4 Feelings You Will Most Certainly Feel When You're Having a Bad Writing Day
1) Immense Jealousy
As nasty and gross as this feeling is, and as much as you want to say you don’t feel it, you’re gonna feel it. Good news for someone else that might otherwise not bother you feels like someone shoving a sawed-off shotgun down your throat and pulling the trigger. Every good, proud moment you’ve had regarding your writing feels completely worthless. You are the worst writer in existence, and the person you’re jealous of is a shining example of a true miracle at work. They have no faults, they eventually don’t even seem like a person in your eyes. They are simply everything you’re not. Everything you can never be.
How to fix this: Remind yourself that this is a person you’re getting jealous of. Someone that sleeps and cries and shits and farts. They’re not some perfect epitome of writerly gifts. Often enough, they’re just someone that never stopped. So what do you do? Be jealous, but don’t let it grind you to a halt. Tell yourself ‘That’ll be me one day’ and keep writing what you’re writing.
Spoiler alert, though, you won’t be any happier once you reach their level. Self-confidence problems are eternal, fam! Work on that first, or you’ll never be proud of yourself.
2) Profound Sadness
Sentences are like arteries, words the blood that flows through them. Not being able to write is like bleeding out. It hurts and you’re cold and you can’t hold onto them and death of your work seems like heartbeat away.
(I like to think writing blocks are fatty buildups, something can only be fixed through surgery, healthy eating, or a shit-ton of writing exercises, but that’s not exactly what I’m going for at the moment, so let’s move on)
You feel like you’ve never written anything good, and you never will. Blues descend on you. Everything sucks huge hairy balls. You can’t even bring yourself to put these feelings into words. You just have to sit there as each heartbeat kills you a little faster.
How to fix this: Everyone has bad days. Everyone. That person you want to be? That person you think is perfect? They’ve felt like this. It’s the Writer Condition. It’s the Imposter Syndrome. It’s every reason they warn people not to be writers. Remind yourself that tomorrow will come, and it will be different, and cut yourself a little slack. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it wasn’t torn apart in a day, either. You don’t suck as bad as you think. Might as well just act happy, right?
3) Formidable Fury
You’re pissed. The words aren’t coming and oh! So-and-so makes it look *so* easy. Look how many words they wrote today. Look how everyone recs them. Look at how great their ideas are! What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you be THAT? Stupid, useless, worthless, blah blah blah.
How to fix this: No two people are the same. You may not have the strengths of one person, but you have your own. Take some time to figure out what you’re good at. Don’t be like 'So-and-so is good at blank and I’m not’ No. Shut the fuck up with that bullshit. Say instead 'I’m very good at blank’. No need to include so-and-so. If you really need to, ask others what you’re good at. People love the chance to make others feel good, because it makes them feel good. It’s a wonderful, selfish circle we live in!
There is no greater enemy to creativity than feeling nothing for what you once loved. You look at what you’re writing, and the spark is gone. You can’t remember why you started in the first place. What’s the point? You’re not the God Emperor of the Writing Universe yet. Someone said something nice to someone else but not to you. Nobody knows who you are in your community. You’re a nobody, you’re writing is nothing, so you should feel nothing for it. Nothing nothing nothing.
How to fix this: For the love of fuck, get over yourself. So you’re not a BNF. So none of the current BNFs notice you. So what? Take all the other fix-its I’ve included here and mash them into one answer, and that’s what should go here. You’re only a human, and you’re doing the best you can. What you make might not ever match up to your idol’s work, or that person you hate that writes damn good stuff, or that person that writes crap but people will endless amp up like they wrote a holy text, but it can match up to what *you* want.
It ain’t easy to stop comparing. Honestly, it’s impossible, but you can stop comparing in a negative way and use it as a way to improve.The farther along you get in your writing, the more you learn. The more you learn, the higher your expectations for your work. The higher your expectations, the harder you are on yourself. Be proud of the fact that your tastes are this good!
Now go back and read your thing. If that spark isn’t back, write something new. Just don’t stop because your brain is telling you you’re not good enough. Of all the stupid reasons, that’s the stupidest.