When you busy away at your short story, poem or blog article, you form opinions about your work. Inevitably, there will be some sentences, paragraphs or turns of phrase that you believe are brilliant. They show that you’re a genius. A total whizz. The king or queen of words.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s perfectly fine for you to prefer certain sections of your writing to others. Being a confident writer is an important part of, well, being a writer.
But don’t get too carried away with your brilliance. The chapter of your novel that you like the most might not be the one that really warms your readers’ cockles. When it comes down to it, once your writing has fled the nest, your opinion isn’t that important. Readers are the real kings and queens.
The problem is, this can be frustrating. Anyone who has a blog will know that sometimes, you spend an age on a piece and think that it’s the best thing you’ve ever published, yet no one reads, tweets or leaves a comment. The following week, you throw something together and it sends your analytics completely bonkers.
There isn’t much that you can do about it. Apart from maybe this: stop thinking about your writing as having good bits and not so good bits.
Instead, focus on making everything that you write as good as it can possibly be. Treat every sentence with the same respect as the one that went before. Sure, the start of your novel needs to be awesome. But so does page 99. And 236.
If you want to be a successful writer, there is no room for flab. You should aim to write consistently well. When you create a certain paragraph, sentence or turn of phrase that you particularly like, instead of dwelling on its brilliance, work hard to make sure that the rest of your writing is equally as marvellous.
Think about your readers. Their cockles should be permanently warm.