We’ve all been there, in that point of writing where we just can’t write another word. Why? Because the writing is bad, oh so bad, worth destroying, please get the fucking kerosene and burn this shit down I’m the worst writer in the universe please cancel. Clearly, by being here, you’re looking for a quick way out, so here are my 5 ways to stop hating your writing.
Read Shitty Books
I’m talking drugstore paperbacks here. Pick out your chosen genre and buy a couple (especially if they’re from your local used bookstore!). Read them, and most of all, enjoy them! Why? Because despite despite the bad writing, despite the cliches and the plot holes, there was something magic about the book that convinced an agent somewhere to sign on the writer to write more books and make money. Isn’t that great? Despite all the awfulness, there was still something that allowed a writer to sell their passion? People still enjoyed it
So, while you might be shitting on your work, feel free to shit on somebody else’s while also recognizing that every bit of writing is worth reading.
I’m constantly doing it with V.C. Andrews now and I just. can’t. stop. She’s in my veins and she’s a constant reminder that even a trashy writer can be a ridiculously influential one.
Make A Playlist
If you really wanna live in your story, you need it with you at all times, and that means jamming some songs on a Spotify playlist and listening to it when you’re driving to work or making dinner or sitting in the tub. Music is a powerful thing, and with the right songs and the right mood, you’ll be more connected to your story and your characters.
I mean, Twilight wasn’t good, but Stephanie Meyer was pretty hardcore with her Twilight playlists. Building my own playlists for my work has become a ritual in my writing routine. While nerdy, it is a fun little touch, and it’s also kind of cool to give fans a little look into your psyche and (hopefully awesome) taste in music.
Start A Blog
Or a journal! Do whatever you can to just keep writing. Nobody even needs to read it, thought I do find that when I write about myself that I have to take myself a little less seriously. This blog alone is a part of my writing process. Most nights when I can’t bear to edit my work anymore, I crack open my WordPress and ramble on about something.
Sometimes that something isn’t a post I end up publishing, but at least I spent my night writing, and that’s at least a night spent writing, which is much better than I night spent hating my writing, right?
PRO TIP: If you wanna start a journal, use the pronoun YOU for yourself, instead of I. The “you” term works really well in times of excessive turbulence. Go ahead and hate yourself for a while, you piece of shit writer. You hack. You useless, worthless, good for nothing writer. You keep on writing those hateful works. Because you hate yourself, don’t you? Don’t you want to get over it? Don’t you want to keep writing? Don’t you want to get over this hatred? Don’t you feel a little bit better, fleshing out this hatred? Don’t you want to go back to creating something again?
Write Another Damn Scene
Stuck on a particular scene? This is a problem I find myself in all the time. It’s easier to jump to another place in a short story than with a novel, but if you’re stuck, just leave yourself a reminder and move on. Use caps and bold and highlights as a reminder to return later.
If done right, your garbage scene will look something like:
Jared was having a tough time attempting to write. He just…he couldn’t. He made more coffee instead, opened up YouTube and found himself in a wormhole of urbex videos. He just had to watch another video taken in a very specific FUCK THIS IS SO BAD YOU GOTTA COME BACK TO THIS LATER!!!
Sometimes it’s tough to move out of sequence but fiction isn’t meant to be written like real-life. If you’re stuck on a scene, moving to the next might help you when you return. Remind yourself that you can always write another draft.
You can always go back.
You can always fix things.
Use Comic Sans
Or a similar font you loathe. One of my writer friends mentioned this on their Facebook. It’s a great tip, especially when you’re starting a new piece. The awfulness of the font allows you to overlook the awfulness of your writing. Just keep writing. In Comic Sans. Or Papyrus. Or one of these other universally hated fonts.
Self-judge your writing no more!
What do you do when you hate your writing?
Is this something that you struggle with? Got any tips that work for you? Feel free to share them in the comments!