The “Worst Writer In The World Syndrome” by Margaret Nystrom
Today we welcome educator, writer, and artist Margaret Aslanis-Nystrom as she shares with us ten reasons why you may think you are the worst writer in the world and how to get past this feeling! Enjoy!
Who is the ‘Worst Writer in the World’? Actually, no one knows. Why? Because, there are a lot of terrible writers. And, everyone believes at one time or another, that they are a terrible writer.
Why would you think that?
There’s ten reasons why.
1. are not published or prolific
2. don’t have a lot of followers/readers
3. procrastinate or are a perfectionist
4. experience writer’s block
5. have no direction or clear plan
6. believe in false beliefs, writer myths, or negative criticism
7. actually are terrible at writing
8. don’t have certain skills
9. don’t understand the writing process or how a writer evolves
10. work alone
If you do these, then you probably think you are the worst writer in the world, or a member of the club. Even worse, you believe deep down you are not even a writer at all. You’re a fake. A fraud. It’s a fluke that someone actually liked your writing. You’re not capable of being a writer, much less a good writer.
If you suffer from the “Worst Writer In The World Syndrome,” usually it is because you’re an inexperienced writer. There is nothing wrong with being an amateur. It just means you are at the start of the writer process. After you have paid your dues, the less the ten reasons will matter.
Experienced writers know that we all suck in the beginning and that dogged persistence and writing often is what makes the difference. No one expects a first grader to write like a sixth grader. No one expects a sixth grader to write like a graduate student. So why do you expect to be an overnight sensation? And, experienced writers know, it isn’t about the word count. It’s about the word work. (Click to tweet.)
If you want to evolve towards being an experienced and good writer, try this:
1.You are not published. Get your work out to an audience! The good, the bad, the ugly, the dog-gone awful, and embarrassing stuff. No great speech was ever done to an empty room. You need an audience to practice with. Get over thinking everything you do will become the ‘Greatest Novel or Piece Ever Written’. It won’t. Like most professions, the more you practice, the better you get. Stop worrying about being great. No need for apologies, you are a practicing writer. Focus on skills. Focus on content.
2.You don’t have any followers/readers. Don’t wait for them. Grab them! Be proactive. Start small and grow your audience. Go to schools, libraries, nursing homes, prisons, anywhere there are a pair of ears and read your work out loud. Blog. Email. Use social media to your advantage. The point is to GROW, not to become a rock star overnight… and to learn from your mistakes.
3.You’re a procrastinator, or perfectionist. Self-inflicted writer wounds are the easiest to treat. See http://afterwriterdreams.com/ for numerous ways to stop the bleeding.
4.You experience writer’s block. Another self-inflicted wound. See #3.
5.You have no direction/clear plan. Whether you are a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’, create a plan, evaluate, adjust continuously, until you reach your goals. Many beginners forget this part. It’s like driving in a foreign country with no map. You WILL get lost. Create your ‘writer map’, by developing a good plan.
6.You believe self-doubts, negative criticism, and writer myths. Writers need a thick skin. All writing is subjective. For every ten people who love your work, there will be one person who hates it. Or, the opposite. Not every one is going to love you. Stop being a people-pleaser. Be a writer instead. Focus on working every day in some way to increase your strengths and decrease weaknesses. My daily writing mantra is: ‘Every day, in every way (I can), I will get better and better’. Notice I don’t say perfectly, or always, or completely, or wonderfully, or even happily. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
7.You actually are terrible at writing. Don’t quit. We all suck at writing sometimes. Even the greatest writers did, and often.
8.You don’t have certain skills. Join a group, class, or conference. Find a mentor.
9.You don’t understand how a writer evolves. Read about other writers and their struggles. EVERY WRITER STRUGGLES! If they say they don’t, run. They are lying and bragging.
10.You work alone. Join support groups. Create one online or at your library, university, etc. It’s easier than you think. Librarians love writers too.
Congratulations, you no longer have the ‘Worst Writer In The World Syndrome’!
- ·‘Don’t take any guff off anybody’: How to make your writing quirks work for you. (writelikerowling.com)
- ·Am I Meant To Be A Writer? (a0willow.wordpress.com)
- ·Day 23-Writer’s Block? Hammer It Out with These Three Easy Techniques!! (afterwriterdreams.com)
- ·Day 12- Writer ‘Band-Aids’ (afterwriterdreams.com)
Feeling stuck or need help with procrastination? Margaret’s blog, http://afterwriterdreams.com/, is a motivational content blog for writers. She is an author, educator, artist, guest radio speaker, and monthly guest blogger/columnist in N.C. She has taught for 38+ years and created over 25 blogs. She also writes articles and psychological thrillers.