Typically I don’t really have issues with disliking my written work. Last week I worked on a chapter of Kingless Country, looked it over and realized: I hated it with a passion. I couldn’t be any happier.
These days I feel better when I dislike a chapter. It tells me I’ve identified something in in I don’t like. On the flip side if I write something I’m absolutely in love with, we’ve all been there, an alarm goes off in my head. Chances are good I’m simply not seeing what’s wrong with it and when I show it to someone else they’ll be quick to rain on my parade.
In these circumstances, it’s usually something really obvious too.
However, learning to love the things you hate is a real boon. You already know what bothers you about it (hopefully) so cutting away the offending fat may leave you with something great. Conversely there’s nothing worse than loving something and hearing a peer say: “I think you should remove this part”. It’s all about ‘killing your darlings’.
Fixing something you hate isn’t easy and the urge wells to just shred the offending document. There’s a simple trick to this and it works when you love something too. Put it down. Walk away. Come back to it later. The same way doing this with something you love becomes ‘not so great’ your mind will look at the offending writing as ‘not so bad’. Putting some distance and time between you and your writing shifts you closer to being an impartial opinion.
Even if you end up not using the chapter or piece you can absorb the good ideas within and apply it to something that works. With that under your belt the rewrite will work so much better.
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