If you’ve been writing for a while, there will come a time when you hate your writing.
Maybe some of it, maybe all of it, who knows – but there will come a time when everything you write just makes you angry, sad, upset, dejected…pick your word.
So let’s talk about it! 😀
And it’s not just for writers either. People of different careers, jobs, hobbies etc have times when they hate what they are creating/doing.
For creatives it can hit hard because we’re not just doing this for a paycheck, it’s an art, even a need, for us so to suddenly hate what you’re doing can really stick in your throat.
Sometimes we just fall out of step.
Have you ever been walking with someone and then you feel “off” and you realise you’re out of step? You correct it and it feels “right”? (hopefully, that’s not just me!)
The same thing can happen with writing. We can just fall out of the groove and when we write everything feels off like we’re not in sync any more.
Yup, it will pass!
Now, I just want to clarify, if you are writing something and you aren’t gelling with it – the plot, the characters, etc then that’s different.
Sometimes a story just isn’t for us and we have to let it go. Though I always ALWAYS stress, don’t delete, just put it aside. Go back in a month or two and check it with fresh eyes.
If you still aren’t feeling the pull, you can put it in your scraps pile and work on something else or if you’re 100% sure it’s not even worth keeping on your scraps pile – then get rid and move on.
No, this “hating-of-your-writing” I’m talking about is on projects you love, projects with awesome characters and a plot you like but suddenly you hate everything you’re writing.
Why you Hate it
We all write crap
If you are a new writer or haven’t written for a while, or haven’t written a lot then you might hate your writing. Which is good! You should look at it sometimes and think “wow, that’s crap”.
Because when you acknowledge you’ve written crap you know what crap looks like and can progress to writing better. Which comes with practice. So be prepared to write a LOT of crap.
Skill takes time
You’re developing a skill so just wade on through. If you aren’t happy with creating crap writing for your actual story, try and work on something else.
Try flash fiction or writing prompts. Get all your crap out in there and use it to study and find your weaknesses and strengths.
For example, if you find your writing descriptively weak then use photo prompts and work on creating mini-scenes of descriptions.
This goes for new and experienced writers alike, we are ALL always developing and honing our ability.
Comparison is killing you
You’ve been comparing yourself to others. Seriously, people, you gotta stop doing that!
The more time you spend looking at other people’s work and thinking “mine’s not that good” the less time you’ll actually go about making yours good.
You’re not focused on the Journey
Instead, you’re too focused on the end result. Maybe you’re dying to get to the finish line of your novel, you can see yourself getting published but when you read your work you see it lacking.
Yes, you need to think about the finish line, after all, I harp on about marketing early, BUT that doesn’t mean you’re not meant to be focusing most of your efforts on the actual writing.
Take as long as you need to get your writing good. Take breaks away if it’s leaving you frustrated. Brainstorm with friends, family or critique partners to help overcomes areas that are bogging down your story.
There’s other stuff going on
Often we forget that outside influences, as well as inside influences, can affect how we see things. If we’re dealing with low self-esteem because of what others have said, or because of something we’re going through – that can affect your writing/how you see your writing.
If you are suffering from depression, even mild depression, it will colour how you view your writing.
Stress, depression, trauma, grief, worry, illness… and loads more things can affect how you write, and how you see your writing.
What can you do?
Remember that it’s temporary but accept that sometimes, these phases can last a while, even into a year or two.
Don’t delete or destroy anything right away. Always give yourself plenty of time to step away. Put your notes, work, ideas into a folder and put it out of sight.
We creatives can get a little crazy sometimes and the last thing you want is to suddenly get the urge to shred or delete all your work. Trust me, you WILL regret it.
I rarely delete anything (I did in the past and it’s haunted me), now all those pieces I’m not sure about, aren’t too keen on, are in my scrap pile. Which is technically a lever arch binder.
I haven’t looked at it in years but I know it’s there if I ever want to go back to any of them. They may eventually get cannibalised into another story.
Take a break – a real break, where you just don’t do anything other than really relax. A weekend, a week, even just a day, give your mind a real rest away through it all.
Acknowledge that other things in your life may be affecting your perception and look at addressing them as best you can.
Talk to supportive people either in your family, friends or in the writing community.
We all hate our writing sometimes, you’re not alone.
Have you ever hated your writing?