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Writers Beware of BUT

Posted by Val Fox on April 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM



I'd finish the book BUT my life is so busy I can't find the time.

I'd write more often BUT I have writer's block.

I love to write BUT am afraid I'm not good enough to publish.

Poems are nice BUT I don't know how to write one.

There is a job posting for a technical writer BUT I'm not qualified.

I tried to meet the deadline BUT failed.

I put the story on a memory stick BUT I lost it.

Others can write powerful prose BUT I can't.

I checked in with the editor BUT she didn't answer my call.

I'm sorry BUT I didn't get around to reading the guidelines for submission.

I submitted my work BUT never heard back from the magazine editor.

I wrote a query letter BUT no one read it.

I did my best BUT the editor didn't like the article.

These sentences sound like the kind of excuses I once used to cover my own insecurities as a writer. Learn to recognize when you use the word BUT. Catch yourself and re-frame the sentence to reflect truth rather than BULLSHIT.

Our writing habits improve significantly once we stop using the word




You can click on the following link to learn more about the IWSG. Have a great day and thanks for visiting.  Tomorrow's post will feature the letter


tags: Writers' excuses; words to avoid; tips for writers; negative self talk

Categories: Writing/Photography

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Reply Diana Pinto
10:45 AM on April 3, 2014 
It's so important to reduce the word ' BUT ' in our lives to move forward. Loved the way it was used.
Reply Clare Dugmore
5:08 PM on April 2, 2014 
Excellent advice, Val!

I try to limit my buts as much as possible, not just with writing, but life too. You have to take responsibility for your own actions and short-comings.

Good luck with your April literary endeavors.

Clare Dugmore Writes
Reply S. L. Hennessy
12:14 PM on April 2, 2014 
I have a hard time with the But word too. I say it waaaay too often. It's too great a cop-out. Great post and happy A to Z!
Reply Ann Hinds
12:00 PM on April 2, 2014 
So I see that you've been following me around listening to all my excuses. Great use of the letter "B". Kinda' makes me feel silly when I realize that I really use some of these. Thanks!


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This is the personal website of writer Val Fox from Alberta, Canada: soon-to-be published author; freelance writer/editor; ghost writer; animal and child advocate; amateur photographer and avid camper.  Welcome!


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