1. First: Remember that we’ve all been there. This is normal. Take a deep breath.
2. Say it out loud: You are not a bad writer. You just wrote a bad thing.
3. Or maybe it’s not bad. Maybe it’s just not what you planned, and you’re still getting used to it.
4. Try not to get discouraged. Most writers aren’t happy with their first attempts at anything.
5. Don’t get backspace-happy. You don’t want to get rid of something in haste and regret it later.
6. Let it sit for a day or two. See how you feel when you come back to it.
7. If you still can’t stand it — DON’T DELETE IT! Try rewriting it or just move on.
8. Save what you wrote, even if you’re not a fan. For reflection purposes or … something else. Who knows?
9. Really look closely at it. What about it don’t you like? Can you do better a second time around?
10. Learn from your bad writing. You can only go up from here. Sort of.
11. Be honest: Is it bad because it’s bad, or bad because it’s not “published, copyedited, perfected” good?
12. Keep writing. The only way to improve is to continue on, no matter how rough the road.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.