Wednesday, September 7



We've all got them--the words we use in our writing over and over and over again. I've always known I have them, but it wasn't until this last long weekend of editing that I realized just how much I use them. Here, I'll give you my list as an example:

Alright--(which isn't even considered a word, so not only do I have to
              delete a ton of them, but then I have to change the ones I
              keep to 'all right')
Muster--(I don't know why, but this is my go-to word for 'gather' or
              'collect', etc.)

My agent will probably read this and add a dozen or so more to the list, but I'm pretty sure these ones are the worst.

Why have I taken a bigger notice of my buzzwords, you ask? It's because this is the first project where I have deliberately left them in--the first draft, that is. A few weeks ago, while working on the first draft of my new ms, I came to realize that I was spending more time worrying about word choice than I was spending actually writing. This wasn't a problem with my first few books because I wasn't totally conscious of it. However,(ha, see there it is!) now that I am aware of it, I'm obsessing about it. Every single time I type the word 'anyway' I want to change it immediately, instead of simply moving on. As a result, it was taking me days to write chapters that should have taken me hours.

Well, I am happy to announce that I have put an end to it. I have officially adopted idea that it is okay for your first draft to suck. Deep down I have always known that this is the case, but this is the first time I have forced my self to be okay with it. After all, no matter how 'perfect' I think I get that certain line or paragraph, when I go back and read it the next day, it still sucks, so why waste the time initially when I will have to go back to it again anyway?

Well, I can happily tell you that I no longer edit while writing first drafts. Not ever. Or at least not usually. Okay, maybe once in a while. Every now and again, but only when I forget... or when a sentence is really bad...

Alright, so it's kind of a hard habit to break, but I am much better, and that is a start. Ernest Hemingway once said, "The first draft of anything is shit.", and if that was good enough for him, it's certainly good enough for me.

How about you all, Buzzwords? Let's hear them!


  1. I tend to "shoot" a lot of things. Like eye daggers and nasty looks. I don't "muster" a whole lot, but think I may start ;) (I like that one)

  2. Ha! And I never 'shoot' things, so tell you what, we can trade! :)

  3. I'm a 'because' kind of girl. I use it everywhere!

  4. I have a ton- "that" "cue" (as in, "that was my cue to leave the room")"freakin'" I also have phrases that I tend to use a lot- i.e. "put the pieces together" "I mean" "furrowed his/her eyebrows". Unfortunately, I could go on and on, lol.

  5. AngelaT - I'm bad with 'because' too!

    Angela V - Oh my, phrases are a whole other thing entirely! :D I have a ton! I tend to write how I talk so not only do my friends and family get tired of actually hearing certain things, but now they can get tired of reading them too!