Do you ever hate your writing?

Okay, okay, hate is a strong word. Are you ever...not pleased with your work upon rereading it? Do find yourself taking apart sentences and wincing at descriptions and possibly, wondering what mental condition afflicted you when you were behooved to string together those particular words in just that way?

Or is it just me?

To say I am a harsh critic of my own work is an understatement. Rarely do I like my stories upon rereading. But twice in the past week...okay, three times...I've reread some of my work and enjoyed it. Have my standards lessened? Or have I finally realized there is no such thing as perfection, and the ability to lose yourself in a story is the only true benchmark of its worth? 

Hard to say. It's funny, though, how easily I can forgive transgressions on the part of writers I love, but when it comes to my own work? Uh, not so much.

So what about you? Do you have a love/hate relationship with your writing? Has your perspective changed over the years (months?)

Want more fun writing talk? Please stop by Word Wenches, the blog I'm doing with one of my CPs, Tara Leigh Coons. This week's post is about her first contest results.

(And yes, I've changed my blog again. It's Fall. I had to show my appreciation of my favorite grateful I haven't whipped out the bats and jack-o-lanterns yet!)


Tara said...

LOL Girl---we're always doing this to ourselves!

Yes, I often find myself wondering if I actually have the ability to write some days. Shite? Yes--that's all SHITE. (More fun than shit. ;)LOL)

But then, as you said, there's these times that I'm like wow---did I write that? Being hyper-critical of ourselves is something bred in the bone for some writers. I think you and I might be that way.

Maybe--just maybe--we're starting to enjoy our work. FINALLY.

It's a miracle!


PS--LOL! I knew you'd change it! Yes, this seems more you. Of course, if you found a template full of bats you'd have to take it INSTANTLY. ;)

J.A. Saare said...

Yes, Yes, and YES! I detest my work 99.9% of the time, so much so that I won't read it after the final edits are done and it's in PDF format on the site. I hoped that as I continued writing, it would get better, but so far...Nope.

I love the layout, very pretty!


Ashley said...

Love the new blog template! It's just gorgeous. I wish we actually got a fall here. :( It's still 94 degrees out right now... and it's dark. Enough complaining, though... to your question:

Very often I dislike what I write. There are the few and far between lines that my characters spoon feed me that just work. I love those moments. :) But long story short... I'm afraid to have you get much further into US b/c it's such a clusterf*** of happenings. I don't even remember where you're at chapter-wise...

Lynne Roberts said...

Oh yes! In fact, it is so much easier to hate my writing than to love it.

I have noticed something though. I tend to hate my WIP, especially during the last part of the editing process, but when I pick up something I haven't read in a while, I read it like it's like wow, I wrote that? And then I feel guilty. Why? I don't know. : )

I LOVE the layout. Fall colors are my absolute favorite colors.

April Vine said...

Oh God, yes. I have the quintessential love/hate relationship with my writing. Most cases on a reread it’s what on earth was I drinking when I wrote that! But the times when I actually get lost in reading my work as if it were someone else’s and realize that it’s actually good, I feel guilty (I know exactly what Lynn means) I don’t know, maybe it a mechanism to keep my head from swelling and then I find fault and I’m happy again!

Love the new layout – very scenic : )

Christina Phillips said...

LOL the short answer is yes! I think we're hard wired to be super critical of our own work. Another excellent reason for CPs I think!!!

Juliana Stone said...

I read stuff back and cringe, All the time. I think it's perfectly normal to have those seeds of doubt grow and attack. It's our words we're putting out there for others to read.....

Helen Hardt said...

Oh yeah, my work sucks. Luckily I have a great CP who tells me it's good, LOL. I think all writers are uber-critical of themselves. Like April said, I can't tell you how many times I've reread something that I thought was good when I wrote it, only to wonder what on earth I'd been thinking. Even in a published piece that's gotten good reviews, I find things I wish I'd done differently. It's a continual process, I think. We're constantly learning, constantly growing as writers.

Catherine Bybee said...

Love and Hate... all in the same day, *sigh... such is the life of a writer. Looks like I'm in good company.

Shelley Munro said...

Definitely, although sometimes I'll read older stuff and be surprised. :)

Shelly said...

Yes, yes yes!!!

I always hate what I write. I'll go back and read something and say to myself....Dear God, what I was on when I wrote that? All the time.

Thank god for CP's....I have a really good one now. I'm so uch better than I was year ago, even six months ago.
I'm constantly learning and evolving as an aspiring writer thanks to her...

Nice new blog Cari!!!

Kaily Hart said...

Hi Cari,

Guess we have some more things in common other than we seem on the same path with our writing. We're both Sagittarians and total perfectionists! I could literally revise/polish forever. I attended the session at the RWA conference given by Nora Roberts and she said she considers all her WIPs to be a POS (piece of shit) while they are in progress. Since then I don't mind so much that I fluctuate between 'wow, I wrote that!' to 'wow, I wrote THAT?'! Usually, more the latter in my case.

I really enjoyed looking at your blog and the older posts that you mentioned. THANKS!

Lia Slater said...

Oh, yes. I'm my own worst critic. You're definitely not alone. :)

I love the template! Fall is my fave season too.

Becca Simone said...

Oh, yeah. I, too, love Nora's POS quote. I also like what Anne Lamott says about first drafts. I believe she calls them "shitty first drafts." I can sure relate. The problem is when your 2nd, 3rd and 4th drafts are also equally manure-like.