Writer Wednesday: A friendly PSA for writers who trash themselves.

Please, stop it. You’re just asking to develop a mood disorder.

If you follow my Twitter, then you may have seen my two Tweet rant today: “I’m tired of authors trash-talking themselves while writing, thinking they are worthless and their writing is garbage. You are not garbage. Your writing is not garbage. Those negative thoughts are garbage. Time to take out the trash.” (@tclem91)

I’ve been reading way too many articles lately about “advice” from writers on writing, and many start out with how the writer will trash themselves the entire way through a first draft. How can anyone write like that? I don’t understand, and I find it terribly upsetting.

I’m definitely not telling you to be annoyingly positive or happy-go-lucky. I can’t stand that 24/7 any more than you can. But do you, not just as a writer, but as a human, realize how damaging it is to constantly tell yourself you’re “not worth it” or that your writing “is terrible, you’ll never amount to anything.” How can you write under that weight? It sounds exhausting.

I will readily admit when something I write isn’t good. Heck, I even second guessed posting some of my short stories this month, but I promised I would do it, so I did. I didn’t talk down to myself while I wrote, even if I didn’t like what I was writing.

You know what you should do when you don’t like what you’re writing? Revise it. Don’t waste time thinking about how your work will never get published, because you don’t know that.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is, don’t get stuck digging yourself into a hole of self-hatred and self-pity. It’s a waste of time and energy when you could spend it making some yummy cookies to lift your mood, and settling into some comfy sweats to get on that rewrite.

Consequently, you’ll also be nicer to the people around you, and you’ll be more enjoyable to be around, too.

Sorry for the tough love everyone, I just felt like this needed to be said.

How do you cope with a difficult piece of writing?


2 thoughts on “Writer Wednesday: A friendly PSA for writers who trash themselves.

  1. Joshua M Swenson

    Great pep talk! Bad writing is gonna happen. It’s part of the process! Trash talking yourself is not gonna help. Better to accept it and move on.

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