW I don't believe it has anything to do with introversion or extroversion.
                      Script Revolution - A free to use script hosting website that offers screenwriters a platform to promote their scripts and a way for filmmakers to search through them.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Insecure vs Secure

                        Both - depending on the stimulus.

                        So I suppose that would put me more in the insecure camp.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Insecure vs Secure

                          Well, if you are anything of a writer like me, you are constantly taken prey by a simultaneous superiority complex and inferiority complex at the same time! Every time I work on a script, am beset with the most insane delusions of grandeur that this will be the greatest thing ever made -- and at the exact same time I am completely aware of the fact I suck worse than anything on earth, and I am nothing but a moron and a fraud! I imagine this and everything in between. One side is constantly trying to make the other side shut up. When you write, you have an extreme form of self-value bipolarism where you can never gain a full concept of self and know your own value or place in the world.

                          My possibly theory why many writers, such as myself, often feels insecure in social situations is that maybe this constant bipolarism of self-value extends to some, if not all, places of the writer's life. Whenever in a social situation, they are never sure if they are awesome or if they suck, whether everyone loves or hates them. All that and everything in between, and they start to visualize every possible scenario.

                          Maybe that is why people make good writers. Everything they encounter in daily life makes them instantly visualize the most extreme scenarios.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Insecure vs Secure

                            Originally posted by Jon Jay View Post
                            I also know that has no relation to whether I'll have a successful career as a writer. And in a weird way, accepting that is what makes me feel secure.
                            I've recently embraced this mindset and it's quite liberating.
                            Script Revolution - A free to use script hosting website that offers screenwriters a platform to promote their scripts and a way for filmmakers to search through them.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Insecure vs Secure

                              It's always fluid for me, too.

                              I am secure in the notion that I can create interesting stories with a new voice, but I get insecure about the dialogue having enough impact, or if it's commercial enough.

                              I like my writing a whole lot more since I've given up trying to be avant garde and prove my creativity and just simply told the story in a more mainstream way, but, at the same time, all my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity...as the song goes.

                              I also have very real insecurities about ever being able to successfully pitch an idea. I am introverted by nature and I have made huge strides in being able to perform in meetings or what have you in my real job, but I think a pitch meeting in LA with strangers would be a nightmare...although probably pretty funny to observers. If I train for it as a performance though, I could probably get by...maybe....probably not.

                              On a side note, damn, I love some of the posts people make on these threads....
                              On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

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