Wednesday, September 15, 2010

8 Thinks Not to Think While Writing


What fancy words can I add to make this sound important?

(If you’re trying to make it sound important there’s a good chance it’s not really all that important. Even if it really is important, fancy words won’t help)
~
Who can I impress with this work?

(Why do you write? Writing to impress greatly increases the chances you’ll water down your work)
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How famous will this make me?

(If you want fame, go to Hollywood. Screw your priorities on straight and write for the love of the craft)
~
How can I make this character sound authentic?

(Ordinarily not a horrible question, but the fact you’re asking it makes me wonder how authentic the character is)
~
I need to make this perfect (especially if you are working on a rough draft)

(Human perfection is a fallacy. God is the only perfection)
~
How would so and so word this?

(You aren’t so and so. You’re you. So sound like it)
~
I need to make some money on this one.

(If you’re focus is on the green, your work may come off green as well)
~
I don’t care who is reading this.

(Might as well be writing it in a journal then)

Have any thinks not to think while writing you want to share?

*Thanks to Dr. Seuss for the inspiration for the title of this post
**photos by flickr
***I probably won’t post anything this Friday or on Monday. I’ll be at the ACFW conference.

31 comments:

  1. SOOOO True! I often tell myself that no one will EVER read what I am writing so go ahead and write what your heart desires Tab. Works a treat to get me writing without an inner editor.

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  2. OOOOH, I LOVE the photo AND your words.
    But I like to think of BIG WORDS, girl!!!!!!
    Can't I? Can't I?

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  3. Oh these were great Wendy! I love the fist one cause that one I can raise my hand to! The editor showed me how writing basic and real is the way to go.

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  4. Love this Wendy. It hits home on so many fronts. You and I are on the same page (again)!

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  5. Perfectionism gets me every time. Two more days 'til I get to meet you...hooray! :)

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  6. Best. Post. Ever! The truth is I was given a piece of writing advice that I do tend to follow and that is, write to the smartest person you know. It keeps me in my comfort zone and plus it makes me avoid dumbing down my novel, which I believe is another major pitfall authors put themselves into. Also, (if you don't mind me adding), don't over use or insert errant similies. I think they are SO powerful when they make sense, but glaringly odd when they don't.

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  7. Awesome list! Thinking those thoughts pulls you out of the story and the characters because those are all surface, real time things. Love this!

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  8. Love this list:) I'm trying to overcome the perfection. I was teasing my husband last night while he was writing a paper for school about just getting it all down, you work on making it shine later.

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  9. This is a great list. I've been guilty of most of them. Not any more!

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  10. Don't think:

    This stinks. Horrible horrible horrible. I've read some of my ~horrible~ work weeks after writing it, and it usually isn't that bad. Sometimes it's pretty good.

    This is going to take sooooo looooong tooooo finnnnnisssssh.. Plug at it one word and one page at a time and don't keep focusing on the finish line. Set small goals and keep to em.

    Just a couple, but you get the point. Think positive. Perish the negative.

    Good thinks not to think and got me thinking!

    - Eric

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  11. I have to banish this thought in order to write real: "My mother might read it."

    And chances are she will. She lurks. ;)

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  12. It frustrates me knowing that some people are either writing to impress, writing for fame, or writing for money. By doing this, they aren't even writing, because writing involves a passion for the art itself - not for the advantages you'll get from writing. If you love writing, then you'd write because you can't not write.

    Great post!

    Tessa

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  13. Hi Wendy -

    Great, original post! :)

    A thought I have to avoid: what if no one likes my writing?

    Blessings,
    Susan

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  14. This is a great list. I find myself letting most of those thoughts trickle in far too often for my liking. The best way to overcome those thoughts (for me) is to just write through them. Don't stop and give them a foothold. Just keep feverishly scribbling (or typing) and eventually, they'll get tired of trying to get your attention. Now if I could just do that with my inner critic!

    Jen

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  15. It's official, I've had several people inform me Blogger has eaten their comment. Bite. I'm sure hoping Blogger spits them out sometime soon. I don't like missing what you all are hoping to share.

    I'm signing off for a few days, but I'll check back in from time to time.

    ~ Wendy

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  16. I love this, Wendy. You never cease to amaze me with your clever ideas.

    I would add to this list: "I will never get this right." To despair is to turn your back on God--Anne of Green Gables

    Have fun at ACFW! Sorry I won't be there!!!

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  17. Great thinks to avoid! As a devotional writer, here's a think to avoid - I can write this without spending time in prayer and seeking God's direction. Ouch! I've tried it a time or two and it definitely doesn't work!

    Have a blessed weekend!:)

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  18. Great reminders!

    I love the "perfect" one. I have to remind myself to let the words flow. I can ALWAYS change what I wrote but seldom am I able to recapture an idea.

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  19. No one will want to read this.
    If it's interesting to me, it's bound to be interesting to someone, and even if it isn't, writing out of personal interest makes for good flow, good research, and at the very least, good practice.

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  20. Boy, you don't pull any punches here! Ow! Ow!

    But I love it. I'm tweeting it tomorrow for all my writer friends.

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  21. This is a good list, Wendy.
    For me, I catch myself thinking, "I want to make this as good as so and so made ____." Then I remember it's me I'm trying to beat, not so and so or his/her ____.
    Have a good time at your conference!

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  22. Wendy:
    I enjoyed your eight things not to think about. I need to remember these. Thank you.

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  23. I have asked the authentic one before. Only because my dialogue was stilted and didn't sound like real conversation. I tried to hard and didn't let it just flow, like conversations tend to do.

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  24. Great thinks!

    And I hope you have a great time at the conference!

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  25. Doesn't number 2 kind of contradict number 8?

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  26. Ezmirelda, No, I don't think it does. I write with a reader in mind, but I'm not writing to impress that reader as much as to engage that reader with story. Make sense?

    ~ Wendy

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  27. Nice. So true. Hey, this is the first time I can read your blog and say, "I know that girl!!" (And see, I came back, so no I don't think you're weird. We're the normal ones). HA!! See ya later, having a blast hanging out with you! :0)

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  28. the hardest thing I find is showing not telling...and to show...that first one hits me...and sometimes the one about the character. It's true if I try to hard...it doesn't sound right...great list.

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  29. This is the most true post I've read all day... cause if you start thinking like that, you suddenly end up with HORRIBLE writing. thanks for the reminder!

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  30. Things not to think: Ohhh...so and so all ready has a book out. I can't let her beat me.

    Things to think: Stick to the writing schedule and stay consistent. Keep to the plan.

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  31. Wendy, this was such a good post that when I went through my RSS feed and cleaned out nearly 500 items, I left this behind so I could read it again. I am SO impressed with this collection.

    WAY
    TO
    GO!

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