It’s everywhere. Retire it from your mind.
I enjoy reading about writing.
From the writing process of the great authors to the “tips and tricks” of the modern era, I like discovering more about the craft that I appreciate the most.
The range of methods, recommendations, and direct advice is both impressive and overwhelming.
They all provide a different lens to look at a cultural manifestation.
It’s like a neverending collection of ideas and inspiration.
Read, analyze, implement, and see what works for you. Change this, keep that, it’s dynamic and helps shape writers of all kinds.
Many of us also share what we’ve just discovered method-wise, with those in the field. It’s how the art stays alive.
However, in the rush to provide the best of the best bits of insight and advice, quality may suffer when a writer decides to push their own feelings and views as a standard for a field that thrives on diversity of style.
Here is one piece of advice that, whenever I encounter, I go in “immediate no” mode.
I think it’s a good recommendation but some consider it an absolute value, and it becomes a norm in their writing process. It hurts their work, and unfortunately, the work of all of those who decide to blindly follow their advice.
It’s the whole “Words You Should Stop Using [In Your Writing] Right Now” genre.
The words in the lists vary — “Don’t say “basically”, “actually”, “some”, anything that sounds vague, “just”, “rather”, etc.
Some [sic!] individuals even recommended we should all stop using the word “feel”.
To them, these are all filler words, and they have no place in writing.
Uhm… Actually [sic!], that’s just an opinion.
My article right here is another opinion.
The difference is one can truly hurt a writer’s process and can suck all the joy out of their craft.
Here’s how I see things:
- All the words that exist in dictionaries can and should be used.
- In fact [sic!], go ahead and add new ones with great core meanings that we’ve missed as a global society so far.
- I don’t care about the word itself, I care about its role in the text.
- If a word aids, even in a small amount, the conveyance of meaning, the word belongs in that text.
- Yes, even filler words are part of someone’s style. You gain a better perspective regarding an author. “That guy says “regarding” every 3 sentences”. Well, maybe that’s his mark. Now you know who the author is from tons of others.
Art and rigid rules do not go together.
The point is to express yourself. Through words, this time.
I don’t know about you, but I decided to completely disregard the “don’t use these words” recommendations and write as I please.
I may read the advice in that category, make a mental note, and reassess my text when editing, with that lens on… but I’ll still prioritize doing my thing over respecting some freaking made-up subjective rule.
Thank you for reading.