WHY HATING OUR OLD WRITING ISN’T CUTE


A huge attitude in the writing community is cringing at our old writing. I’m sure you’ve seen it. Maybe it was someone yelling “Burn my first draft with fire!” or a whole Youtube video dedicated to reading cringe-worthy old writing.

Why, though?

What is it about us writers that enjoy hating on our beginnings? Why do we have to see our first drafts or stories we scribbled as preteens as things to be burned? Because it’s not cute or funny, y’all. I don’t care how many likes complaining about old writing will get you on Twitter–it isn’t right.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin,” – Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

Is it a constant struggle not to wanna lock our first drafts away in a dark cave for the rest of our lives? Sure. A first draft isn’t supposed to be publishing ready. It is supposed to be EXACTLY what it is. A start. I’m the first to admit how ROUGH a first draft can be. You guys haven’t seen the first drafts of Seek, or the very first draft of The Divided Nation, which was titled AWAKE, and believe me when I say, they needed work. But you know what I won’t say? I won’t say they were terrible, because that’s quite disrespectful to say when I asked God to help me write them! 

Without our silly stories we wrote as a kid, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Without our rough first drafts, we wouldn’t be having the fourth draft of that same novel being ready to meet the world. My point being, don’t despite small beginnings. Don’t despise the raw, rough, jumbled starts because without them, we won’t go anywhere. I don’t care how ‘bad’ we might see something, if we wrote it with the intention to glorify the Lord, that is enough. Don’t forget that. God doesn’t want perfect. He wants us to follow Him.

Instead of cringing, rejoice that God brought you this far. Instead of complaining, have faith God will keep moving you forward. As Christian authors, WE are supposed to be the difference in the world, and a huge way of doing that is breaking the mold of despising our beginnings!

What are YOUR thoughts on first drafts? I’d love to chat.

God bless,

Angie

PS. Sign ups to beta read The Divided Nation (dysto/apoc novel) end in a few days and I really would appreciate some, as strange as it sounds, GUY betas! If you’re interested or know someone who might be, check out the link. Thanks! (Please note there are limited slots left!)

 

20 thoughts on “WHY HATING OUR OLD WRITING ISN’T CUTE

  1. WOW. I have to agree. I never thought much about it?? I feel that when I make fun of my old writing (which I have done, and let’s be honest, they were very amateurish) I am doing it … Lightly? Having fun? Not LITERALLY hating it?? Do you think that’s still a bad idea …? Just curious as to your opinion. Like … I know it’s stupid to compare your beginning to your now, and that that start was still SO IMPORTANT. But at the same time it’s fun to laugh at your past self??? You know?

    I do love this post though #unpopularopinion #controversy

    Liked by 2 people

    • I totally understand making light-hearted fun at old writing, but I also see people literally hating and despising their beginnings. I think there’s a difference. I think we should definitely try to see where our hearts are. 🙂 It’s one thing to laugh at how often we used a trope when we were 12. It’s another to be totally disgusted with past writing just because it isn’t ‘good’, ya know? We all gotta grow and learn and getting in the unhealthy mindset of hating past works and not having respect for where we came from… not a great idea, I think! xD

      Like

  2. I agree! I’ve always felt that reading my old writing helps me see where God’s taken me – and will continue taking me. Sure, it’s embarrassing (and maybe scarey to remember writing it) but if I didn’t read my old writing I wouldn’t be able to see how far I’ve come, how much God’s helped me.

    One of the biggest ways to get inspiration for me is to read old writing and see the mistakes/roughness and then go back to writing my new stories because they can only get better!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think I could ever stop fiercely loving my old stories, even if I’m laughing my head off by the third jarring sentence. They are still my stories…I’ve just grown. God still used that to grow me, even those old scenes that accidentally painted a mental imagine of a guy coming off a water slide feet-first and hitting his sleeping bag. Ya know what? I know how to write about sleeping bags now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d never really thought about this. I don’t hate my old writing … but it’s not up to my current standards either of course. I think that’s normal, and it’s good to look back, chuckle in embarrassment, and praise God for how far we’ve come.

    But you’re right. We shouldn’t truly despise anything that was from Him, even if it was when that talent was still maturing. We should be glad we’ve improved.

    I do doubt how many people actually hate their writing, though. Why would we keeptattered notebooks and carefully back up first drafts if we hated them?? I think we just use strong words unnecessarily and forget to see the positives–definite bad habits. But the fact that we even can look back shows that we’ve kept pursuing excellence for His glory.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep! Nothing like laughing over old writing. 😉

      Agreed, hating is a stronger word than disdaining old writing, but I think it fits because it has got to hurt God when we complain like we do! It was the best we could do then and we did it with a heart for Him–no need to groan about it, but I think it’s a much better mindset to respect the work, learn from it, and be happy we even started! ♥

      Thanks for the comment, Abi!

      Like

  5. Wow!! So good! And true…Great perspective to look at it all. Even that first annoying book that needs so many changes and so much more and I don’t feel it will ever be a success. Haha! (Also, that title was great! xD)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the read, Parker! Yep, for sure. 🙂 First books, first drafts, it’s a beginning and shouldn’t be condemned. xD I mean, we certainly don’t scold little kids for beginning to write the alphabet sloppily. 😉

      Like

      • My pleasure! Yeah, that’s so true!! I mean, basically, we were learning to read….and write. xD! Just from a different perspective!

        Liked by 1 person

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