Are You In Love With Your Own Writing?

“A word after a word after a word is power.” Margaret Atwood

There’s this thing called verbal narcissism. It’s pretty much the ability to game a wall, if it comes to that. To sell sand in the Sahara Desert.

It also means to be so in love with your own words that it could mean talking on and on about things that few people ever care about. Or it could happen that you do deliver a strong message, but you’re using so many words to do so, that it’s all distilled to the point of making people want to smack you over the head with their keyboards.

Yes, a word after a word after a word is power. It can change the world. It can earn you a nice income. It can influence people to do more than what they even dreamed possible.

But you can also use too many words. More words than necessary.

You can always tell your story in fewer words. Always. If you think you can’t, try harder. Every minute of additional effort on your part reduces the effort on the part of the reader, and that leads to a more enjoyable experience on their part.

Don’t force your reader to skim through thousands of words when only a few paragraphs will suffice.

To paraphrase Stephen King, kill your darlings. Delete the words that are not meant to be there, even if you love them. If the words you use are not moving the piece forward, then they must go.

This is law, and pretending it’s not will only hurt you.

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13 thoughts on “Are You In Love With Your Own Writing?

  1. I feel like you might be talking about me. (It’s probably the narcissistic part of me talking.)
    Often times I worry that I write too much, but there are various reasons behind it. None of them is related to me being in love with my words.
    Short posts are definitely the favored ones, but what if I don’t want to bend to society’s millisecond attention span? What if I’m trying to “save” humanity?

    A great post, nonetheless. I can totally see your point.

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