Why Writers Hate Writing and What We Can Do About It

girl with bookWriters hate writing, right? It’s true. We can’t stand it.

A lot of beginning writers think that hating writing means they shouldn’t be writers. I generally think it means they should. I’ve never totally figured it out, but I believe we hate writing because we love it so much. Like, we want it to be good. We know what we want it to be. Why doesn’t it just come out the way we want it to be? This is related to what Ira Glass says is the gap between our standards and how our first drafts look:

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.

So we have to keep writing. It’s the only answer. Writers write. Keep writing until the gap narrows. It will.

Leave a Reply