Hating your own work.

I’ll be honest; my process involves a lot of time spent hating what I’ve written. A lot. I convince myself that reading my own work will be like hearing my own voice (DO NOT WANT), and I spend ages wrestling myself into doing it anyway.

Isn’t it funny that I’ve spent nigh-on thirty years* knowing that’s just part of how I’m put together as a writer, and I’ve still not developed a better coping technique than, you know, oiling up and getting in that wrestling ring?

But when the hard work is done and my story is out there – midwifery, however traumatic, over with for the time being – it’s better. It’s better because hating it provides me with the impetus required to make it better.

Now, that might not be the case with you. It could be that you get from the first to the final draft without thinking this is the shittiest story ever to be written even once. It could be that, unlike me, you can keep up a constant positive stream of I am an amazing writer – something we all need at least some of the time to keep us motivated and confident enough to keep on moving forward.

But for me? For me, hating what I write is okay. It’s part of what I need to do to get my work honed to a point.

This blog post will hopefully serve to remind me, in the darker hours of re-writing, editing, and throwing my hands in the air whilst sighing and/or swearing explosively, that it’s okay.

You don’t always have to like what you’re producing. You can even loathe it with every fibre of your being. Just don’t give up. You’ll come out the other side sooner than you believe you will… And it will all be worth it.


* Yes, I know, I haven’t actually spent the entire thirty years of my life so far writing – it’s called artistic license, it’ll be fine.

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2 Responses to Hating your own work.

  1. Pete Denton says:

    Well put. I don’t like most of my work whilst I’m writing it. I do toil with it but in the end it is nice for someone else to read it and say nice things.

    • Elise says:

      Oh, very true – that’s lovely. I like the sense of satisfaction from that moment when I say to myself, “This work is now -finished-,” and know that I did the best I could.

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