Do you hate writing because you think you’re a bad writer? These tips on how to love what you write are inspired by quotes from famous published authors who once hated writing, too.
The first step to stop hating what you write is learning how to love the act of writing itself. If you enjoy the writing process – whether you’re writing for publication or blogging your life history – what you write won’t matter as much as how much you enjoy being a writer.
Me, I don’t hate writing. But I agree with bestselling author Dorothy Parker, who loved finishing a piece of writing. “I hate writing,” she said. “I love having written.” I never used to hate writing but I had a hard time loving what I wrote. My insecurity always get in the way – but I have found that the more I fall in love with the process of writing, the less attached I am to what I wrote. Then it’s no longer a question of “I hate my writing” or “I love what I wrote.” It’s simply about enjoying the writing process.
I like to start every blog post with a resource for writers, so they have somewhere to get more information and inspiration. How to Write It, Third Edition: A Complete Guide to Everything You’ll Ever Write by Sandra E. Lamb will help you learn how to love writing. The book will lead you through all types of writing. If you really want to love what you write, keep experimenting with different types of writing. This will help you stay fresh and creative.
Here are my ideas to help you stop hating what you write and start loving the writing process. These tips are especially useful for writers who want to make a living as a freelancer or even a published author.
5 Tips for Loving Your Writing
If you believe yourself when you say “I hate writing”, these tips on how to love writing won’t help. But if you’re open to the idea of possibly learning how to maybe someday not-hate or perhaps even like your own writing, then you might find a glimmer of hope in these tips…
1. Know that most writers hate what they wrote
“When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth,” said Kurt Vonnegut. He wrote Slaughterhouse-Five and dozens of other novels and short stories. If he felt inept when writing, so should you. Flannery O’Connor said, “Writing [a novel] is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay.” And the great James Joyce said, “Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives.”
2. Connect your writing with your daily life
Earlier today, I retweeted a link to an article on how to write when you have no ideas. The idea is that storytelling is the best way to capture readers’ attention because it activates the brain and helps them remember emotions, themes, characters. Unfortunately, I hate telling stories because it puts me in the spotlight. But, I’m learning how to remember and tell stories. Storytelling doesn’t just bring my writing alive and connect with readers, but to stay on my journey towards emotional health and healing. How does this tip help you love your writing – or at least get your writing done? It’ll allow you to insert yourself in your essay, article, or memo (when appropriate). This will spark your interest, which will in turn make your readers’ ears perk up.
3. Learn why you hate your writing so much
It took me 44 years to realize how unique my perspective and experiences are. I’ve always felt insecure and insignificant because my mom was extremely neglectful (she’s schizophrenic, I spent time in foster homes as a kid) – and that has a HUGE effect on my writing. I’m a good writer, but I’ve never felt that my own experiences were worth writing (home) about. What about you – what is holding you back from learning how to love writing? Maybe it’s a slight learning disability, or fear of rejection, or lack of confidence, or critical teachers, or insecurity like me.
4. Find ways to enjoy the writing process
I’m starting to share more of myself in my writing. When I first started blogging and freelance writing in 2008, I was very much a “tips-based” writer. Now, I’m flirting with the idea of sharing my own experiences, ideas, and opinions. It’s not an easy leap because my writing insecurities go way down deep to my first few months of life. I don’t have a core of confidence, security, or love. How will I learn how to love writing about myself? I connect with God. I feel peaceful, secure, attached, loved, and taken care of when I pray. God is my source of strength, comfort, and freedom to be myself…and the more I connect with Him in spirit and song, the easier it is for me to share myself in my writing.
5. Forgive your bad writing and terrible first drafts
Maybe you’ll always hate what you wrote – but you need to learn how to at least tolerate writing for the moment, to get you through this essay for school or memo for work. You may never learn how to love the writing process, but you can forgive yourself for not writing well. You might also learn ways to increase your writing confidence, which will increase your overall confidence in yourself.
I don’t love the writing process, but I do enjoy editing my writing. I don’t always love what I wrote, but I rarely hate it. I don’t struggle to write every day, but sometimes I struggle to write without editing as I go. The main thing that helped me grow and succeed as a writer was writing. Writing for my She Blossoms blogs taught me not only how to enjoy the writing process, but how to stop hating every sentence I wrote.
“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver.
How will you discipline yourself to write what you want to write? Start by writing for 15 or 30 minutes a day, and accepting yourself as a writer.