Does Your Writing Work?

Today hasn’t gone according to plan at all – but I’m not complaining! I spent a lovely time outside doing some much needed gardening. That lasted until the neighbor came outside with a radio and ruined the peace and quiet. Indoors again, I popped over to FaceBook before knuckling down to do some writing and/or editing, and there was my daughter, inviting me out to lunch! Sweet! I’d already had lunch by that time, so she grabbed a burger and we went over to Yogurt Nut (Mmmm, frozen cheesecake yogurt with blackberries!). The weather was so incredibly perfect that we sat outside to eat and talk… and talk… and talk.

What a great, great day…

I haven’t been writing (or editing!), but that’s okay! I feel rejuvenated, and that counts for a lot. A clear head and an uplifted spirit make for better success. (There are days when I must count success in degrees…) What I’m aiming for – what all writers are aiming for – is writing that works, writing that does the job it’s supposed to do. It isn’t working, for instance, when it only entertains when it should be teaching us. It isn’t working when it frustrates when it’s supposed to be instructing. Whatever the genre of the writing, writing that works is about more than just good grammar and composition. Both of those are important tools, but they are not the meat of the piece.

“For any given idea there exists a variety of technically and grammatically correct word combinations that can be used to communicate it. But each word combination alters the idea. It is the form the writer chooses, the word he picks out, that determine the content of his work, what he really says, and whether or not the writing works.”

~Gary Provost, Make Every Word Count 

‘Readable’ does not necessarily support the emotion we want to convey. Every word you use should have a job it’s performing, or it needs to be fired. The English language is blessed with words that are suitable for conveying every shade of description. Is your writing lively? Is it colorful? Does it paint vivid scenes? What’s your style?

7 thoughts on “Does Your Writing Work?

  1. While the day may not have gone as planned it is those moments of relaxation and rejuvenation that allow our writing to stay fresh and not turn into a colorless landscape. Color guard for the writers heart.

    Great post 🙂

  2. Mood – I have seen that! I'm also interested in Provost's book Make Your Words Work. More good stuff to read!

    Narratus – It really is, and I am so grateful for it.

  3. Great quote.
    Time spend with your daughter is priceless. Whenever my daughters call, I stop what I'm doing and go. Family comes first and then writing. Anyway I try to keep that in mind as I'm rushing to meet deadlines. 🙂

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