Self-Evaluation

Aaah, self-evaluation.  How often I have seen this term and used it to convince other people to employ me.  "I am capable of self-evaluating and recognising where I need to improve my performance..."

You need to apply this to your writing, otherwise you're going to stagnate.  You can always change the way you write and challenge the skills you have.  Editing is a huuuuuge self-evaluation.  Another way is to read something you wrote a while ago.  It's a brilliant way to see the improvements you've made since you wrote it.

I've been re-reading stuff I wrote just a few years ago.  I recall being so happy with what I was producing back then, thinking (HAH!) I wasn't too far away from being published for real.  Thank goodness I was too busy and distracted to actually try!

While reading something I really loved writing in '07, my expression went like this:

This is so, so, so not good O_O

And my thoughts went a little like this:

  • Oh my gosh, is that really a 38 word sentence?!?!?! (No, I'm not making that up.  No, I'm not sharing it).
  • GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION, Y U NO LIKE MY STORY?!?
  • ...Wait, whose POV is this again?
  • ...Okay, end now sentence... End... End... END! 
  • Chapters don't have to be 20 pages long.  Seriously.

My writing style often read like a rambling train of thought.  My characterisation wobbled and my POV wandered without warning.  I should be proud of what I wrote back then, but now I can self-evaluate and recognise my weaknesses. 

But I shouldn't tell myself "I found those problems and removed them so now I am a perfect writer!" because I'm not.  No matter how good I am, there's always room for adaptation and improvement.  Like trying plotting for a change...

...heheh... 

How do all of you self-evaluate?

Comments

  1. I've had those "what was I thinking" moments when rereading something I wrote a few years ago. I'm just glad I keep improving little by little. And getting feedback from others is really important in that department.

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    1. Feedback from others is so valuable. It's a big step to share your work, but it's always worth it.

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  2. I self-evaluate all the time. I've read sentences where I've had to close my eyes because the words on the page are so cringe-worthy.

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  3. I feel like this pretty regularly when I read old pieces of work. Particularly old FF.

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    1. And you know how much we love reading that outloud ;)

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  4. We're always learning how to improve our writing. The day we stop learning is the day our creativity dies.

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  5. Haha - I've had the same issues, especially the 20-page chapter thing. :)

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    1. I know I never want a good book to read, but 20 page chapters are a bit too much :P

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  6. Oi, the chapters in SPARKS, my first novel, were so very long. And it was YA so it's like, Yeah, teens are going to get bored with this rambling thing. And my writing style was much less concise and more rambly too! I think reading old stuff is a great way to self-evaluate, and to give yourself a pat on the back for the progress you've made since!

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    1. Yeah, I read old stuff for an ego boost when I'm feeling bad about my writing. "Waaaaait, my 2012 stuff is nowhere near as dodgy as my 2001 stuff!"

      ...which makes sense because I was a child in 2001 :P

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