When Writing Sucks Ass…or Just Plain Sucks

Do you see it? That tortured artist? Cue the eye roll. I didn’t get it. Until I started writing. Tortured is a tad dramatic (ok, its overly dramatic) but there’s a lot of self-doubt that comes with writing. Several times a day I have this internal conversation which if it happened in real life, I’m convinced my husband would have me committed.

Writing Meme 3

Me (Staring at what I just wrote): “God, I’m brilliant.”

Me (Five minutes later): “UGH! This is crap. Absolute crap. I’m going to take a nap.”

Me (After nap): “Oh, this isn’t so bad. I’ll just have to keep plugging along.”

Me (After writing more words): “This is sooo good. Why do I doubt myself?”

Me (Five minutes later): “What the hell?! How can I write something so awful?”

And the cycle continues. Its a good writing day when I get so focused I forget this constant cycle of self-doubt. But those are rare and in-between. I try to have a tunnel vision when I’m writing and just write, write and write. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. I’m prone to study every word, question my voice, look at the tone, watch the visuals in my head. On the other hand, that part of me that tends to see the glass as half full is grateful for these doubts since they push me to be better.

So what do I do when I’m driving myself crazy (aside from napping, eating a copious amount of chocolate, and that ever present glass of red wine)? I complain to my writing friends who are guaranteed to do two things: yell at me and encourage me. I need an equal amounts of love and abuse to keep me going. They yell at me for listening to that voice that makes me question everything. They yell at me for wasting my energy on a fruitless exercise of over-thinking every little detail. They encourage me to write, even when what I write is crap (because its the only way to improve). They encourage me to stay in the straight and narrow–literally, from keyboard to computer monitor.

Don’t get me wrong. I still produce crap. Especially the first draft. It’s always cringe worthy. But that’s what beta reading, critiquing, and editing is for. It’s never a one-shot and done thing. It’s a process. Along with the sucking at writing.

3 comments on “When Writing Sucks Ass…or Just Plain Sucks

  1. Oh quit your griping – your writing does not suck. Don’t make me walk all the way across the country to beat that into you!

    1. I know that sounded really whiney,didn’t it? But really underneath all that whining what I meant to say is that we all feel like crap about our writing. And its ok, because then there is room and hopefully, willingness to learn.

  2. I can forget the self doubt sometimes when I first draft. I don’t worry about anything during a first draft other than getting the story down. On the days it flows I don’t fret about grammar or anything, and I love the feeling. It is really awesome. But then of course comes the re-read and the edits. And because I just splurge it all out there – they are often hard. Like, really, really hard. Because I just have this mess, where I’ve used the word ‘just’ a gazillion times, a bit like I have here! And I have to try and get it into something resembling decent shape. Ugh.

    Reading your own words can be like hearing your own voice – sometimes it is a painful experience lol.

    Keep writing Grace!

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