It happens to every writer. You’re typing words on the page and you just don’t feel like you’re in the zone. You are certain that each and every word you’re putting on paper is complete junk. You wonder why you’re wasting your time. You keep writing only because you’ve set the goal of writing X number of scenes for the day.
Then when you look at it during revisions you realize it is so much worse that you’d thought. It is complete and utter garbage!
That is great, okay, great is too strong of a word. That is actually fine. That is what revisions are for. Never fear revising. Never fear putting words to paper. See, many writers—myself included—go through a period of time where they aren’t writing their best. For many writers this is where they stop and “wait for the feeling to strike”. That is a surefire way to become a FORMER writer. Instead, you need to write through these times and allow yourself permission to put junk on paper and then get it in revisions.
Now, what if you think that an entire work is junk? I would love to tell you not to worry, but the fact is…sometimes something we write is complete junk. I have a few manuscripts that I’ve abandoned and won’t mess with again. The writing is bad. The characters are flat. There is no real plot. It crosses a genre in bad ways. There is just nothing redeeming. That is what I call “practice” or rehearsal writing. You have to accept that not everything anyone writes is always good. There are some manuscripts I write just because the characters wouldn’t shut up and I needed to give them a voice. Much like a writer doodles on a notepad when they’re bored. If every artist felt they had to make a beautiful painting or every musician only played the well constructed melodies of others there would never be creativity or new concepts.
The same is true of writing. Sometimes we’re only “doodle-writing”, and that is okay! And sometimes that needs to be an entire book of doodles. Fine!
If you have something you’d really like to keep, pull that from your doodle-writing and build on it. Have a writing coach talk through the issues and then see how you can make parts work and what needs to be thrown out. Sometimes we write good stuff and sometimes we write total junk. That is life.
So, I guess the answer to the question I posed this week, “What if what I’ve written is total junk?” would be, don’t publish it and start writing something else.
Do you think you need some writing help? I have two great resources for you this week: craft blunders and ways to avoid them for $1.99 at this link. The other resource is my character coaching system $5.99 [4 audios = an hour of coaching plus worksheets to apply what you learn to your writing] which you can download now at this link. As always, you can sign up to share this product information and earn each time someone you refer decides these resources will help them too.
I’ll see you next week.