Showing posts with label failure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label failure. Show all posts

Reading Bad Writing or “It was a dark and stormy night"


 By Mindy Lawrence

Instructors and other professionals always tell us to read the best books and the best writers to learn from their examples. We need to find out how stories and articles are constructed by those who write them well.

Not so fast. We can learn from failures, too.

Bad writing is a bore. It takes the reader out of the story and makes them cringe. Yet, if you are writing yourself, those bad stories can be a training tool to keep your work from sharing the same fate. When you read bad writing you will see:

Overuse of adverbs
Using the same word over and over again
Underdeveloped characters
Point of view shifts
Writing descriptive passages that have no end
Lack of effort in writing the story
Lack of editing
Using cliches

There are many more examples, but you get the idea. Learning where others go wrong can keep YOU from straying down the same path. Mistakes gives writers a heads-up about what NOT to do. Don’t throw adverbs around like confetti. Don’t use the term “road” only but also use “highway and “path.” Don’t write two paragraphs instead of a three-sentence word-picture to describe something small. For HEAVEN’S SAKE EDIT!

Do some research on bad writing and read a bad story. You’ll learn what NOT to do.

Links for additional information:

Can We Learn from Bad Writing?

Why I Like to Read Bad Writing, Paul Sterlini

4 Ways Reading “Bad Writing” Can Actually Make You a Stronger Writer, Dana Sitar

3 Good Lessons to Learn from Bad Writing, Daphne Gray-Grant


Mindy Lawrence is a writer, ghost blogger, and artist based in Farmington, Missouri. She worked for the State of Missouri for over 24 years and moved to Farmington in 2020. She proofread the Sharing with Writers newsletter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson and wrote “An Itty-Bitty Column on Writing” there for ten years. She has been published in Writers' Digest magazine and interviewed by NPR’s All Things Considered.



Freelance Writing - Don't Look Down

Don't Look Down!
Staying on Track
by Kathleen Moulton

I don’t know about you, but I get off track with my writing. I am still in the early stages of earning an income with freelance writing and developing consistent, daily objectives. I have good weeks and I have bad weeks. Because I am a productive person, I can get impatient with myself when I don’t produce.

Sound familiar?

Balance is truly the key to everything in life. We have to learn to take the good with the bad. Keeping a calm, stable attitude helps brings contentment. If we are only happy when we’ve had a productive week or a writing success and discouraged when our week had some unplanned difficulties which kept us from meeting our writing goals, our emotions will be a roller coaster. That may quench and even stagnate creativity. Sometimes the road ahead has a slippery surface, hairpin turns, or detours. Preparation for the unforeseen makes all the difference.

I remember learning to ride a bike or ice skate. The worse thing to do was to look down. It was the quickest way to lose your balance. It was much better to look ahead at where you were going. If you fell, you got up and kept going.

The same idea works for writing. When the bad days come, remember tomorrow is another day. When you look “down” at yourself, you lose your balance. Accept the fact you can’t always be on top of your game. If you get off track, just get back on the next day. Set aside the lack of productivity or the rejection letter and keep looking up!

Kathleen Moulton is a freelance writer, wife, and a 25 year veteran homeschooling mother of eight children. You can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at

Image: nuttakit /

Using Personality Typologies to Build Your Characters

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