Dealing with hate

Angry ManToday I decided to talk about hate. Now, this article is not about those frustrating haters we meet in our lives as writers who just pour their steaming hate all over us and our work… we can cover that festering pit of hell another time.

This is about the worst hater. This is about dealing with those insidious moments when YOU hate your work.

Maybe you’re reading this, scoffing to yourself (because who doesn’t like a good scoff) that you have never and could never hate your awesome, world-changing writing.

Well, to that I say, Buckle up Buttercup because eventually you will plunge head-first into the dark valley of soul-ripping hatred for both your work and yourself for WRITING that work.

It’s okay though. We all fall into that valley. It is dripping with the bitter tears of all those writers before you. Who wallowed and cowered and raged against their work.

I would like to say we all fall into the dark valley once… but some of us drift back to it on our travels.

So, how do you avoid that crippling sensation of self-loathing and agonising doubt and the belief that you will never write anything worth reading and can never be a true writer?

The truth is, you can’t avoid it – if that dark valley is in your path, you will fall into it. The trick is to acknowledge what it is – a temporary blip on your writing horizon. You weather it. You survive it and keep going.

Easier said than done. I’ve been writing for a few decades (wow that makes me sound old!) and I’ve visited the dark valley more times than I would like to admit. In fact this article was inspired because over the weekend I decided to take another belly-flop deep inside.

However it is familiar to me now and while I spit and curse and threaten to put my novel notes through my new cross-cut shredder… I don’t (because that would be fucking dumb!)

There is no miracle cure for feeling like your writing is shit. It is part of the rich tapestry that makes up the artistic temperament. We are gifted with the desire and ability to tell stories, we are given the passion and thirst to chase those stories and become better in the telling.

Like every good character, those gifts come at a price…and one of those prices (because trust me there is more than one!) is that we suffer sometimes.

You will always be your worst critic, your worst hater. No one can say anything worse about your writing than what you feel when deep inside the dark valley. All those insipid thoughts that tell you how rubbish you are.

But my advise? Suck it up. You want to be a writer? Then deal with it. Just sit in that dark grief hole and hate your work if you need… but not for too long. Then give yourself a shake, step away from your writing and do something else. Eventually you will be triggered to write again and it will feel normal. Never takes as long as you think it will.

Tips – because everyone likes tips, right?

  • DO NOT go near a shredder when in the dark valley
  • DO NOT delete any of your work (no matter how shit you think it is) If it’s stressing you out, move it into another folder on your computer.
  • DO NOT go looking for encouragement from other people (sounds like it would work but all it takes is one dickhead saying the wrong thing to make it worse)
  • DO NOT listen to the crap you think about your writing and your work on any deep level
  • DO NOT think this makes you a bad writer or that you’re the only one who is going through this

A writer has enough critics in the world. Everyone wants to review things these days, giving it their stamp of approval or their angry opinion. Everything is up for review – whether you ask for it or not.

Don’t listen to yourself when you are in the worst possible mood. Ride the mood out and get on with being a writer.

~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~

Thanks for your patience last week and your kind comments. I am feeling better now, just a little lingering tiredness.

I hope you found this interesting if nothing else. As always, if you enjoy this blog, why not follow it. I upload new posts on Fridays 18:30 BST (usually) and there are often a mid-week Tuesday post from guest bloggers too!

If you are new to this blog, I list and link my posts in easy categories, just look through the drop down menu under Tutorial List. My guest posts are also listed/linked in their own page for easy finding.

Happy writing

Ari

NB: Photo from depositphotos.com (supporting other creatives):)

 

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4 thoughts on “Dealing with hate

  1. Last fall, I took down a post, soon after I started blogging. I just didn’t think it was good enough to share. I ended up posting it again when I was ready. I have other early posts that I’ve been tempted to trash as well. I’ve always managed to resist the urge. They may not be all that great but ah well. 🙂 Each piece of writing is a learning experience.

    • How very true, I think it can be hard not to want to take down posts. I think many writers are perfectionists… that is often why we can end up working on manuscripts for too long because we just can’t stop tweaking them! lol I’m glad you felt able to put the post back up. Can I ask, which post it was?

      • One of the things that I’ve noticed about blogging is that we can continuously tweak our work even after posting. I know I’m a perfectionist, not something I like to admit. I’m not sure if I’d ever actually publish if I didn’t have that option. So I can understand the want to hold onto a manuscript, continuously tweaking. The post ‘Rise And Shine’ was about my first morning as a university student. A memory which apparently seared itself onto my brain.

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