In #Writing, You Should Never…! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA @4WillsPub

“Whenever someone gives you a never in regards to writing, your inner warning klaxon should go off.  Writing is an art, and cannot be governed by rules involving always or never.”  -Author Unknown

***

I don’t know who said that, but someone once shared the quote above with me via email.  

Like some of you, I have had it up to here with other people’s opinions (OPO) about what we should never do in writing.  Who are these so-called writing gurus who feel that they can dictate our every stroke in our quest to create the most perfect pieces of art in written form?  

We are bombarded daily with rules for our writing.  Notice my emphasis on the word our because I want everyone to understand that my writing belongs to me, your writing belongs to you, their writing belongs to them, so everyone should tend to their own beeswax!

Writing is subjective, but, just as long as…

  • your writing is free of misspelled words and other typos
  • your periods and commas are in the proper places so that readers are guided seamlessly through the read
  • there is clarity of thought and no rambling
  • your dialogue is realistic
  • your characters are well-developed and believable… 

…then, in my humble (but valued) opinion, YOU. ARE. DOING. JUST. FINE!

Writing is an art form, but unfortunately, it’s not one that everyone masters spectacularly.  I repeat – if your writing is clean (error-free), captivating (you can hold readers’ attention), and realistic (it makes us feel as if it is actually happening right before our eyes so we can believe in it), then block out the naysayers.  Stop feeding into their frenzy and write what you want to write, and write it the way you want to!  Stop giving a crap about what these wanna-be experts say that you should be doing in your writing. Some of them don’t even know what good writing looks like anyway.  They’ve fallen into the deep end of the spiked-Koolaid and have swallowed way too much of it; and now they’re spewing it up and out into the air, hoping that you’ll be foolish enough to swallow some of it, too.  Close your mouths!  Don’t you dare take in any of their nonsense!

I can’t tell you the number of writers who are being made to feel the pressure that they must “show and not tell,” and sadly, all throughout their stories, they are failing in their attempts.  So much so, that they are going overboard attempting the technique, trying to please that category of folk who “think” they are expert at it.  Here’s another

Untitled design (21)

Stop allowing others to pressure you into something you don’t fully understand, and until you do, merely focus on writing using the formula that I’ve highlighted above and here in it’s shortened form… clean – captivating – realistic.  The little words to remember.  That’s all the reading public wants from us anyway – writing that’s free of typos, that holds their attention, and is believable;  clean – captivating -realistic.

NEVER let anyone tell you what you should be writing.

NEVER let anyone tell you how to write.

NEVER let anyone try to sell you on what they probably don’t understand themselves.

The only NEVERS I want you to allow to seep into your soul are…

NEVER QUIT BELIEVING IN YOURSELF

NEVER GIVE UP

NEVER QUIT

NEVER SAY NEVER

Throughout this piece, I have repeatedly shared the formula that you cannot fail with.  Apply it to to your writing and you will NEVER risk being pulled into the spiked-Koolaid again.

So, now that I’ve stepped down from my ‘guru’ high-horse, have you ever found yourself feeling pressured by the millions of so-called gurus of writing around you?  If so, how does the process I suggest above sound to you?  Does it sound reasonable enough for you to give it a try?

19 Comments

  1. Thank you, Nonnie, for another fine piece. Keep them coming, so I can continue to grow and learn more about this craft called ‘writing’.

    Like

    • Shirley Harris-Slaughter

      John, I love your writing. Anytime you can get me to sit through a war story, you are excellent in your craft. And I don’t say that lightly. But you are right, there is always room to continue learning.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    Reblogged this on Shirley Harris-Slaughter and commented:
    A timely piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Nonnie, thank you for sharing these helpful thoughts. I do agree that all the advice out in the writing world can be confusing and overwhelming. I incorporate the advice that works for me, but am quite good at ignoring advice that I don’t agree with. My work life is beset with the same thing, everyone always wants to prove their worth by having a go at an announcement or document, and I have learned over the years to vet the comments and retain the good. I always remember that it is my book, announcement or document.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clean – captivating – realistic! Thanks for this great encouragement! I have spent more time studying “show—don’t tell” than any other aspect of writing. I will still try to improve in this area, but I won’t let it hogtie my writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    Yes, it does sound reasonable enough to give it (writing) a try. But it might be a bit late for me. I must admit that I’ve been a bit discouraged and overwhelmed and can’t seem to get my bearings when it comes to writing these days. Maybe I’m just burned out. I know that I’m not enjoying it anymore so maybe it’s time for me to just give it a rest. I do know that this post seems to be talking to me.

    Thank you, Nonnie, for this timely message.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi, Shirley! I’m so glad this post resonated. Keep doing your best! Try the formula above in your writing… you can’t fail with it 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • HI Shirley, I agree with Nonnie’s post and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the commentary about writing and how it should be done that is out there. I always take comfort in the fact that most of the great writers like the Bronte’s and even Charles Dickens, did not study how to write. The wrote from their hearts and that is what you must do. If you push aside all the direction and go with your heart, you will find the joy in writing again. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shirley Harris-Slaughter

        Robbie what a sweet message. Thank you for the words of encouragement.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I can never get enough of Nonnie…better than taking any writing courses. I have learned much from this dear lady during the last few years. Keep the hints coming!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Awwww, my dear, sweet friend! Don’t you know by now that every article I write is just for you? LOL! So glad you enjoy them. Let’s me know I’m not wasting my time when I rant publicly 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Nonnie, you’re such a champion for writers, and I appreciate how much you care. Good writing encompasses your list of clean, captivated, and realistic (I WISH magic were real and that I could fly on my pet dragon…but I know what you mean). On the other hand, it’s also a skill that good writers are always honing. No writer is perfect, but serious ones keep themselves on the road to perfecting their skills. RWISA University comes to mind.

    One of the best things about being in a good critique group is that we learn to write better, and part of that comes from being open to constructive criticism. Writing is, by necessity, a solitary pursuit, but making it the best writing it can be is a team effort.

    Then, once it’s published, we must understand that just as the writing is the author’s art form, the opinions of our reviewers comes from their experience as they read it. Some will love it, others not so much, and we, the writers, must accept that each reviewer speaks from their own truth, just as we must do when we’re honestly reviewing the writings of others.

    As for your NEVERs, I agree that one must Never stop believing in themselves, Never quit, Never give up, and Never say Never! I might add: Never stop learning.

    Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great advice, Nonnie! I know I’ve received some reviews/advice that have suggested that I change a way I write something. I appreciate their opinion and then choose to write how I want to write (while still reflecting and checking to see if I do actually need to improve any aspect of my writing). I also know that I’ve read books where the author does not write in a style that appeals to me, and I say so in my reviews (after all, we should be honest in our reviews). When I feel that way about a book, I’m careful to make it clear that it is MY experience with that story and others should make their own opinions. As authors, we have to develop thick skin and accept constructive criticism and let the rest slide off our shoulders. It isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi, Yvette! No, it’s not easy, but as put it so eloquently, it’s necessary. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Excellent advice, Nonnie!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. NEVER leave without sharing a comment! Thanks, guys!

    Liked by 2 people

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