When You Can’t Stand Your Own Writing

I wrote the title of this blog with absolutely no shame because I am convinced that I am not the only writer who has felt this way.


More than the feeling of inadequacy or the specter of perfectionism that every writer fights against, not being able to stand your own writing is a level above the usual stumbling blocks.

Is it a lack of passion for the project? What does it say about the story itself if even the writer isn’t interested in writing it?

Is it an unwillingness to start again? At some point, perhaps in the outlining, you’ve veered away from the original story you were trying to write. Or perhaps, you lost momentum in the middle, and the plot points are just that, points to get from A to B and not even remotely interesting.

Is it perfectionism disguised as dissatisfaction? In your front brain, you know the first draft can’t be perfect, but your hind brain is convinced it has to be. You’re not a terrible writer, you’re just impatient.


If your dissatisfaction is really perfectionism in disguise, the best way to fight against that is to just keep writing and remind yourself that revision is a thing.

If your passion has left you, ask yourself why, and admit to yourself that maybe you need to rethink if the story you’re writing coincides with the passion you have felt (probably for years. For example, if you’re a really passionate fan of mysteries, but you keep trying to write that historical romance, ask yourself why).

If your story has veered away from what you originally intended, examine why that is, and while you’re at it, figure out whether you even like this change or not. If you, the writer, doesn’t even like it, why should the reader?



Whether you have to start over again or work on another project while you cool your jets about this one (and therefore prevent yourself from deleting/throwing away all of your work in a fit of impotent rage) or whether you have to start at square one, this time remembering what kind of stories you’re truly passionate about, then do that. Or not. Maybe something else will work for you. But whatever you do, never quit writing.

*Originally posted on previous blog on April 8, 2020

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