THE CRINGE FACTOR
The most fun in animating can be the blocking stage.. This is where your idea is brought to life with simple well posed story telling poses.. Sometimes called the golden poses. They are the fence posts that you hang the rest of your animation on.. Then you break down the poses into smaller and smaller chunks until you get the details fleshed out.. - like the head shake on 3's, the hand flourish or the feet roll-offs etc.
Then comes the SPLINE stage.
Whoa.. who knew that what looked good in blocked stepped stage, has now turned to sh*** . The snappiness that you had is gone.. your character rig is twitching like a zombie. And your graph editor looks like the stock market .
You watch your animation in horror! Then the CRINGE...
Once in a while the blocking turns out to be pretty damn good in spline but many times it can be a cringe worthy experience.
But do not despair because this is a common experience. Keep cleaning up the curves, tightening the timing. Track those arcs and work on the spacing issues.
Keep working until the cringe diminishes with each pass, with each playblast. Keep going until the cringe disappears and you can finally be satisfied.. (Warning - if you show your work for a critique be prepared for the cringe to come back because someone will see something that you didn't notice before !)
I usually work like mad when I encounter the cringe until I can finally breathe easier after the hundredth playblast and I eliminated the symptoms that created the cringe.. Scrubbing clean the errors, the bad timing and the off sync mouth shapes.
So in conclusion don't get discouraged when you encounter the cringe but be challenged by it.. Hone your inner library of great animation to compare your animation to and keep working towards that goal..
Keep erasing the "mistakes" that happen in the spline stage. And your cringe factor will disappear.