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- Tip -

When you dislike what you wrote, Chapter II

In Chapter I, we looked at the writing (When-You-Dislike-What-You-Wrote-Chapter-I).

Let us take several paces back and regard the writer for just a moment.  Like elves, humans are a precise set of creatures.  You eat with forks, wash spilled sauces out of your clothes, tie shoelaces in even bows and comb down wayward cowlicks.

You generally don’t slouch around and do things any old way!

When we write, we tend to uphold the same standards. We like to see things looking right and we want to see this happen QUICKLY.

Yet, no one writes something that is perfect on the first draft, not even an elf descended from 10 generations of writer elves.  Good writing happens over time.  It requires considerable patience.  During that time, and while patience is being practiced, the signals in our heads won’t always be kind.

That is just fine if we learn to expect them—and ignore the signals that don’t help!

New idea: The number of times humans and elves have torn up rough drafts in an exasperated moment and then sincerely wanted them back later, is far too large to count.  (It would surely be a number that has this many 000,000,000s in it.)

Therefore, the next time you feel your head beginning to boil, because an unhelpful signal is suggesting that you dislike what you have written, pause where you are.  If possible, set the writing aside and come back to it tomorrow.

With fresh Tomorrow Eyes, read your writing again, and while doing so, listen extremely hard for that far better encouraging signal:  “You are doing a fine job!  This writing is missing a little something. Keep looking for it. You will certainly find it!”

Take care to preserve what is right and simply tinker with what needs attention.

And if you begin to hear the alarming siren again, the one that says crumple and tear, ignore it!  It can—and should be—tuned out.

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The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own stories