Eric was catching up with my recent blogs the other day. I wonder sometimes how other couples deal with blogging. Do you tell your sweetie the moment you post some witty insight (“Hey hon, come check this out”) or a recounting of an event you both attended (“I need some fact-checking here!”)? Or do you wait til they stumble on it in their own time? If you talk about someone online, do you ask their approval beforehand, or do you wait until you’ve posted and then alert them? I imagine there’s a lot of new business in counseling these days to help people sort out their issues with sharing – not the old-fashioned kind between two people, but rather sharing with the world in general, especially when it might be things you haven’t gotten around to talking about at home yet.
I’m often a little shy in front of Eric about what I write, mostly because I think he is such a fine writer himself and I would want him to like what I write. When he was looking at the last month or two of posts, I was reading over his shoulder and I noticed a few bad habits in my writing.
One is my overuse of the word “just”, as in “they were just the worst band I’ve ever seen.” A pretty useless word, “just”, when trotted out constantly to somehow soften or make judgements and statements less definitive. (There’s another word I overuse – “somehow”. Same as “just”, I use it to back off a little from whatever it is I’m saying.)
Another word I abuse is “adorable.” Yuck! This has to stop immediately.
But my worst bad habit is one I’ve been guilty of for a long time, in my songwriting as well. And sure enough, with Eric’s laser vision focused on my writing, it came clearly into focus. I accentuate the negative way too much. For example, why, when I wrote about the neighbor’s get-together, did I have to turn it into a post about my lack of French skills? I have clearly made progress with the language from last year. Several of the neighbors made a point of telling me so! But in order to someh- (shit…see what I mean?) put a cap on the writing, to make it all fit together, I grabbed a convenient “hook” – and in my case the hook is usually something to do with me not being able to get it together.
So I’m doing some writing practice now that involves not falling into default self-flagellation mode. It’s going to be hard. No, let me rephrase that. It’s going to be a wonderful challenge, one that I’m looking forward to very much. From now on, or rather for as long as I can stand it, I’m going to see if I can tell a story without the woeful attitude. Call me Glass-Half-Full Girl.