Oi, Writer, Stop Feeling

‘Put feeling into your writing…but have fewer feelings about your writing.’

I wander into the kitchen after a particularly uninspired, uninspiring writing session, and mull over this thought as I make another coffee.

With one story in particular, I sometimes think, ‘Yay, this is great!’ and other times, ‘Boo, this is rubbish!’, even though it’s the same piece and no better or worse than previously. I’m sure every writer has experienced something similar.

How we feel about our creative work might bear little resemblance to reality, and these value judgements can make it hard to get anything done. They drive you crazy, those relentless inner critics with weird squeaky voices (that’s how I imagine them, anyway), making endless contradictory judgements.  

So, please welcome to the stage this lovely word and concept: Neutrality.

I’m neither a great writer nor a terrible writer but simply a writer, a person who writes, a person who neither approves nor disapproves of the words that they bash out on their laptop. I’m just…neutral.

My life would be a lot easier if I could apply this consistently. Hannah, put feeling into your writing, have fewer feelings about your writing, and maybe hide the kettle now because this is your sixth coffee.

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