Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Stop Talking About How Your Writing Sucks!

As writers, we all have moments of doubt. Those times where we look at our work, and just shake our heads at what we've done. Those times when we think about wiping the screen, and starting over from scratch. For a lot of us, though, these are private struggles. Moments we have when we're home alone, or that we'll sometimes share with a friend who understands our creative process, and who can sympathize with our frustration. Generally speaking, though, we keep these moments of doubt to ourselves.

There are some of us, though, who don't. There are some writers who proclaim loudly, and almost proudly, that their work flat-out sucks.

Yes, we're just as sick of them as you are.
If you are one of those writers, I am here to tell you on behalf of the rest of the community that it's time to shut up. Because if you really felt your work was that bad, you would have quit by now.

Honey, Tell Me I'm Not Fat

Proclaiming your work to be awful, and yourself to be a no-talent fake, is the literary equivalent of the sort of compliment fishing we often see in romantic relationships. If you've never been in a relationship, here's how it works. It starts with one partner will say something loud and derogatory about themselves. Maybe a wife says she's fat, or a husband says he's stupid. Most of the time they don't really believe these things. What they want is for their significant other to pat their hand, kiss their forehead, and say no, that's not true. Your waistline is just fine. You're smarter than people give you credit for.

Really, your story is very good.

Seriously, no one has time for your bullshit, guys.
If you really believed your work was bad, would you go on social media to tell all your friends and family about it? Would you spend hours on writing forums telling people that you just didn't have it? And if you really believed these things, would you provide samples of your work to prove to people how bad your writing was?

Or doth the writer protest too much?

Get Back To Work

The only time it's acceptable for you to go out in a public forum and say, "hey, my work is terrible!" is when you're actually trying to find help to get better. Typically cries for help are phrased with what's wrong, followed by a request for other writers to help you improve your habits, or your work.

If you're not asking for help getting better, the only other option is that you're fishing for praise you don't deserve. If your ego is too fragile to get to work without constant reassurances that no, really, your book will be very good and lots of people will love it, then stop writing and step aside. There are folks ready to knuckle-down to do the job, and you're blocking the aisle.

That's all for this week's Craft of Writing post. Hopefully you found it useful, or at least you know someone you can throw it at because you're tired of their long-winded sessions on Facebook. Speaking of which, if you want to stay up-to-date on my latest content and releases, then follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Lastly, if you'd like to help fund my work, and this blog in particular, then head over to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a patron. All it takes is $1 a month to buy my everlasting gratitude, and to get some sweet swag of your own.

No comments:

Post a Comment