Pressing the Pedal Got Us Just About Nothing…

How was your weekend? Mine was wild. Absolutely. And the days after that too, which led to this title, and what-have-ya.

Let’s start at the start and get to it…

The weekly shopping trip went great. Got papers (and therefore crosswords and comics–yay) and went about the rest of it. Until we turned a corner…

And the truck wouldn’t go. And then it did go, and then it didn’t. Man…Almost like the thing was in neutral. The engine made a lot of noise, and then did nothing else.

We ended up calling my aunt to pick us up, and then calling for a tow (which was kinda routine–happened a couple times over the past 6 months or so, with Mom and me getting stranded).

While we were waiting for that, my aunt and I went to go gas up her car. There was a warning in the bathroom of the gas station we went to about the Illinois Department of Health saying the water there had coliform bacteria in it, and drinking it could make you sick like nobody’s business. I don’t know much about that, but I do know I’m not used to being warned when I was my hands (it’s only happened once before).

I was glad that we hadn’t stalled in the middle of an intersection or something bad like that. All of this meant we had to go about getting something else, and we did.

My point, here?

Sometimes you have to throw things out and start over.

Does that apply to writing–whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, what-have-ya? Sure. I don’t mean that literally, of course. I don’t delete things outright if I’ve come up with them–I just glare at them, roll my eyes, and try to fix them or ignore them later.

I have notebooks that I write ideas in. Or NOTES LIKE THIS at the end of a manuscript if I don’t know exactly where I want to go with it. I’ve also done that in certain spots in other places in a story too. Something like “HOW DOES HE KNOW SHE THINKS HE’S AN IDIOT?” or “WHAT DOES THE SCAR MEAN?” Just something to prompt what I want to get across–like shorthand.

With copywriting this is even easier, especially if you’re working on things like subject lines or headlines. They can be morphed, interchanged to come up with new stuff, and more. Calls to action can also be interchanged or tweaked, depending on the product or service you’re doing (generally those are pretty standard, though).

Sometimes the signal that you need to pack up all of part of what you’re writing won’t be as strong as getting stranded on the side of the road. Maybe it’s just a feeling of something not working right, a character not having oomph, the plot making a metallic clang instead of a hum, or what-have-ya.

But there are things you can and should do to make sure nothing that you write is completely lost forever–even trash like Charlie Russell.

Until next time,



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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