reading, writing

Writers Do This But Shouldn’t Admit To It

Open magic book with the light. Eps 10

We use the “wrong” websites for research. Okay, yes, we actually do go to encyclopedias and dictionaries, authorized biographies and reputable sources. Especially if we write nonfiction, contemporaries or historical fiction. But what about all that time spent on Pinterest and Instagram, figuring out what dress our character wore to the prom, or what breed of dog they should own? Hey, it counts, I’m telling you.

We eat junk food in creative ways. We are artists by nature, and as artists, we’re always looking for new and interesting ways to express our ideas and desires. For example, eating whipped cream straight out of the tub. We can make designs with the spoon, or can pretend to paint in the air with a dollop of Cool Whip . Hey, look, clouds shaped like giraffes and steam engines!

We forget our characters’ names. “Let’s get out of here before we lose the trail,” Alex said. Next paragraph: “Hey, I like that coat on you,” Andrew said. And I am talking about the same person. (Oh, nectarines!)

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We love to scream and swear at the computer that we were loving on five minutes ago. Oh my gosh, that font looks awesome, this document is beautiful, watch my masterpiece being born… Wait, wait, wait! No, you don’t, no, you don’t, what are you — AAAAHHHHH… Technology is great, until it isn’t.

Truly, we do not spend all our time on social media instead of writing. Errr… Okay, honestly, since joining Twitter and Facebook, I know I spend a lot more time when I’m “supposed” to be writing checking feeds and obsessing over changing cover photos and such. But I also know I am far from the only one guilty of this.

There can be such a thing as writing too much. Don’t forget to get out there and live life, guys. Really, it’s a good idea. I promise. Yeah, I know, I could do it more, too… (If nothing else, consider that shopping trip or the afternoon spent at a holiday party as fodder for your next WIP.)

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We indiscriminately destroy the words we just spent hours slaving over to create and hone. Depending on the mood we’re in, entire paragraphs, pages (or even chapters) can be gone at the press of a button (or out of the notebook and into the shredder). Good thing our documents/characters don’t actually have feelings…

We get way too influenced by other books/movies/TV shows/theatre/pretty much anything that wasn’t originally ours. This is inevitable. Most of the ideas we have are inspired by something we read/viewed/heard from someone else, or walked by in the street, the mall, the train station. But the “originality” part comes in with what we do next with those ideas.

Sometimes we lose our patience with our loved ones, or the world in general. When I have a deadline to make, or just a great bit going, I need the phone not to ring, the kids to immediately know how to do everything themselves, the cat to act like a human, and basically the whole world to forget I exist for about an hour. Failure to do so will make me grouchy.

We take advantage of our readers having emotions. When a reader admits they were incredibly moved by something overly dramatic/sob-inducing/soul-destroying that we wrote, we immediately think, “Fantastic! How can I do that again?!”

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3 thoughts on “Writers Do This But Shouldn’t Admit To It”

  1. haha so true!! Agree with all of this!!! I spend hours doing “research”… all of it is valuable… mostly (ok it isn’t 😉 ) And getting confused about names can be even worse when they have more than one name! And I have to admit I get very grouchy with people- just today in fact I was working on an important idea- woe betide anyone who tried to make conversation with me! Awesome post!!

    Liked by 1 person

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