No Ifs, Ands, or Buts

Have you ever been reading a sentence, gotten to the end, and said, “What in the world did that even mean?”?

Do you then go back and read it again? And maybe again? And maybe even a fourth time?

I know I have. One of the primary reasons for this is that we can make our sentences too complex. There is no substitute for a short, punchy sentence, with “no ifs, ands, or buts.”

I realize that this statement doesn’t normally refer to writing. It typically refers to making excuses for yourself in “crisis” moments. But it still works.

I know for a fact I am guilty of lengthy sentences filled with parentheticals, several independent clauses, multiple dependent clauses, and other complicating factors. I am working on changing these habits.

But my encouragement to you today is this: simplify your writing. Try taking out as many ifs, ands, and buts as you can. Keep your sentences short. Occasionally add a more complicated sentence to break up the staccato feeling of your writing. But for the most part, be simple! I’m trying to practice this myself. I think it could do wonders for making writing more engaging.

Have a great day!

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Just Start Writing

In the past week I picked up a new book (even though I had told myself not to buy any books until I finished the ones I already had).

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you can pick it up here, and if you aspire to be a writer, I highly recommend it.

I admit, by no means am I a full-time writer, but I would like to be, and the things Goins shares here are extremely helpful.

If you’re interested in more by him, check out his site.

 

 

Something he wrote in his book really struck me. “Soreness is the result of untrained muscle. If you practice everyday, you don’t get fatigued. All muscles are built this way, even creative ones. If you do anything long enough, it becomes habitual” (pg. 28).

Too often I have told myself, “I just don’t feel like writing today. Work was hard, and now I just want to relax.”

When I take that attitude, I accomplish nothing. It’s the same way we typically go about our New Years Resolutions. We say, “I’m going to do xy, and z this year,” but then we quickly find ourselves saying, “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired,” and before we know it the year is over and our goals have not been realized.

I want to accomplish my writing dreams. Do you? If so, discipline yourself to write, even after a hard day at work, so you can know that you are actively pursuing your goals.

For the average person, fulfilled dreams don’t typically fall in your lap. Pick up a pen and start writing today!

Chapter 1.2

Previous entry found here

“Well that was probably supposed to be terrifying,” Zach finally said after several moments of silence. And then he burst out laughing.

Josh followed suit.

Amidst laughs Josh said, “All they can afford to offer is 500,000 credits? We made five times that much just the other day.”

“Yeah,” Zach agreed. “Which is why we need to go purchase better ships.”

“Where are we anyways?” Josh said, wiping his eyes after laughing.

“Over Coruscant. I’m setting coordinates for Naboo though since it will definitely be less crowded there than here, so that for at least a little while we can lay low.”

Josh laughed. “We don’t need to lay low, though. We’re probably the richest living things in this whole galaxy.”

“Which is exactly why I need a new Naboo Starfighter. And, if I’m being totally honest, it’s the reason why I’m going to Naboo.”

“I won’t stop you,” Josh said. “Punch it!”

And with that the stars elongated as they blasted off towards Naboo airspace.

Unbeknownst to them, another craft was tracking them.

The story continues here (add link when completed).

Excuses

The life of a writer is never dull, even if you’re too broke to participate in activities that actually have a point.

For our protagonist today, he finds himself blogging, apologizing repeatedly for not having posted for his handful of followers in well over a month. He knows they deserve more, but he really can’t help the fact that life has started demanding more from him than he would like to admit.

“There’s always people to talk to, places to go, games to play, books to read, and oftentimes for me, the lists of these things just keeps growing and never shrinks. It’s like I can’t ever get anything accomplished.”

And thus he tries to escape the fact that he hasn’t posted here in over 5 weeks.

(And yes, the protagonist [who feels more like an antagonist] is me. I know I said it a few weeks ago, but there are new posts coming. I’m planning a series of them as I pen this individual post.)