There is one guaranteed way to avoid bad writing. And that’s not to write anything.
You can think about writing and talk about writing, but you can’t ever actually do it.
And if you slip up and start writing, you need to stop it immediately, bury your little piece of work, and go back to your normal routine.
Am I being sarcastic? Well, I’m sure some people would say so.
But more importantly what I’m doing is confirming that there’s a way to avoid having bad writing ever pegged to your name. And it’s the only thing that works.
Not Writing to Avoid Bad Writing
A lot of people say they want to write but don’t or started writing but didn’t finish because they don’t think their writing will be good.
When people make statements like this, most expect empathy, or at the very least, they want a little understanding. They want to be patted on the back and comforted. They want to be reassured and cheered on. They’re looking for camaraderie simply for entertaining an idea.
But I can’t see offering any of that. Those are sentiments you extend to people who are trying.
When someone refuses to try or quits at the start, the logic is the same as a kid on a playground who throws down the ball and decides if he can’t be the best he isn’t going to play.
Life doesn’t work that way.
And apart from creative efforts, we don’t usually subscribe to the idea that you should be born good. We expect people who serious about doing things to work to make them happen. Otherwise, we dismiss them as being all talk.
Bad Is Where Writing Begins
Writing is a skill, like being a doctor or a mechanic. And if you don’t practice and sharpen it, of course it’s not going to be a strong one.
Nobody rolls out of bed one morning and writes well. Granted, some of us start out writing better than others. But no one starts out at their full potential.
All writers, no matter where they are in their career today, were guilty of bad writing at one time. Some great writers still write bad, which is why there’s the term rough draft.
They’re wise enough to know that you don’t lose your creative license for bad writing. It’s not a sign that your career is doomed and your life is headed downhill.
Bad writing is part of the process. You collect your battle scars and earn stripes for it. And, through practice and experience, you become a better writer.
So, if you have some type of flawless image to uphold, and that’s what most important, there’s no hope for you to ever become a writer because the only way to avoid bad writing is to avoid writing at all.
But if you’re serious about being a writer, accept that bad writing is part of the deal. Get over it and get to work.