Lately, Hating Everything I Write

I don’t know if this is a rite of passage for new bloggers or a normal phase that any writer may encounter at any stage in life, but lately I feel so “…MEH…” about what I write.  And it isn’t that I have writer’s block.  If anything, I am overflowing with words. I can sit down and type 1,000 words as easily as any other task. Will the words make sense or be pleasant to read?  That is another question. What seems to be my problem lately is that I HATE what I’m writing. I hate my new posts even after I am satisfied enough to publish them. I hate my old drafts, and they keep building up in my WordPress Dashboard. I probably have two dozen drafts that will never be published because when I read through them, I think they are terrible.  Does anyone else have this problem?

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It wasn’t like this when I started blogging.  I dove in with ample enthusiasm and absolutely no idea what I was doing.  I was so excited that, pardon the expression, I didn’t see the forest for the trees.  I just knew that I was such an awesome writer full of awesome ideas! That is probably the best way to jump into blogging, without really knowing how complicated the process can become.  Flash forward several months and the pain is acute.  I am aware of my shortcomings as a writer and my assorted faults as a person.  This phase of frustration seems to correspond with the growing pains of striving to become a better writer, but also with the heightened stress of putting out  fires set by some invisible arson.  Sometimes when I sit down to read through my drafts my mind wanders to the more important issues at hand, and when I come back to the text I think “Ugh, booooor-ring!”

Going through this painful and rather embarrassing process has taught me valuable lessons about my writing and myself.  For instance, I have yet to find my voice.  When reading the work of fellow bloggers, I tend to nitpick myself, forgetting I am still very new to writing, not as developed as my peers.  I become quite self conscious when reading some awe inspiring post by a veteran blogger, knowing I could NEVER write that well no matter how much work I put into my comparatively pathetic attempts.  It isn’t that I feel jealous of the arguably more talented writers, (because without them how would we set the standard?) but for me, the double edged sword of reading their writing is the inevitable feeling of both admiration and terror.  I want to write as well as them, but my subconscious starts nay-saying and discouraging me, the nasty little bitch.

So what does one do when finding oneself in such a situation? Well, I don’t know what most other writers do, but I developed a plan do deal with my crazy neurotic self.  And, in case anyone wants to market this as a self help scheme, I have put it all in list form!  You’re welcome!

  1. Ask the Tough Questions.  First I pursued the source of my dislike for my own writing.  Did I really hate everything I wrote, or was there something else going on?  I discovered A LOT of bottled up stress from external factors, some of which I could not control, and that was negatively affecting my writing.  It was also decimating my energy, not just for writing, but for other enjoyable projects.  In short, I was getting depressed and needed to confront my feelings in order to move on.
  2. Confront the Problem(s).  Next I approached my “hated” drafts.  Were they really that bad?  Okay, some were.  But instead of scrapping them all, I kept them for future use.  Maybe a snippet from one, a paragraph from another, and so on, could be useful…Most were not terrible, it was just my perception at the time.  This same approach could be used for putting all other problems (not just ill-fated blog drafts) into perspective.
  3. Take an Honest Look at Yourself.  I then looked at my relationship with fellow bloggers.  How did I see myself compared to them?  I have always struggled at putting myself on equal footing with peers.  This goes back to childhood, when I was teased for being shy, ugly, too quiet, too poor, and friendless (which made it difficult to actually make friends).  So I gave myself a pep talk.  Where had all bloggers started out? The same place as me.  So there is no reason to be ashamed of my work, and while I certainly have room to grow, there is no reason to feel inferior.
  4. Ask One Last Hard Question.  Last of all, I asked myself, “Do I still want to do this?”  Over the last couple of weeks I had become so distracted by all the fires I was putting out, I lost interest in doing many things, one of which was writing.  That was part of my response to a high level of stress.  When you are under so much stress, you might feel compelled to let go of anything that seems like an obligation.  But blogging isn’t really an obligation for me, or at least it shouldn’t be.  I started doing this to express myself freely, bypassing annoying obstacles along the way.  Why give up now, when I am still barely getting my feet wet?  There is still so much to experience!

After my self-therapy session, I feel better.  I don’t look better, but that might require more sleep and a trip to the chiropractor.  I can honestly say, though, that now I really LOVE this post. I love it more than when I started writing it.  I am really happy that I wrote about writing, or more to the point, about fighting through the obstacles that can prevent us from writing.  And I hope that all you writers out there are loving what you write.  That is what it’s all about.

— G

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8 thoughts on “Lately, Hating Everything I Write

    1. Georgeann Post author

      Thank you for visiting and leaving the kind comment; it boosted my morale. I have to admit, life has thrown a few wrenches at me these past few months, so the post was definitely a labor of love. Despite my terrible attitude 🙂

      Reply
  1. jmcarnahan

    I very recently (as in two weeks ago) started a blog as I begin to crawl in my development as a writer. As I was starting this blog and my writing in general, this was a fear that I remember having. “What if I am a bad writer?” and “What if I don’t like anything that I write?”
    I do enjoy writing, but I will be the first to admit that I am not very good at it because I am a beginner. However, there is a part of me that want s to be good at it one day, and the impatient side of me wants to be good at it now. But this post has set my mind at ease knowing that these feelings are a part of the process, and it is something that I can and will grow from as writer. So thank you!

    Reply
    1. Georgeann Post author

      First, thank you for visiting! Second, I am thrilled to know that I helped someone today! One piece of advice I can add is to read, read read! Read the works of other bloggers, not to emulate them, but to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what YOU want to be as a writer. Also read works you enjoy that aren’t part of the blog world, because reading helps you grow as a writer. And after you read, write, write write! Practicing is the only way to become better. I often remind myself that if I stick with it, two years from now my writing will be through its awkward phase (let’s hope) and will have a well developed voice of its own. Best of luck, I will be checking out your site soon!

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Some Nagging Fear | Finding Inspiration

  3. Lexie

    Sometimes you just need to take a break! Give yourself a few days seriously ‘off’ from writing and even thinking about writing. When you get back to it, you’ll feel refreshed! Keep comparing yourself to other bloggers, because you won’t get better without the knowledge that there’s someone better than you. But, don’t beat yourself up for it. I think you’re ability to take little snippets from old drafts is really important as well. Instead of looking at each post as some giant artistic statement, realize that there are good and bad things in each post. Being able to pull out the really good things is what will make you a better writer. Your body of work is a work in progress. Love you.

    Reply

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