Monday, January 24, 2011

Caught in a Bad Snow Dance

It's snowing right now. Proof? The sweat stains under my arms from shoveling sidewalks.

That has nothing to do with today's post. Neither does the title. What I want to talk about is fads and peer pressure.

I tend to walk to the beat of my own bagpiper. I wear mismatched socks--inside out, of course--and my hair has been dyed numerous colors in the past. "I, Rebel" could have been my slogan as a teen--though, in a well-behaved sense of the word.

Who cares what they think? Right?

One definition of a fad: "A passing fashion or fancy imposed upon by groups, nurtured and fortified by peer pressure." (HiTops. Great play. Anyone seen it?)

Peer pressure. It can be good. (Oh!) But it can also be bad. (Oh.) Very bad. (Yeck!)

So, how can you tell what fads in writing are good and which are bad? My answer: don't write for the fads. They come and go. WRITE WHAT YOU WANT TO WRITE.

As for peer pressure...

Bad: A group insists that semi-colons are the new full stop. You follow this advice--and many editors die a little inside.

Good: I'm writing today. You should write today, too! Even a sentence will suffice!

Bad: I wrote five-thousand words today. I know I have flexible hours and you barely have enough time to breathe, but you must write 5k as well, or else you are a bad writer.

Not that anyone (I hope) would come out and say the last bit, but you might feel like a bad writer if you can't keep up with other's goals/ideals/routines.

Again it comes back to: BE WHAT YOU ARE.

... But also be open to healthy change ;-)


  1. Good: I'm writing today. You should write today, too! Even a sentence will suffice!

    Very good peer pressure! Speaking of which, my Monday prompt is up now... ;^>

    I love this though. Write what you want to write. So if the story that's clawing its way out of you involves sparkly vampires or undead classics, then go for it. But don't write them just because that's the fad right now.

  2. Preach it, sista! *runs to check Kim's blog* Good peer pressure, chica ;-)

  3. I like semi-colons; they come in very handy when stretching six sentences on 6S.

  4. Ah, semi-colons. How I love you. How my crit partner flogs me every time I use you.

  5. I like semi-colons too. When called for. Just to illustrate from one of my favorite websites:

    I'm giving myself permission to relax this week and not write that much. We've all been sick, so it's the perfect time to catch up with my bloggie friends :)

  6. Semi-colons. I have nothing against them. They are useful, but I meant in place of all full stops. (An exaggerated example of bad advice.)

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a great fortune must be in want of a wife; NEXT SENTENCE; NEXT SENTENCE; NEXT SENTENCE;

    Guess my silliness needed clarifictation >.<

    @Dizzy - Your blog is an exception. You must use semi-colons in order to fit everything into six sentences. So I'm not putting that down. At all Really. :-)

    @Mysti - We all need a break sometime. Hope you enjoy yours. Have fun catching up with blog friends! :-)

  7. Definitely be who you are. I believe that every writer has their very own way of doing things that works for them and probably wouldn't work for others. And yes, semi-colons are useful, but I also think that they're a bit like flashing neon lights. O:)

  8. Hey, Dani O:)
    Thanks for stopping by!