5 Things To Do With ‘Bad’ Writing

August 21, 2010 at 5:20 am (Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

We could probably agree that very little writing is actually bad in the sense that at least words are getting written and it is a lot easier to make bad writing good than to make a blank page turn magically into good writing. However, if you’ve decided once and for all that what you’ve written is terrible and all you want to do is make it go away, here are five things to try that just might make you feel better.

1.  Line the bird cage, rat cage, any other animal cage you can think of, with the print outs. Technically this is recycling and not only will the writing be well and truly gone, you’ll get that warm and tingly feeling from saving the planet.

2.  Blow it up on the screen and then print it out. Cut up all the words and then stick them back together in random order. Read repeatedly to whomever you can trap long enough.

3.  Cat toy. This one I have actually done. Cats love chasing scrunched paper, particularly over hard surfaces because the paper makes a great scratching sound that keeps them intrigued for minutes. Once they start getting bored all you have to do is throw it again and they’ll dive after it. If you really feel the need you could probably read the writing to your cat first, then scrunch it and throw it.

4.  Art work. I don’t study art and don’t know what the style is (I could probably have googled it but I wasn’t really in the mood) but you can always paste various parts of your writing into the background of your painting. Call it something depressing and hang it up somewhere prominent.

5.  Finally – something actually useful to do with bad writing – put it in a nice yellow folder on your desk top called ‘Junk’ and save it for the day when you just might decide you can do something with it.

What do you do with ‘bad’ writing?



  1. Alex Willging said,

    I’d generally save it in a junk folder on my computer. If too much starts to accumulate, I might delete all the bad writing Word Docs. But generally I’d keep it around, because you never know when it might turn out better.

  2. Lua said,

    Great list Cassandra!
    If I had birds, I’d definitely do #1 but all I have is dogs and all they want to do is eat the paper which is not good for them 🙂
    So I usually stick with #5!

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Dogs tend to eat lots of things that aren’t good for them. I’ve never understood that.

  3. jesdavidson said,

    Great list. I never throw anything out, no matter how bad. You never know when it might yeild up a tiny detail you can use for something else. All my bad writing goes into a kind of mulching pile where it sits and festers until something mutates, sprouts and becomes something useful.

  4. Cruella Collett said,

    This is a great idea! How about paper-mâché? That way you could make a pen holder or something. It could stand on your desk and forever remind you to keep a certain standard 😉

  5. Carol Ann Hoel said,

    I agree with jesdavidson. Keep it. You had a purpose in it when you started out. Later on you may read this little piece that went astray and know exactly what you meant to say in the first place, or you may detect a hue of something in it that excites your imagination in some new way.

  6. Mason Canyon said,

    #3 is a favorite at our house. The cats usually sit around the desk looking at me because they know they will have something to play with shortly.

    Thoughts in Progress

  7. Melissa said,

    I really enjoy #2! Sounds like a fantastic game to be played.

  8. Cam said,

    I usually keep it in a dark corner of my computer or, if it’s particularly horrendous, I’ll actually hit delete (then I feel incredibly sad and guilty and go scrambling into the trash folder after it).

    I like Cruella’s paper-mache idea 🙂

  9. AlexJ said,

    I’m all about the recycling. If I’ve printed it out, I save the sheets and use the other side when I just need to print some quick information.

  10. Jemi Fraser said,

    Those are fun! I usually don’t print out very often, so basically I just save it on a file on the computer and then ignore it 🙂

  11. brownpaperbaggirl said,

    Haha! Excellent ideas. Me? I crumble the pages, and toss them into the recycle bin.

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