What is toxic positivity? Essentially, it’s the belief that negative thoughts about anything should be avoided. Sure, we can look on the bright side, but sometimes things suck, and that emotion deserves to be honoured.
But wait, how does that tie in with writing?
Here’s a secret that’s not so secret: Sometimes our writing sucks. It’s our first draft – some people call it the “shitty first draft.” Heck, maybe it’s even in our second draft, too. Anyone who says their first draft isn’t the poops is selling you something.
It’s okay that our first draft is crap. The good news is, not all of it will be a stinky mess. There will be some amazing moments and scenes that you’re proud of and will make it all the way through the editing process.
A Little Bit of Cheek
Perhaps what I’m saying sounds a bit irreverent or cheeky to you. Good! That’s my intention. We’re allowed to admit that our work isn’t always the gilded phrases they’ll chisel on our headstone. And it’s okay!
Toxic positivity does us no favours when it’s time to self-edit. It might be easy to say, “I wrote it, so somewhere in my tortured psyche, I must have written for a reason.” Sure, sometimes that reason is we’re full of it. There may be scenes that don’t make it to the final produce for some reason or another and we regret it. That’s what we use for a list builder to get readers on our mailing list. And then there are the scenes that jerk us awake in the middle of the night and we wonder what in the James Joyce we were thinking.
Say Goodbye to Toxic Positivity
Embrace the suck. You’re in good company. We need to be able to laugh at ourselves, not place ourselves in a glass cage that threatens to shatter with anything that isn’t heaps of praise.
For tips on next steps after writing your first or second draft, get my free download, 3 Steps to Getting Published After Your First Draft is Done