IBefore we start, transparency - this is an ongoing process. Not hating myself and my writing, I mean. Not sure I'll ever have it down pat.
I go through periods where things are going well and I'm on top of all the stuff that goes with being a writer - marketing, writing, editing etc. And I think 'yeah', I've *so* got this.
Then one night of bad sleep, or one evening of staring at words that that seem irrecoverably banal, or one three star review...and I'm back to square one.
Newsflash... I've always struggled with self-confidence.
Which may shock people who've met me. Apparently I come across as super-confident and always certain. It's all an illusion, my friends. Or perhaps a delusion on my part - not sure which.
What I am is a chronic over-achiever due to a pervasive and deep-seated fear of not being good enough. So I do things. Science degrees, opera training, multiple blackbelts, archery, knife-throwing, bellydancing, painting, playing instruments...yadayada.
But when I start, I'm also AFRAID to do those things. I'm scared I won't be good at them straight away. Or that people will criticise me and that HURTS, dammit. Fortunately, I'm also deeply bloody-minded and sometimes stubborn (ask my husband).
So I make myself do the things I'm scared of. Sounds weird, I know, but it works for me.
And who knows, it may work for you, too. Over the years, I've found the worst that can happen is I'm bad to start with, then I get better with study and practice.
Huh - who would have thought?
I'm never perfect, though. (Sigh) In a world of 15billion people, there's always someone willing to tell me I'm doing it wrong. So I may as well suck it up and stop being so easily-bruised.
Same goes with writing. My 80AD series, while wildly popular, is not my best writing. But it gave people 'the feels', so they liked it. The occasional mediocre reviews I got at first devastated me. Then I metaphorically slapped myself around the head and decided to learn how to write better - just as I'd decided how to play instruments, do martial arts, finish a couple of degrees.
And that's what it takes to stop hating yourself and your writing. Stop thinking you (and your writing) have to be perfect. Decide you're on a learning journey. Decide to take the criticisms (valid or not) in your stride and get better. Decide to accept the fear...and do it anyway.
I live in Australia - which tells you I have a sense of humour. We're a self-deprecating people, we Aussies. My aim is to, one day, vanish in a blinding flash of enlightenment. In the mean time, I'm doing my best to learn as many