Bad Things I’ve Written

Aka: Things I’ve written that would mean I’d never write again if I thought about them too much

Sometimes I lie there at night ticking these off in a big list, prodding them like bruises to see if they still hurt. THEY DO.

shameful painting for bad writing blog small

This is, of course, just a snippet of a list that could go on for actually ever.

  • The story in which I tried to let readers know that my character was a vampire by having him think about necks a lot
  • ‘Romeo and Juliet slowly commit suicide to the soundtrack of Dire Straits’ Romeo and Juliet while their parents watch because PARENTS FUCK YOU UP, YOU GUYZ’
  • That story written entirely in a made up dialect that my wife still likes to do impressions of
  • ‘Written, directed and performed by Abi Hynes’
  • The blog post about how being unemployed and usually drunk led to my realisation that I am now a serious writer
  • All stage directions = ‘They dance.’
  • One of the first stories I ever submitted to my writers’ group, which prompted one of them to say: ‘People taste each other’s mouths too much in this. Which is a bit weird. Unless it’s going to be… a romance?’ (I’m not quoting that one for love nor money, soz.)*
  • All titles ever. Especially ones with punctuation. E.g. ‘Silt; Silt’ and ‘The Station. Midnight.
  • Every story that involved someone looking for a lost lover in a forest and then thinking about having a bath
  • Q: Who’s there?                    A: The Men.
  • The sonnet I wrote about the tragedy of turning 26
  • The show that had all its scenes out of chronological order so characters kept having five minute costume changes because the audience needed to see them in a slightly different brown waistcoat or how would they possibly understand the passage of time??
  • The phrase ‘Open Sesame’ when referring to sex. A favourite among the friends who had to sit in the audience for that one
  • ‘Fine. Don’t reply to that tweet, any of you.’
  • The time I gave all the characters in my story names beginning with ‘A’. This was last week. My own name also begins with ‘A’
  • Email: ‘This is actually a story about feminism but if that’s not the kind of thing you’re interested in publishing then fair enough.’
  • My first ever play which began with someone asking ‘Have you seen the captain?’ No one had seen the captain.
  • Everything I’ve ever written with the word ‘Hark!’ in it
  • The undergraduate essay in which I used the word ‘tool’ and my tutor annotated it with: ‘Do you mean this sexually???’
  • All my poetry.

We’re all capable of being morons. Feel free to share your own humiliating failures in the comments below.

You never know, it might stop you lying awake at night, counting them.

*Except for money. I’m a writer: I would obviously do that for money.

Tilley poster
This is a thing that actually happened


I’ve got some stuff coming up that I promise will almost definitely not contain any of the above or at least not very much of it…

  1. I’ll be performing a brand new piece inspired by archive film footage at Manchester’s Jewish Museum on 12th May, for a brilliant evening with Bad Language and Manchester After Hours. Come!
  2. A few days later, my cabaret night First Draft have an extra special one-off event at the People’s History Museum, which is going to be thoroughly awesome and you must absolutely be there
  3. I’m now a reviewer for the lovely people at The Short Story. If you’ve got a fiction-focused event coming up or a short story collection you’d like me to review, say hello!
  4. If you’d like to read or listen to some of my work and see if you can spot any of the above mistakes, do feel free to linger and have a look around my blog

One thought on “Bad Things I’ve Written

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