Bad Writing Days

First, a big apology – this should have posted yesterday, but I somehow managed to schedule the post for a completely different date. I blame NaNoWriMo – and by the way, my NaNo Novel is at 51,600 words as of yesterday!

Bad Writing Days. These are the ones where you find yourself in front of the computer at 3PM in food-stained pajamas with a bottle of scotch and no glass. Your characters flatly refuse to do what you tell them to, which is totally not fair because if it weren’t for you, those characters would still be dancing around in the dark cobwebbed recesses of your brain and not taking on the strange reality of being a character in a novel.

Just thinking about Bad Writing Days gives me chills. Or maybe that’s just the draft from the window by my desk.

Sometimes on Bad Writing Days, you write a lot, but it all sucks so much that you delete it later. I’m not a big fan of this approach. I prefer to believe you can always edit and revise shitty writing, but you can’t fix a blank page. So maybe you save one word out of ten, and that word was “the” but it’s still one more word added to your work in process and your complete body of work.

Bad Writing Days are hard to fix, with you mopping your tears with toilet paper (because you ran out of Kleenex two days ago) and all. But it can be done. First, put away the bottle of scotch. Second, shut off your computer.

Take a walk or a nap. If you’re having a Really Bad Writing Day, do both.

Find a book that you detest because it’s poorly written. My personal pet peeve is a “floating” point of view where you’re never quite sure who is thinking the thoughts the author put on the page. Open it at random and read a bit. Pissed off yet? Good.

Rewrite the scene that you just read until you believe from the bottom of your heart it’s better than what was written by the bestselling author of the original version.

Now, take the sense of satisfaction you gained because you now believe you’re a better writer than (insert bestselling author’s name here) and go back to your writing.

Feel better?


5 thoughts on “Bad Writing Days

  1. Oh, I can relate! These are great suggestions for breaking the vapor-lock! Of course, a few good snorts of single-malt does it for me, too! Slainte! And keep writing! 😉

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