This month, I had trouble deciding what to write about. When you’re close to 500 blog posts, and you do frequent guest spots on other blogs, sometimes that happens. So I thought maybe we’d go back to the beginning, a little bit. This week, I’m going to be talking about some things that you shouldn’t be doing, as a writer.
Yeah, this month is for writers.
Don’t Write in Snippets
What’s a snippet? It’s a little bitty piece. I usually define snippet writing as spending only five minutes on your craft at a time, or by writing on your phone or small electronic device, because usually this means writing a lot less than you would be on paper or on a computer.
Now, I want to preface this by saying that there’s nothing wrong with snippets. Really. I write a lot of snippets here and there, and some of them actually make it into my work. But the thing is, they shouldn’t be your primary form of writing.
Usually, when we come up with a good snippet, when we finally sit down to write we end up struggling to fit this supposed nugget of gold into the work. And a lot of the time, the work suffers for it. We force things to make our nugget beautifully work within the piece we’re constructing, when all along, the piece didn’t want this nugget to begin with.
About eighty percent of the time, in my experience, this is what happens. And about ninety percent of the time, I end up having to cut those snippets out, when I’m in the editing phase.
Who wants to do that?
They’re hard to work into a story, hard to fit together, and often don’t go anywhere at all within any given story. They can be a good starting point, but they should not be the primary form of our writing. We shouldn’t be depending on nuggets of gold to get our writing to the place where even we think it’s readable.
If that’s all we’re doing, then we’re doing it wrong.
Our whole work needs to be readable, needs to be to the point that people will want to read the whole text and not just skim for those snippets, those nuggets. We need to focus on the text as a whole, and not just on these little bits.
And yes, that means you’re going to have to spend a little more time on your craft. But you know what? You should probably be doing that anyway.