The issue isn't so much that your work will occasionally suck, because it simply will, but what you do with the suck. Here are 6 tips, not just for writers but for all creative professionals:
1. Resist perfectionism and/or ideas about your own genius/divinity/uniqueness. In other words, accept that you will always be making mistakes and resign yourself to learning from them. I like to refer to my writing career, and my writing process, as "iterative," which means that I'm learning as I move forward. Trust me, this is a good thing. Perfectionism and failure to admit mistakes leaves you stuck in place.
I never ship output that sucks to my clients, but that doesn't mean I wait until my work is "perfect" before I ship it. I don't know what "perfect" means, creatively speaking, but I always seek to do my best work and get beyond suck whenever it appears.
2. Don't personalize or generalize the suck. So you wrote a lousy sentence that's tangled or wrote a first draft that's a mess. Take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves, and untangle the tangle, fix the mess. Just because some of your creative output sucks doesn't mean you are a bad writer or a bad human being (those things are independent: you can still be a bad human being and write great sentences and vice versa).
Focus on the specifics of the suck in an effort to identify why it sucks and fix it accordingly. Zoom in, instead of zooming out. The worst thing you can do is generalize or personalize the suck. There's plenty of creative output that sucks in this world, especially when it comes to content creation, and lots of people are okay putting suck out into the world. So the fact that you're trying NOT to suck makes you different and gives all of us creatives who want to do great work hope.
3. As part of not generalizing a moment (or a day) of suck, reflect upon your good moments, those days when words flowed from your keyboard like clean water running down a cool mountain stream. Okay, that's my metaphor, and maybe it sucks, but please insert your own "happy place" of creative bliss.
You aren't being fair to yourself when you generalize suck and make it into who you are. You'll have your great days, your good days, your average days, your "somewhat adequate" days, and, yes, your occasional days of suck.
4. You need to put the suck in its place, by which I mean view it as (gasp!) "an opportunity to do things better." Yes, I said it, and call me New Age Pollyanna if you want, but mistakes and suck can be the best learning opportunities we have in life. We need good example, yes, but bad examples can teach us too, sometimes even more effectively. Oscar Wilde once said that "experience is the name we give to our mistakes." Not a bad insight.
By the way, if suck does NOT assault your emotions, you likely won't be able to sustain a long career as a creative professional. Being creative is hard, so is having high standards for quality. An occasional brush with suck is a necessary part of the deal. I'm not asking you to embrace the suck, but I am saying you need to cope with it.
They say that Shakespeare never crossed out a line or a word, that he wrote all his plays straight through at single sittings. Well, I don't know who "they" are, but I kinda doubt it happened that way. I've read all of Shakespeare's plays, even took a couple of courses on the guy in college, and guess what? Not all of those plays reached the level of "Hamlet" or "King Lear." I don't want to insult Shakespeare, but I could have done without reading "A Winter's Tale." Maybe "the bard of Avon" SHOULD have edited out some of the suck.
5. Take a break when the suck appears. Usually, things aren't working for a reason. Maybe you're tired, distracted, or just pushing too hard. Go for a walk. Watch the Nature Channel, or better yet, take pictures of birds and squirrels in the park. I've done all of those things and more. When you recognize that suck is happening, get away from it and come back later ready to wrestle it into submission.
6. Ok, dear reader, enough from me. Let's hear what you do when your creative output sucks. What do you do to turn things around? Let me know below . . .