December 11, 2009

Break Up With Your Words

A word of advice: Don’t fall in love with your words.

This is the problem: You write something good, really good, penetrating-the-heart good. The perfect word, the ideal phrase, a sentence that could be a quote on a calendar somewhere. You’re dazzled by the flow, the uniqueness, the harmony of words you’ve created. In short, you’ve fallen head over heels in love with this particular part of what you’ve written.

Then the realization hits: Those words that have captured and bedazzled your heart don’t fit the piece you’re writing. It would be better served without them. They clutter it, bind it up, make it something it ought not to be. They need to go…but you’re in love.

In your heart of hearts you know it’s time to break up with those words, but you love them so. You wonder, “Will I ever write such captivating words again?” Your heart is torn. To keep or not to keep? It’s a heart- wrenching decision.

Break up with those words. Delete them. Omit them. Send them packing. If they don’t fit, then they don’t fit and no amount of desire is going to make them fit. It’s time for them to hit the dusty trail so you can focus on the words that you need, not the ones you love.

If it makes you feel better, write them down for possible use in a later project, but don’t let them stifle the current one. Break up. Now.



Richella said...

Oh, jeepers. I need this advice. It's so simple, yet it's true. Thanks for the timely reminder!

Bee said...

Me, too. I get so attached I rewrite paragraphs to fit that one sentence that I think is so brilliant. Breaking Up is Hard to Do!

Sue J. said...

I put them into a separate document saved along with the original file. Then, the day will come when I'm cleaning out my folders and I'll find those words. I'll chuckle and hit 'delete'.

Your reader--and the editor before him or her--will thank you!

Linda said...

I just discovered your blog at Chatting at the Sky. What a great place this is!
You nailed me on this one. I know you are right, but it really is hard to send those perfect sentences into oblivion.
Thank you.

Miss Sandy said...

Some times less really is more. Great advice.

I hope you are having a great weekend!

Faith Imagined said...

I'm constantly deleting paragraphs. Sometimes I save them in another file.

Thanks for your words. It does break my heart sometimes to delete words that I just labored over!