I read a quote the other day that I cannot, unfortunately, find again.
“If no one can hate what you’ve written. No one will be able to love it either.”
At least… I think that’s what it was. (If anyone knows the quote, please feel free to post it in the comments.) But the point is that you can’t always stay safe in your writing. The whole point of good writing is to push the boundaries, it’s to make people feel. If people really truly hate what you’ve written, then good for you! You made them feel. You kicked them out of their daily rut and into a place that may cause them to think. Or not, that’s up to them. But getting a real visceral response to your writing should be the goal.
So many of us try to play it safe. I know I do it too often. And we end up taking great ideas and mellowing them out to the point where the reaction of 90% of the people who read our work can be summed up by the phrase, “Eh, it wasn’t bad.”
Play it safe and that’s what we get: “It didn’t suck.”
I’m not saying everything you write needs to be gritty or grimy or, god forbid, “revealing”, but don’t be afraid to take chances and push the envelope. Don’t be nice. Challenge people. Challenge yourself and stop caring if people hate it. The more people that hate it, the better other people will like it.