My name is Terreece and I’m addicted to ellipses.
There. I said it. I am free from my shame.
Those three periods…they say so much and I find myself using them way to often. Every writer has a crutch. Some liken it to their ‘writing style,’ but there is a difference between a crutch and a style.
“I can quit anytime.”
One way to tell if your go-to writing technique is a style or a crutch is if a writer can be flexible and not use the item. Whether it’s a particular format or transition, if a writer has trouble adapting to what an article needs rather than what they are comfortable writing – it’s a crutch.
“I don’t think about it.”
Some writers brag they can bang out an article without thinking. That’s not a good thing. Writing without thinking is writing devoid of feeling and deliberation. Who wants to read that? Writers can bring thought back into their pieces through identifying their crutches. Read through old clips. Recognizing patterns is the best way to break a habit.
“I’m not hurting anyone.”
My ellipses aren’t hurting anyone…most people think they add to my conversational style of writing. However, if I’m honest with myself, not addressing them or any other crutch will prevent my growth as a writer. The crutch is more damaging to the writer than it is to anyone else. Why? Burn out.
Writers run out of stuff to write or I should say they run out of motivation to write anything. When writing loses its spark and becomes predictable, odds are the writer will find themselves on the way to the stinky town of Burnout.
Lastly, crutches are supposed to help someone along the way until the way can be made without the crutch. It may be painful, may cause a few hours of eyestrain staring at that blinking cursor while coming up with something else, but in the end the stretch is worth it. The growing pains are worth it!
So dish – what’s your writing crutch? How did you break your habit?