Fighting the Yousuck Monster

So I’m working on some projects right now, and as usual, I have to keep the Yousuck Monster at bay. You know, the one that sits on your head and tells you over and over how awful your writing is and how you’ll never make it and you should just give up now.

Well, today I had an idea. A new defense of sorts.

When the Yousuck Monster shows up and you’re really feeling down about what you’re writing, go read the first thing you ever wrote. Or as close to the first thing as you can find. You know, that story you wrote six years ago that you were sure was going to launch your career. That brilliant idea that no one had thought of before. That beautiful prose dripping in detail and sensuality.


Not as good as you remembered it, is it?

That’s because in the last six years (or however long it’s been) you’ve grown as a writer. You’ve learned how to avoid adverbs, passive verbs and adjective storms. You’ve learned to really see a setting before putting your characters into it. You’ve learned to dismiss your first idea and your second idea and even your third.

You’re getting better every time you sit down to write. The draft you’re working on right now — the one the Yousuck Monster is hassling you about — is so totally way much better than that first story, isn’t it?

Now flick the Yousuck Monster off your head and get back to work.