Tag Archives: learning

Write and Edit (and Live Your Life) Instead of Beating Yourself Up

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.

Learning Experiences From Me and The Great Beyond

My late father used to say that sometimes it was hard to write off things as a learning experience. He used to say this whenever me or anyone else was going through something really hard or things just weren’t working out very well. That kind of went against what he also used to say, which was that you’re never given more than you can handle.

To me, you either handle things or you don’t. That’s what keeps you going (or not). Because as much as I loved my father’s words, they were just words and the living was the hard part. Of course he never said things were going to be easy, either which I am forever grateful for.

Now my late grandmother used to say that everything happened for a purpose and a reason though we wouldn’t always know why. She also said we just had to have faith and that when it came to faith she used to say you either had it or you didn’t.

So what is it then? What’s the best piece of advice or motivation here?

I think I’ve taken all of the above and put it together in a hodgepodge way that works for me. I think if I had to phrase it altogether it would probably look like this with some slight modifications:

You don’t know what you can handle until you have to, and you’ll learn from it whether you want to or not. So make the most of what you’ve learned, or will learn and try to apply it if you get the opportunity. And sometimes things do happen for a reason other than shit happening and that you’ve got to have faith that you’ll figure something out. Most of all, don’t let anyone or anything drag you down into a muck of shame and guilt if you don’t handle things to where they’ll all wrapped up in a nice and neat little bow. Because I sure as hell can’t wrap things perfectly.

Why am I writing this, you ask?

Sometimes I think I write stuff like this to as a reminder not to let shit get to me. Because when I calm down, my mind slows down and the fog of bullshit clears, and I begin to see things that I might not have seen before. I believe strongly in intuition and instinct and over the last couple of years I’ve been wanting to really develop that inside myself.

Now I will apologize for not going into any details about my personal life but I have good reasons not to. What I want to do here anyway is share some words of wisdom from beyond the grave in the case of my father, and of my own insights. And no, this isn’t an ego-flex because as I will say till the day I die, I’m not in this for the ego and I sure as hell don’t have all the answers.

Over the years since my parents’ and grandparents’ deaths, I’ve thought of how alone I have felt at times, and how I’ll never be alone as long as I have these memories and these words still being said in my mind. I think these words are playbacks of recorded memory, and hopefully reminders also from the great beyond. Either way, I’ll take them.

Finally, I’d like to say this:

Things will work out in some way. Maybe not the way you wanted them to, or thought they were supposed to. Instead of trying to fit things into a box, realize that unless you’re a cat able to mold yourself into any box of your choice, don’t box yourself in. This is why humans weren’t given the box-molding capabilities of cats (though I have to say my cat is an exception to that rule).