January 4, 2011 | By: Tracy


So, yeah, I watch "Hoarders" on A&E.  It's a great way to give yourself a little extra incentive to do some spring (or fall) cleaning when you're not really geeked about it.

I mean, how can you look at this and not want to just do a quick vacuum job in the living room?

I was trying to come up with a post topic and the show just happened to come on. I thought there was no way I could link "Hoarders" to writing. . . but I did.

Bear with me, it makes sense, I swear.

The sickness of hoarding is where a person falls into the trap of not being able to let go of anything they own. It doesn't matter if it's broken, no good, out of date, or rotting. They're convinced it's worth something. They're positive they may need it at some point in the future and therefore they refuse to part with it. The end results are usually nice houses that are trashed into oblivion by the junk kept inside.

The moral of this story is NOT to let this happen to your manuscript! 

Sometimes we fall into the trap of not being able to properly edit our own stories because we're reluctant to throw away a single word we've written. If you've got a large word count and people are telling you it needs to be cut -- trust me, you can cut it.

Don't. Be. A. Word. Hoarder!!

Here's a terrific post I stumbled across when I was seriously editing my ms about to go to querying (for real this time) and it helped me recognize a lot of my own word hoarding. If you're looking for a way to tighten your writing even more give it a look-see.

Being a Word Hoarder is nothing to be ashamed of. Not doing something about it, is. Don't let your story end up looking like this.

This has been my public service announcement for the week.

10 witty remarks:

Dan said...

Hoarders is great and I love the analogy! I'll have to learn to throw out my word cabbages before they rot somewhere underneath the rubble in my living room.

Summer Frey said...

Good analogy!

That show is disturbing.

Matthew Rush said...

This is so me (with words, not junk). I have gotten way better at letting them go though.

Saumya said...

Ah, I LOVE that show. I did not realize how big of a problem hoarding was and it's a great motivator to clean up. And I love your writing analogy! It is sooo true and I know I've struggled with that.

Meredith said...

Learning to cut was one of the hardest parts of the writing process for me, but I'm so glad I did. I definitely can't be a word hoarder!

Colene Murphy said...

Wow! Really nice tie-in! (I just saw that show this Christmas break!! What a horrible thing!!) I have never been a word hoarder. I always have a pang of regret when I have to let a really good sentence go or something but I always have to tell myself that if I could write it once, I can write it again in a better place that I won't have to cut it from.

Thanks for the link! I really needed it right now!

Patti said...

Great analogy. It took me a while on my first book to be willing to get rid of the excess. Now I'm not as attached.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

This post is fabulous,Tracy! And so true! :-)

Elena Solodow said...

So great!

Justine Dell said...

OMG...I am a writing hoarder. Thank you for putting two and two together for me. Sigh. Now I've got to go do something about it!

In hindesight ... I LOVE that show!


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