Old Habits Die Hard
So on Sunday I bought my first iPad, and while I really like my shiny new toy, it served as a harsh reminder of how set in my ways I can be. I keep wanting to reach for a trackpad I knowisn't even there. This got me thinking about other habits, particularly in writing, that we KNOW are incorrect or repetitive or wrong but we can't seem to shake.
So I have a lot of these habits. My copyeditor always points out one in particular - the double spaces after periods. I blame this one on my elementary school teachers who told me this was correct. They ruined me! Now I can't stop doing it no matter how wrong I know it is. I'm now having to consciously think about it in this post. Oy.
But some of those habits are bigger than others. Another tick of mine is the consant use of the word "just" for no reason. I am constantly finding sentences when I revise that say things like "She just wanted to go home, but it was just too far away." Ugh! I don't even realize I"m doing it at this point. What a random word, right? I also use "Really" in almost the same way.
And then there are the biggest bad habits - whole turns of phrase or repeated grammatical errors. One of mine that I really hate is substituting a verb like "shrugged" or "sighed" or "laughed" for "said." So for example I might type something like, "I love this restaurant," she sighed. Which isn't right. No one talks in a sigh. It should be, "I love this restaurant." She sighed. Or "I love this restaurant," she said with a sigh. I know that, logically, but my fingers don't, I guess.
These are bad writing habits I've been trying to break myself from for years, with no luck, I might add. But in some ways they are good. They've made me pay closer attention to my words in revisions, catching all the justs and the extra period spaces and the bad grammar makes me look twice as hard at the words on the page. I guess that's a pluss.
Apparently, "guess" is another word I over use.
But what about you? what are your bad writing habits? Have you managed to break any? We'd love to hear about them int he comments!
(PS - I've reached for the trackpad ten times in the process of writing this post. I actually think this means I'm improving!)
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