Some Days I Suck as a Writer

I reread what I’ve written and the fear that I suck overwhelms me. I think it’s natural. Sometimes, I just think maybe I should throw the towel in and quite while I’m ahead. Other days, I feel like I have stories that people want to read but my mechanics are atrocious and I should just stop already.

I’m not sure if all writers are plagued with doubt. I think so. But I don’t know for sure. There might be a writer out there that thinks all their words are gold and they shit roses. I dunno. Most days, I feel okay about my writing. Most days, I feel like even though my mechanics suck, I have enough talent to at least tell a decent tale. But every once in a while, I get a day that makes me want to cry, scream and nash my teeth. Because on those days, I just KNOW I suck as a writer.

But I seem to be a hard headed bitch. I plow through ANYWAY. I used to have periodic bouts of uncertainty in my before life as well. It diminished over time. But it still caught me. I mean, throwing up before every opening statement after a decade and a half was a pretty sure sign of some anxiety, no? I don’t have opening statements anymore. So my insecurity comes out in other ways. It comes out in me reading what I wrote and wanting to delete the whole frickin’ mess. But I don’t.

I got into a car accident when I was 16. I was pissed, scared and hyped. When it came time to go to sleep, I couldn’t sleep. The accident kept playing over and over in my mind. I went to my dad. He told me to stop thinking about it. Everyone walked away unscathed from the accident so no permanent damage had been done. Well, except to the cars but they could be fixed. But then he gave me a bit of advice that I use in lots of areas in my life. He told me to go to sleep and that everything looked better after a night of rest. That morning brought new perspective. So I shut down my mind and went to sleep. And when I woke up the next day, I did feel better. Not that it undid the accident, but that the accident wasn’t looming so large in my mind. I was able to get a handle on things. And he was right, not that everything looked rosy, but it didn’t look as bleak as it did the night before.

So when I am the most sure I suck as a writer, I shut down Word and putter around until I can get to sleep. Cause I know when I wake up, even if my writing stills sucks, I can find a new perspective and it wouldn’t look so bleak. Sleeping on it doesn’t make me any less of a sucky writer. What is does is allow me to make that suckiness not loom so large in my mind. I get a handle on it. Mostly. Well, until the next time I’m sure I’m a sucky writer.

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5 Responses to Some Days I Suck as a Writer

  1. Lucie says:

    the only thing that would suck would be not writing. Nicepost.

    • D.R. Slaten says:

      Thanks. And you’re correct- it would suck not to write. It’d drive me crazy.

  2. Robyn says:

    Isn’t there a quote about how the wannabes all have a ton of confidence and the genuine artists are really insecure?

    This is awesome advice for any writer or artist. Linking to this in my next link roundup. 🙂

    • D.R. Slaten says:

      Awww, thanks Robyn. Mostly the advice is my dad’s. Sometimes I wished I’d listened to my parents more when I was younger. lol But then I would have so many crappy “life experiences” to help me out now. 😉

  3. Zoe X. Rider says:

    I tried shitting roses once. I bled for weeks.

    (I mostly read your blog through the links to random old posts that show up on my Twitter, which is why my comment is so late.)

    I did, a long, long time ago, think I was great at writing—gifted and awesome and it was totally meant to be. I don’t miss those days, though, because who wants to walk around not knowing their ass is totally showing? So yeah, I totally have doubts, every day. I’m relatively okay with my mechanics (as long as I don’t linger too long on the fact that I don’t happen to write the same kind of amazing prose that I like to read), but doubts about story structure and character motivation and all that other stuff are always hanging out at the fringes, ready to ruin my day.

    Having my car accident replay every time I closed my eyes that night is, eighteen years later, the strongest memory I have left of the accident I was in. I was all banged and bandaged up, but the pain was a lot easier to deal with than the constant replay of the accident in my head. (Things ~were~ better in the morning, though!)