I have entered the horse latitudes of writing. In case you don’t know what horse latitudes are those subtropical areas on the ocean dominated by high pressure and calm winds. Much feared by sailors, these areas meant you sat on a becalmed ship until you were able to catch a breeze. They are likely called “horse” because in the 1500s, much horse shipping occurred and horses would often die in these areas (perhaps because of lack of water as supplies got strained).
Fire in the Heart is apparently steaming along at the publisher but I am not involved in that. so it’s easy to go for days without even remembering I have a book coming out. I have also managed to put away the guilt of not starting my novel up again, so I almost feel like a normal person, free to stream interesting History Channel shows, hike, play with dogs, etc. I have become completely undisciplined in my writing. But then again, it is summer, after a seven month winter. Time to let things go.
Because I am not writing, I am reading a lot of books and also noticing what people post on social media and blogs. The curse of being a writer is that you immediately notice lazy writing. Things that set my teeth on edge:
- Abbreviations in essays or blogs. I know, these aren’t fine literature, but do you really have to use “RN” for right now in a sentence? Or describe a bad situation as “AF”? I won’t tell you what the “F” stands for but it isn’t Frances. The “A” stands for “As”. (An example is, “I’m as upset AF RN.”)
- Improper use of words. Please for all that is holy, stop using “legit” as a descriptor. “I am legit upset AF RN.” What’s wrong with saying “I’m upset”? I feel like people are shying away from owning their feelings, so putting “legit” in there somehow makes it more urgent? I really don’t know. I know I kind of hate it.
- “Like”, this has been around for awhile and started out just in conversation but has somehow crept into writing as well. “She was like, ‘I am legit upset AF RN.'” I don’t know how this got started, but how is saying “said” a bad thing?
- Writing that describes something about nature or behavior to a movie. I find this in millenial (sorry) writing a lot. I even saw a picture of someone outside in nature in a blog, and she wrote, “this was just like being in a movie!” I am shaking my head RN.
- No spelling check! “Decent” is not “descent”. “Boarder” is not the Mexican border. “Defiantly” is not definitely! I think a lot of people rely on spell check and don’t proofread.
- Oh the cliche. “I watched her like a hawk”. Those poor hawks, so overused in prose.
- Reliance on over-used descriptions without thinking about them. “Snowflake” is one insult that gets thrown out over and over again. Creativity, people! It’s a thing.
I know I am not immune to bad writing! But with everyone being able to write things and have them seen, it seems more glaring than ever. I’m like, legit defiantly annoyed AF RN!