My late father always used to say to never get into a one-legged ass-kicking contest with yourself because you’ll always win. I want to apply this to writing because I see so many writers beating the crap out of themselves simply for writing stuff that isn’t perfect on a first draft.
I know going in every single time I put my fingers on the keyboard and begin tapping things out that I’ll be going back over what I wrote and add and delete like mad. But I was taught writing and editing went hand-in-hand and that you couldn’t have one without the other. I will admit in the past I used to look at what I wrote and think, ‘who in the hell wrote this steaming pile of shit?’ That was only because I wrote stuff that was all over the place and needed one hell of an editing job, not because I didn’t think I couldn’t write or that I shouldn’t write, or worst of all, that no one would ever like it.
Not everyone is going to like what you write so no use pissing and moaning about it. If you find yourself doing that, just stop it. And if you think you’re supposed to do that in order to be thought of as a ‘real writer’, that’s a load of bullocks. Because like I said before, you don’t have to do anything, and you will never be everything to everyone, and your writing will not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Good writing involves a ton of editing to make it work as well as it can. As I type this here, I keep going back over what I wrote and if I need to edit something I do. And most of all when I am editing, I don’t call myself an idiot or any of that bullshit.
I will admit here I used to be terribly anxious about writing certain things and posting them for the world to see on the internet. I used to be worried about what people would think and that they would let me know in no uncertain terms if they hated me and what I wrote. A lot of that fear was just internal anxiety and hormonal bullshit but I had to work through that to get to where I’m at now. And I’ve been lucky in that I made a key breakthrough in my mind that gave me the ability to let go of a lot of emotional baggage that I didn’t need to carry around.
But to be honest here, I haven’t gotten a lot of feedback on what I’ve been posting so far. Which is fine by me as I don’t do this to get clicks or feedback or anything like that. Right now I’m just doing this to get in the grove of writing and editing every day and putting my work out there. Because writing, like anything else you do, is something you’ll only get good at by doing it. And you won’t get good at something by beating the crap out of yourself while you’re doing it.
I used to think that I had to beat myself up and put myself down so that other people couldn’t do it to me first. It was like I thought if I did it to myself that other people wouldn’t do it to me. That wasn’t the case because if someone wants to talk shit to you, they will. How you deal with that is entirely up to you. And for me, it’s letting that shit roll of me like water off a duck’s ass.
So rounding back to writing here specifically: don’t beat the crap out of yourself and your writing. It’s a waste of time and energy that can be much better spent on writing and editing till your work flows as well as it can.
And if someone out there doesn’t like that, just say ‘bullocks’ to them and get back to work.