It's your writing.
I'm sorry, but that's just the honest to godiva truth, and it doesn't mean you're a bad person or even a bad writer. It means your eye or your ear isn't keen enough.
What do I mean by keen eye?
Your keen eye is your revising eye. We all write god-awful first drafts. I do it here with blog posts. You do it there with pages, chapters, entire novels.
It's the revising that spruces things up, but some of you haven't yet learned how to read for bland or redundant.
For example: describing farmland as pastoral.
It's not a crime.
It's not even wrong.
It's just bad writing.
Farm land is by expectation pastoral. You don't have to tell me so (that means you don't have to use the word). Much like you don't have to describe cats as four-legged felines. Now, if a cat has five legs, that's worth noting. Or perhaps just three. In any case you get the point. Don't use adjectives and adverbs to illustrate the obvious. Use them for when you want your reader to notice something.
Only if the farm land ISN'T pastoral would it be interesting. It's the unexpected that intrigues us.
What do I mean by ear?
I can't use any examples because I don't use the work of people who query me here on the blog. But I see some sentences that feel like pretzels.
How to avoid this: say them out loud. Yes, every single one.
And if you can't hear any clunky sentences it's NOT cause you aren't writing them. It's cause your ear isn't tuned correctly.
How to avoid that: well you can't avoid it but you can fix it. And I think one way you fix it is by listening to audio books and reading poetry. Actually HEARING a book you love will allow good rhythm to sink into your brain.
And reading poetry is just plain good for you. If you don't understand a poem, read it again. I don't understand every poem I read -- actually more like I don't understand a third of the poems I read. I just skip over those after the second read.
The ones I do get, I read those more than a couple times. And yes, sometimes I say them out loud, and you bet your bookmark, it does clear out some room on the L-train when I start reciting aloud.
Your eye and ear develop with practice. Practice means pages.
You want to get some practice in? NaNoWrMo is coming. Several of my clients use it to really hit the writing desk. Think about it.
Not for nothing Stephen King famously said "the first million words are practice."