I coined a new phrase last weekend, which I feel is quite apt for most writers at some point. It is writer’s indigestion.
Definition of writer’s indigestion:
The feeling one gets, on completion of a draft or piece of writing, that it hasn’t been done as well as it could have been.
Such a piece of writing is one which the writer feels, uncomfortably, is as good as it’s going to get for now, pending further inspiration on improvement. This feeling repeats on the writer upon thinking about the piece of writing, and sits uneasily on the mind. It may also, in some cases, manifest physically as an uneasy feeling in the gut.
Is there a remedy for writer’s indigestion? Yes and no; or rather, eventually.
The best way past writer’s indigestion is to get input from somebody else, or to put the piece away for a few days so you can come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh brain. Until then, all you can do is wait for it to pass and put up with the discomfort.
3 thoughts on “Phrase of the month: "Writer's indigestion"”
Steff: I’m so glad you like it and can identify with it! It’s a horrible feeling.
Goatlady: Yes, I’d love to think that all publications have an editor that cares enough about his or her team to be approachable and ‘idea-bounceable’… Sadly it’s not the case. Imagine how much more awesome things would be if it was! 🙂
That’s why I love writing for publications that get edited – it’s great to have the opportunity to say to someone else “I’m not sure about this, what do you reckon?”
Writers Indigestion – it’s the perfect term! I get this sometimes, usually after I’ve worked really hard on a draft and I know there must be something wrong with it, but I’m just tired at looking at it. I want to send it off but I just know … it keeps me awake at night … A few days / weeks / months (in the case of some novels) later and it all become clear again.