Sometimes, writers fall into a void where it feels as if everything they write is just awful–to the point that it can’t even be salvaged by endless revisions.
There are legitimate reasons for this–but they’re a lot less serious than you’d think.
So why does your writing suck?
- It Lacks Confidence
If you don’t believe in the story while writing, no one will believe in it while reading. You need a confidence booster. Post some more short stories, get some feedback–even if it’s just from friends and family, it can help your confidence greatly.
Evaluate what, exactly, about the writing you don’t like. If it’s just “in general” that you don’t like, it’s likely just because there’s no gusto put into the writing itself.
You’re thinking too much instead of writing. Don’t think; write. Thinking is for plotting beforehand and revision after. Whilst writing you should only focus on the aspects of the story that you love and want to develop–not the small details you grow to dislike after staring at and revising for hours on end, which leads to the next point.
- You’re Tired of the Story
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the story is bad, but anyone spending time with the same manuscript over a series of months will grow to dislike the story in some way, or think it’s boring.
That’s when it’s best to set the story aside and move to something else so that you can come back to your work with fresh eyes and evaluate what is truly good and bad, not just what you’re tired of reading about.
- You’re Comparing Yourself to your Favorite Authors
Stop. Right now.
It’s great to aspire to the same success as your favorite authors, but stop comparing your work to theirs. They have had different experiences and influences than you have had on your writing.
Focus on yourself and develop your own style. No one can write your stories like you, so don’t waste time trying to write like someone else.
- It’s Truly Not Great
Honestly–this is a rare case, and most of the time, it comes from a lack of inspiration or motivation. If your work is truly lacking, or if you get bad feedback from several sources, don’t give up. Don’t say, “oh, well, that means I’m a bad writer.” It doesn’t. This is just an opportunity to broaden your horizons and get better at your craft.
Keep working at it. Passion and determination will take you a long, long way.