Facebook

04 January 2017

Who Stole My Delete Button? | IWSG




The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there is a question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

This month's question prompt is:


"What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?"

Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. If you want to know how I answered the question, have a read below.

****



After typing away on my laptop for an hour, I sat back, took a sip of coffee and checked my word count. "1,892 words. That's not too shabby," I said to myself smugly.

I read through what I had written. Then I got depressed. It was terrible. It wasn't writing. It was just a lot of typing. "Time to delete and start over," I muttered.

I highlighted everything and went to press the delete key. Except there was one major problem - my delete key had disappeared.

"Scott, Scott, come here!" I screamed as I looked frantically around for the missing key.

A few minutes later, Scott sauntered in munching on a chocolate chip cookie. "You bellowed, my little dumpling?" he said.

"Somebody stole the delete key off of my laptop!"

Scott peered over my shoulder, dropping cookie crumbs on what was left of my keyboard. "Hmm. Isn't that interesting," he said nonchalantly.

"Interesting? That isn't the word I'd use for it," I spluttered. "It's theft! Someone must have swiped it in the middle of the night. Quick, call the police!"

Scott chuckled. "Oh, my little silly bunny, a missing delete key isn't a police matter. Besides, what's the big deal? It's just one key."

"Just one key?! What's wrong with you?" I snapped. "Look at what I just wrote. 1,892 words of rubbish. I need to delete them and start over!"

"Now, now, don't panic, my pretty petunia. Don't you remember that new writing rule you're trying to follow? When you're working on your first draft, you're supposed to just sit down and write whatever comes into your head. It doesn't matter what you write, as long as you're writing."

"What kind of stupid rule is that?" I asked. "Just look at what I wrote. It's awful."

Scott sat down next to me and put his arm around my shoulder as he ate the last bite of his cookie. "It's not a stupid rule. Besides, you were so excited when you read it on one of those writing Facebook groups you're always looking at. You said it was going to transform your creative process."

"The only thing creative about what I just wrote is my use of definite articles." I sighed as I stared at my laptop. "Can I have one of those cookies. I sure could use one."

"Sorry. I ate the last one," Scott said without even the slightest hint of remorse. He pointed at the screen. "You're right. You do have a way with definite articles. That's a very clever use of the word 'the' right there."

"You're just trying to change the subject and make me forget about the fact that you ate the last cookie."

"Of course not, my sweet snickerdoodle," he said. "You're imagining things. Now, why don't I let you get back to your writing. Just go with the flow and don't worry about that delete key."

As he turned to leave, I noticed he was holding something in his hand. "Hey, wait a minute. What do you have there?"

"This?" he said as he shoved an object that looked suspiciously like a computer key into his pocket. "That's nothing."

"It was you! You stole my delete key!" I glared at him. "Not only did you eat the last cookie but you're the reason why I can't delete anything!"

"I'm just trying to be a supportive husband. Didn't you tell me you wanted to lose a few pounds? I saved you from the temptation of the cookies."

Okay, he kind of had a point when it came to my diet. "But what about the delete key? Stealing from someone isn't what I would call supportive."

"I'm your number one fan when it comes to your writing, you know that my little cherub. Stealing your delete key is my way of showing you how much I support you getting your first draft down on paper."

"Okay, fine," I said. "I'll keep writing without deleting. But it's still a stupid rule."

"Tell you what," Scott said as he pulled the delete key out of his pocket. "Once you finish your first draft, I'll give this back to you along with a chocolate chip cookie. Deal?"

"Okay, it's a deal," I agreed reluctantly. "As long as it's a really big cookie with extra chocolate chips."


What rule do you wish you'd never heard? Do you think rules are meant to be broken?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!

88 comments:

  1. Scott has a nice line in endearments - ok, I bet you made them up! I like snickerdoodle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's never called me a snickerdoodle before, although he might start doing it now :-)

      Delete
  2. Oh. My. Gawd. This has got to be one of the most entertaining posts I've read in a while! Thank you for the giggle. I'm a lot better than I used to be getting through a first draft without the itch to CONSTANTLY go over it.

    Happy New Year to you and yours, and may 2017 be a stellar year! Thanks for the visit and comment on my blog, 'little dumpling'. :) Eva, IWSG co-host #60

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much - I'm glad you enjoyed it, my little snickerdoodle :-)

      Delete
  3. Many of my writing buddies write first drafts like that. It's true that the real writing is in the revising, and you can't revise anything if you didn't write anything. (I can't work like that - I edit as I go and never move on until I'm at least satisfied with what I wrote, if not happy. The happiness only comes after the 4th or 5th full revision.) Now you've got me wanting a choc-chip cookie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Things have started to work better for me since I stopped revising as I went thanks to NaNo, but it's not easy to just move on and not want to reread and rewrite everything.

      Delete
  4. Oh wow! Hilarious and creative! I am also very hungry for a cookie. Lol. I think not having the delete button would seriously stress me out but I am happy you both worked it out. It sounds like you are learning something new too. I wish you much luck and I hope you finish it, get it polished up and it reads exactly as You hope. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm almost at the finish line with this draft, just a couple more chapters to go and then I can start to use my delete button again :-)

      Delete
  5. LOL! Annoying, but he really was doing you a favor. Just keep writing. You have no choice now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I couldn't live without my delete button!! Even on the first draft. UGh:) How fun! Now I want a cookie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been tough trying not to delete, but it's working better than my earlier approaches.

      Delete
  7. This is exactly why I prefer the backspace key! ;-)

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Duh! The backspace key - I could have used that!

      Delete
  8. LOL! This is adorable! And I totally understand your connection to your delete button. I've just started a series of Stream of Consciousness writing practices. The point is to just write for 20 minutes without editing at all. BOY is that hard! I found myself yesterday trying to put in extra punctuation because I felt guilty for leaving out periods. But I'm reminding myself, this is just an exercise to GET THOSE IDEAS OUT!! And those first drafts? Same idea.

    Congratulations on your spot in the Anthology! I look forward to reading your story :)

    Cheers and Happy New Year!
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on your overall win - can't wait to read your story either. I'm very intrigued by the title of it.

      Delete
  9. Funny! Watch out, he might steal your Backspace button next.
    You just have no luck with cookies, do you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really need to do a better job of guarding my supply of cookies. Someone is always eating them.

      Delete
  10. Great story!
    Congratulations on winning a place in the IWSG Anthology!
    Happy 2017!
    Yeah, that delete key or cookies - both have to go from my life too! Damn! Raison Oatmeal are my favorite! Hubbies too! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Yolanda! Raisin oatmeal are an excellent cookie choice too :-)

      Delete
  11. LOL I love your little stories! Also CONGRATULATIONS on getting in the anthology, that's awesome!

    Btw, 'that's not writing, that's typing' was a jab that Truman Capote threw at Kerouac. He thought his insane style of prose was just drug-fueled nonsense. I love it when writers get catty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read about the backstory when I found that quote - it was fascinating! Kind of like something you'd see on a reality show.

      Delete
  12. Love this! I can't help but to edit as I go with my first draft. I have to!

    Congratulations on placing in the anthology!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much to you for the work you put into the anthology :-) I'm really excited to be a part of it.

      Delete
  13. He ate your last cookie! That's blasphemy! I edit as I write. Which is strangely forgotten when someone asks me how many drafts I write. I say 5 but in reality it's more like 22. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's beyond blasphemy. I'm still trying to figure out the appropriate punishment :-)

      Delete
  14. Hee hee! I let myself do a little editing on the last few pages from the previous writing session before starting the next. Not too much, just enough to let myself get back into the rhythm of things.

    Giant chocolate chip cookies for all! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's an interesting approach. I reread the last few pages before I start in again, maybe I could let myself do a little editing too.

      Delete
  15. Congratulations of the anthology win, Ellen!! I really want to read your story. May this be the start of a great 2017 for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still in shock that I got picked, especially when I see people's names like yours on the list. I can't wait to read your story too!

      Delete
  16. OK, you totally tricked me into reading a story. Well done. And so true that we're quick to delete when we need to move forward.

    My IWSG post this month is about how to set realistic writing goals. The post is here on my StephanieScott website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could use help setting realistic writing goals so I'll definitely be checking out your post.

      Delete
  17. Rules are meant to be altered to fit the situation. Life is not black and white. There are many areas that the rules don't quite fit.

    I love what you wrote. You and Scott did a fine job right along with that chocolate chip cookie.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true - rules are meant to be altered, if not broken in some cases.

      Delete
  18. hahaha very fun post. Mean Scott for eating all the cookies, but at least you have 2 goals now. One getting your button back and 2, the best one, getting cookies! Who doesn't love cookies? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm suspicious of people who don't love cookies :-)

      Delete
  19. LOL! Supportive indeed! That's hilarious. Here's hoping it works out well...and that no one dies in the process. (Computers included. I'd be banging my head if I were you.) Keep that draft coming!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If he eats anymore of my cookies, there might be trouble :-)

      Delete
  20. As always, a tip top IWSG post. You've hit on a very stupid rule, one I also despise regardless of its benefits. I know if I'd have ignored that "don't delete" thing, I'd still be on chapter one.

    And if you still need treats, I've got piles of Christmas chocolates lying about, waiting to be eaten.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be by shortly to snag some of those Christmas chocolates :-)

      Delete
  21. Hahahaha! This is awesome.

    I guess I don't delete, but I do take it out and shove it in a different file. But I do it while I write, which breaks the whole "don't edit while you write" rule. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard that approach works really well for people. Glad you enjoyed the post :-)

      Delete
  22. For some reason, I do not believe that this is the way Scott talks! Is this your way of telling him to talk more endearingly, bake some chocolate chip cookies and get you a new computer? :-) Congrats again with writing a winning story for the anthology, Ellen! I love your stories, even the smallest ones!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of these days, we're going to have to meet up so you can check and see if it is how he talks :-)

      I couldn't have won a spot in the anthology without your support and help. Thank you so much!

      Delete
  23. Ellen,
    What an adorable story! I agree some rules are made to be broken. Also, I think sometimes it's much easier to edit while writing than try to do it later, especially continuity issues. Happy 2017 and Happy IWSG Day and thanks for visiting my blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am having a big issue with continuity using this approach which I'm going to have to address during revisions.

      Delete
  24. Sweet story! Sometimes, we need to break the rules, and sometimes it's good to write a lot before editing. :)
    Happy 2017!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I don't usually delete but I do cross out and star things and circle them and put in lots of arrows because my first draft is in a notebook!
    happy new year
    and thanks for stopping by my cradle rock release tour at Ken's place!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow - you write longhand! Very impressive!

      Delete
  26. I think you're actually on to something with this hiding the delete key thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's going to become a trendy new writing rule :-)

      Delete
  27. I want a cookie in the worst way right now, lol! I could also use a delete key thief. Happy New Year to you and I hope you get through that first draft in record time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the problem with some of my blog posts - they make everyone want to eat cookies :-)

      Delete
  28. The rules are definitely made to be broken. If we all followed every single one of them, all our voices would sound the same. Hope you find your delete key.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point Ken - we all need different voices in our writing.

      Delete
  29. Ok, so this is a rule I like, but only if the cookies are sprinkled in along the way. No waiting until the end. I am seriously considering deleting my delete key! Well done - great piece!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots and lots of cookies are required for an effective writing process. That should definitely be one of the fundamental rules :-)

      Delete
  30. SO cute! I do tend to distinguish typing from "real" writing too... but words on a page is what we strive to do, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I'm striving for just now - getting the words out on the page.

      Delete
  31. lol, you would've earned those extra chocolate chips

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots and lots of extra chocolate chips for sure :-)

      Delete
  32. LOL! What a great idea. I kind of want to steal my own delete key ;) I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to getting stuck. I let perfection get in the way of just getting the draft out.
    Nice to meet you!

    Jess
    www.jessicatherrien.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perfectionism is one of my huge problems too :-(

      Delete
  33. I love your posts! And did I spot your name in the anthology winners? Well done! :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hilarious! Thanks for starting my day with a smile. Sorry I missed you yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Karen. Glad I could bring you a smile :-)

      Delete
  35. I loved this post, Ellen! It had me laughing from beginning to end. After reading it, I could see your writing talent. Congratulations on your anthology honor ~ I can't wit to read your story!

    I really struggle with simply hammering through a first draft on my keyboard. I cannot resist the delete button. I remember having to write by hand and on an ancient typewriter with correction tape, and I am entranced with how easily I can revise on computers. I can't fight the urge. I know me. I'm addicted with revising as I write, so I'm going to keep on doing it, and I'll fight off anyone who even looks at my delete key! Happy writing in 2017!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hilarious post...and all without a 'delete' key or a 'cookie'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a challenge to write this post without a delete key or cookies :-)

      Delete
  37. I'm partial to the 'pretty petunia' endearment myself ;)

    ReplyDelete
  38. This was a fun post to read :) That delete key is part of the reason I sometimes draft in handwriting; I like to edit too much as I'm typing.

    Congrats on making it into the anthology!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I can't believe how much deleting I do. If I had to go by this 'no deleting rule' I would never get a post done. I see Scott has brought some British ways into your relationship with his little terms of endearment. Adorable! I do want to hear what he would do with 'Crumpet'. It's my favorite. Clever Crumpet? Curious Crumpet? Calculating Crumpet? It's an excellent word.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crumpet - love it! It's an excellent word and a delicious snack.

      Delete
  40. Ghads! No delete key, and no cookies for consolation. How did you survive, lol?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing that I survived that ordeal :-)

      Delete
  41. This is so funny! Loved it. You got the point across with such delightful humor.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Absolutely hilarious and cute too!
    Thanks for the laughs, Ellen.
    Congrats on making the IWSG anthology.
    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hm, maybe more people would benefit from having someone steal their delete key! The new writing plan.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Ha ha! Fun post and I know what you mean. We almost always say just keep writing but then typing and thoughtfully writing are two different things. Your post very well conveyed this thing.

    ReplyDelete

We'd LOVE to hear from you! If we're out on the water cruising, our internet access will be limited and it may take a while before we're able to respond to your comments and pay a return visit to your blog, but please know that we will once we can get connected.