Friday, 04 March 2016 06:00

When I'm Having a Terrible Writing Day

Filed under Notes to Self...

Question: That book you’re reading by your favorite author that you absolutely love… Do you think the author wrote it on a high, believing every word was golden?

Do you think your favorite author never agonized over a sentence, deleted pages, tore out whole scenes (along with her hair)? That there never was a day she didn’t despair that every word she set down was rubbish?

Just like you, there would’ve been times when your favorite author struggled and bled for every word and others when the writing seemed to flow as though dictated by some higher being.  

But here’s the question I’m really asking: Can you as a reader tell the difference in the finished product?

As you read any story, can you pick the passages the author was (and possibly still is) unhappy with? Can you distinguish them from the ones they considered their best writing ever? Is the author’s despair, elation, frustration over the actual writing itself apparent anywhere on the page?

No. And neither is it so for you. Give it a month and you’ll forget how hard or easy those passages were to write. All you’ll have is pages to work with, to revise and polish until they shine. And that’s all any author needs, something to work with. So just get some words on the page.

Bottom line: Don’t let a bad mood stop you from writing. Write anyway. It’s amazing how differently the same passage will look to you tomorrow when you’re feeling more confident compared to today when you’re feeling down.

Published in On writing