It’s not nice to judge the writing of a fellow writer, purposely looking for mistakes. “Oh, looky there, another typo! I guess your fancy pants editor missed that one too!” It’s not nice at all, but I bet every writer does that from time to time. Especially when we’re feeling low, and bashing someone else’s work makes us think it will make us feel better. But that sort of bad behavior is rare. Right? I thought so!
Now that we have that out of the way, how about the times when we are the writer we are bashing? That’s fine when you are combing through your manuscript for the fourteenth time, perfecting it for publication. You need to be hard on yourself then. It’s a sweet moment when you have finally combed through it for the fifteenth time, or whatever number is your perfect number, and you proudly display that brand new baby! All pretty and pink perfection! So cuddly! So lovable! Kiss, kiss.
Flash forward with me now, months have passed by, and you are promoting your baby like a mama dragging her five year old along on a child beauty pageant circuit. “Stop fidgeting and smile sweetly for the camera. I’ll buy you an ice cream…IF YOU WILL JUST STOP FIDGETING AND COOPERATE.” That is the awful moment you realize that baby isn’t as pretty as you originally thought. She has flaws. You moan, “Why, oh why, did I write it that way? What was I thinking?”
You can’t live in that moment. It will eat you alive. You have to keep moving forward. So you think, “Hey! I must be getting better at the craft of writing, because I can now see all the mistakes I made in the past. Good for me! I think I’ll go write another book.” There, that’s better! Crisis averted!