I wrote a tirade against a bitter Instagram post this morning from another account that keeps posting to a hashtag I follow, but I didn’t publish it because I wanted to think about it for a bit.
I re-read my drafted post and though there was some funny bits in there and some real honest anger, I realized my own writing was full of such bitterness it bit into me and the page and I hated what I wrote.
So I spiked that but there was something gnawing at me still and I knew I had to get something out.
What I realized is that I don’t like being bitter on the page, especially trading bitterness for bitterness between writers. Listen, it has its uses, bitterness. You can infuse a character with it for effect and you can even drive home a point about something while being bitter, but that can’t be all there is. Bitterness is, in the end, just disappointed hope and you have to give voice to that hope, even when you’ve been hurt by someone or this world.
And that’s my real hope that we can lift ourselves up in our writing and maybe take the readers with us too.
If I could say anything to my fellow writers about bitterness, it’s just this, a lot of us are getting walked over and stomped on and it’s depressing and horrible and heart breaking and bitter. But if we are writers worth our salt, we will find a way to rekindle hope in our pages and — we hope — in our readers.
Keep writing, keep running