Sin #5 – Cardboard Books

Okay so this week I’m going to talk to you about the sin of ‘emotional distance’. What’s that you ask? Well that’s when you write simply for the sake of writing. When it seems as though you’re writing on auto-pilot leaving about as much passion in your prose as there will be a spark of interest from your readers.

Perhaps you started your piece with passion, you believed it to be a great story with lots of potential and perhaps that was even true, but, somewhere along the line your zest for it died. Or maybe you tried to sit down and write with your cat, dog, kid and husband all whining at you for your undivided attention by constantly interrupting you every two seconds with needless comments and questions and – eh hem, yes well likely that’s just me. I digress. The real point I’m trying to make is that if you write without believing in what you’re putting down, then no one else will want to pick it up.

Good writing isn’t just a great story with a great plot and fantastic characters and superb dialog, it’s also a reflection of what’s going on between the lines. It’s about the very soul that seeps its way from our crafty minds into the nooks and crannies of every word we write on a page. It’s about heart, it’s our voice. And if it isn’t there…well then you’ve got yourself a Cardboard Book.

So go off and smell a rose, hug a baby, slide around in your underwear and socks, grow a garden, do whatever it is that inspires you to remember why it is you are who you are and you do what you do.  🙂

Tammy’s Tip of the Week

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep…well you get the idea, just don’t forget to add the love. Nudge nudge, wink wink. 😉

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18 Responses to Sin #5 – Cardboard Books

  1. Anne Michaud says:

    Tammy, you are a wise lady.
    When I read back my lines, I detect the passages where it doesn’t come from my guts – bad.
    When I forget to check mispells and whatnots and I feel transported into the scene – good.
    Would you say you stop writing when your passion runs low or do you hope and pray it’ll come back in the rewrite?
    Good topic, we could talk about this for HOURS:)

    • CDNWMN says:

      Well for me personally, I’d just sketch out the rough outline and then shelve it and not bring it out again until it lights a fire in my belly again. But I’m sure others likely have their own opinion. 😉 Great guestion!

    • Great post Tammy!

      Anne: Personally, I write even in the uninspired times. My system is to push words and get them down on paper. The passion always comes back and that’s when I rewrite the scenes that need it..

      It’s kinda like a marriage. The passion ebbs and flows, but you can’t set it aside during the uninspiring times. You just keeping acting “as if” and know it will return. Just my humble two cents.

  2. Tam, great blog this week! Tee hee!!! Oh my sister from another mother what would I do without you to remind me that I need to get back on track and get my shit done. No clue! But, seriously, yes we need to put the love into our work, our heart, soul, emotion, feeling, the seven emotions of writing… (I have that list around here, I swear) and just write, just write, just … well you get the idea…
    Keep at it, and I’ll keep reminding you what great skillz and abilities you have so you finish your story and you can remind me to get back on track… thanks for everything!
    p.s. this blog seems somewhat familiar………….

  3. Gareth says:

    Not sure if I should slide about in my undies, it won’t be a pretty sight. But point taken. Its time to grab onto the day by the nuts and say, “Give me some me time” with that wicked look in your face that says you’re prepared to twist.

    Chin up and have fun. (Incidently I suggest that you get a film in for your other half to distract them so you can write.)

    • CDNWMN says:

      I’ve tried that, but my mini-man (age 4) still finds me more entertaining than tv. I’ve been reduced to an amusment park and I am not amused. lol!

  4. Sally A Wolf says:

    Great post as always! Passion is a wonderful thing and it seems that the world has forgotten it.

  5. I’d like to know who’s going to slide around in their underwear! Lol!
    I get what you’re saying but sometimes you just need to get it done – if you wait for the “passion” you may never finish anything you start. Trust me, there are times when auto-writing is the only way to get to “the end” – it’s the editing phase where you can put the energy back in.

  6. Keep writing and remember revisions are for making it pretty.


  7. I definitely agree with a final draft needing passion, though I’ll say that my first drafts are often usually pretty much cardboard! I can’t always be in the right frame of mind, but as long as I get the words out in the beginning, I can come back and fix them later. Some people struggle to edit – I struggle to NOT edit – so it’s especially important that I just Get It Out. 🙂

  8. Lisa Forget says:

    Excellent points Tammy. Love your posts and your humour!
    🙂 Lisa

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