You should write

Should is one of those words that isn’t a very nice word: no matter how it is couched, when someone say it to you, underlying it is a judgment, a belief that there is something else to do.

Should is also often one of those words that is well represented in our internal self-talk: I should do this I should do that. It’s a soft, but persistent and negative word, and as writers, I think it’s important to be aware of the words we use on ourself.

Should is also quite subjective, by the way.  What I should do and what others think I should can at times be different things. What should I do when that happens? I should be me. That’s what I should do. See how insidious the term is in our language?

You know the saying: “I will not should on myself today”?  I have a practice of not shoulding on myself, a practice much like yoga, much like meditation, much like breath awareness. When I am writing and I catch myself thinking should in my internal self-talk, I stop. Get up. Break the pathway. Take a breath. Then get back to work.

I’ll never get perfect at it but it is a thing I do to remind myself that the internal critic can be interrupted, that I don’t need to sit in judgment of me as often as I might want to and particularly when I’m writing. Better during editing.

And then:  I ran across a thing by a writer I admire and it included the word should. Okay so yes, I am semantically sensitive. And yes, generally, I think people could pay better attention to what they say as well as what they write. And yes, some things should be judged and other things should not.

But I do like this perspective about writing and reading even though it contains that awful word should, and so, I am sharing it…

“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.”

~ Annie Proulx

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About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween. On hiatus from writing ... at least for now.
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One Response to You should write

  1. Gday Ludivina Cabotaje right here, that appeared to be strange. I just wrote a very lengthy statement in http://conqueringthealphabet.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/you-should-write but after I clicked submit my comment don’t display. Arghh… well I’m not composing all that written text once more. Anyway, I would like to mention good blog site!

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