Whole Lotta Hatin’ Goin’ On
Easy Writing Truths You Don’t Want To Learn The Hard Way (Part 1)
Is this what you looked like the last time you read one of your drafts?
Ho-ly Flamingos. You look like you’re about to melt someone’s face off with your mind.
What is it about our own writing that conjures up these face-melt moments? And what should we do when things start heating up?
All that, and more on this episode. Iiiiiiiit’s…
Okay, here’s the thing:
When you’re a writer, there are going to be times that you’ll love your voice and times that you’ll hate your voice. What you need to remember is this:
Just because you think your writing is shit doesn’t mean that it’s actually shit.
Sometimes that’s hard to remember.
Like, really, really hard.
You ever have one of those writing jam sessions where at the end of the night, a big smile breaks across your face and you bust out your happy dance, pumpin’ your fist like you were an extra in a club scene on Jersey Shore?
You have owned this white paper tonight:
“This is AMAZING! High schoolers will be forced to write book reports on me! HAHAHA!”
And then the morning rolls around and you’re like:
“…what the hell?”
Or maybe right before your eyelids finally crash shut at 3 in the morning, you are seized — yes, seized — by a thought and you wipe out half the stuff on you night table while looking for a scrap piece of paper and a pen that never seems to be where you need it.
“God,” you mumble in your sleep-induced stupor. “This is GENIUS.”
Once your nocturnal scribblings are safely tucked away on the back of whatever Panera receipt you can find, a smile washes over you and you’re lulled into sleep with the calming thought that your genius is safe.
And then after you stumble into the kitchen in search of caffeine, you’re summoned out of your haze by the memory of the scribblings —
The Sacred Scribblings.
And as you evaluate your scribblings, you mainline your coffee and it provides the clarity that you need:
“WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN?!”
::beep:: We interrupt your regularly scheduled program.
It doesn’t matter if those scraps and scribblings are Björk-wearing-a-swan-draped-around-her-neck-at-the-Oscars kind of bad — and yes, that’s pretty serial.
You know how people say, “walk away before you say the words you can’t unsay but only said because you were angry”? Those rules don’t just apply when you’re having a verbal sparring match with your best friend.
Right now you’re fighting with yourself and you need to cool down before you make any rash decisions.
Delirium from tiredness counts, too — And yes, also being doped up on your literary genius.
So, if you hate what you’ve written, why, in the name of Judy Blume, should you keep it?
1. There might be a diamond in the rough.
When we talk about finding a diamond in the rough, that doesn’t mean that it’ll necessarily pop up later, all ready for a Tiffany’s window display. Sometimes it does, though, and it’s a total “struck gold” moment. Other times, all it takes is a little love and polish before it’s ready for its setting.
2. Sometimes an “okay” idea can lead you to a very good one in the future.
You didn’t see it before because:
A.) You were too close and it was all still too fresh.
B.) You were in crisis mode and not thinking clearly.
C.) You didn’t have the experience then to see that you needed to do to make different choices in order to make that idea really shine or maybe you didn’t have the skills to make it happen yet.
D.) All of the above. ✔️◀ ️This is most likely the answer.
3. Time brings clarity.
If nothing else, you should never throw away your work because 1 year from now, 5 years from now, 25 years from now — once the dust has settled, it’s truly humbling to see just how far you’ve come.
Panera receipt nocturnal scribblings and all.
Howdy, fellow literary adventurer! This is Part 1 of “Easy Writing Truths You Don’t Want To Learn The Hard Way”.
Next stop: The Comment Section! (Dun-dun-duuuuun!)
Tell me about a time you thanked your lucky stars that you didn’t set a draft of yours on fire. Or maybe you completely disagree and think your drafts should feel the wrath of a thousand angry suns.
We’ll only know if we start talkin’! And after that, well, what are you waiting for?! Go write something amazing! And then tag me on @Medium so I can see that wonderful creation🍍
Other posts by a Flamingo that you might find helpful:
Are you really a storyteller? Let’s find out.medium.com
The following are part of the Medium Partner Program and locked stories:
Because we prefer our letters next to other letters and we don't like to solve for any of them.medium.com