Reading Your Own Work

There’s something inherent in a writer that breeds constant conflict. We are always conflicted about our work. On one hand, we think our work is amazing and can’t understand how it’s not on the New York Times Best Seller list. On the other hand, we may pick up our manuscript and read a random page and think, “how in the fuck did I write this? People actually read this shit? I know they were lying to me when they said they liked it, this is awful. I should go bury my computer.”

We constantly struggle with this fleeting and unsubstantiated feeling of literary superiority, only to read a piece of our work and hate it to where we want to cast it into a fire pit or prevent anyone from reading it. We are our own biggest supporters and merciless critics.

I picked up a copy of my book and opened it up at random just to see my words on a page. There was one issue, there were grammar errors! Errors that had been missed despite the numerous edits and rereads that have taken place. Just goes to show how many editing rounds it takes to get things close to perfect and you may still find a mistake.

More on this topic later, but in the same instance of feeling great about what you have written, you can simply read it back out loud to yourself and find that you’re lucky you can put two sentences together that make sense. Why, oh why, must we be in a constant battle with ourselves.


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