This one simple trick will make it a snap to publish bad writing! Editors hate it (though without it they’d be out of a job)! Click now to find out how you, too, can crap rainbow alphabet soup in exchange for cold, hard cash! I’m of course lying, but there really is one simple thing to understand in order to publish bad writing . . .


Nihilism, or All Writing is Shite

I admittedly succumbed to the glitzy allure of click bait, but I couldn’t resist. There really is one simple thing to understand. All writing is bad writing. Shakespearean plays, the lyrics to “Santeria,” and yes, even Firefly. It’s all bad writing, but whatever makes it from a writer’s head and into ours is the cream of the muddy, stinky crop. Following the nihilistic phrase, “Nothing in life matters,” it’s all about the tone you use when you shout out to the world, “All writing is bad writing!”

But I enjoyed Firefly. I tolerated Taming of the Shrew. What’s the deal? In every single writer, there is a little inner critic telling him or her that their writing is bad and they should feel bad. Heaven forbid they should even think about putting pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard and try to get said bad writing published. The nerve, you sad excuse for an over-caffeinated procrastinator. The nerve! “All your writing is bad writing!” shouts the inner critic, wagging its finger at you, encouraging you to give up and surf the internet instead. But this is what you have to do: Give your inner critic two radical thumbs up and shout, “All my writing is bad writing!”

Don’t Write Well, Just Write

This was advice given to me by one of my professors. Don’t write well; just write. What separates your bad ideas from the bad ideas that get published is that these other people bothered to jot them down and send them off to people to tell them they had bad ideas until somebody eventually decided they actually liked said bad ideas. The only thing worse than bad writing is bad writing that never leaves the head (though I’m sure magazine submission readers would beg to differ). And that’s the trick. The inner critic follows the logic of, “Your writing is bad, therefore you shouldn’t bother writing it down.” Destroy his premise and all he can do is shrug and reveal that they never really had much power over you to begin with. It was all in your head.


Carte Blanche? Sacre Bleu!

This is not, however, permission to decide that improving as a writer is now off the table. Writing must exist in a constant state of paradox, in which all writing is bad but we strive to make the baddest of writing. One or two young adult vampire story binges won’t kill you, and if they’re getting published why fix what ain’t broke, but accepting the nihilistic view that nothing you write really matters should be muzzled and controlled by the fact that what actually matters is that you’re enjoying improving your art as a writer.


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