Friday Speak Out: The Seven Deadly Sins of Writing, Guest Post by Brenda Moguez

Friday, August 09, 2013
The Seven Deadly Sins of Writing

1) Anger

A writer shall not get angry when

a. The words don’t fit together like a 1000 word puzzle.
b. The words fit perfectly but the Editor says, “Not for us, thanks.”
c. When the reader reads meanings into the words the writer had not intended.
d. When the voice in the writer’s head is negative.

2) Envy

A writer shall not wear envy in her soul

a. When a writing peer has successes.
b. When the character’s bliss, happiness, riches, lovers, gifts of prose, are greater than the writer’s own life – don’t kill ‘em off.

3) Gluttony

A writer will not over indulge (step away from the chocolate kisses, hearty Merlot, credit card purchases)

a. When the words do not fit together like a 1000 word puzzle.
b. When the words are stuck.
c. When story sails in with a dream and out with the sunrise.

4) Greed

A writer will not hunger, yearn, crave, or covet …

a. For what a writing peer has earned through merit, hours burned and invested, effort, sacrifice, or raw talent.
b. Want without a willingness to sacrifice or working hard (broadly covers looking for the easy road).
c. Take without a willingness to give up or pay forward.

5) Pride

A writer will stand tall

a. She will accept help when needed and offered.
b. Be willing to make changes.
c. Remind oneself that every writer faces the same stage fright at the start of a new story: what if I run out of story ideas or my words are flat on the page.
d. Always have humility when Oprah calls, the book reaches the best seller list, the book-movie deal inks a seven figure deal.

6. Sloth

Do not give way to the sultry languor that steals over the writer in you

a. A writer will not watch reruns of Law and Order (or Dancing with the Stars) all weekend long and later complain he/she doesn’t have enough time to finish the WIP.
b. A writer will not be dispassionate about the words. She will cut ten percent off the final draft, remove excess adverbs, delete ‘that’s’, eradicate to be verbs, and above all, remove concepts or favorite lines (some ideas don’t belong in a WIP and should be saved for a future WIP).
c. Setting a deadline and not meeting it, again and again, and again (commit and respect yourself).

7. Lust

A writer’s lust  

a. If you must, lust for a perfect opening line, in lieu of it coming out right the first time be willing to write and rewrite, even if it takes a hundred tries.
b. If you must, lust for more time to read, write, edit, create
c. If you must, lust for you voice to sing upon the page.
d. If you must, lust for the strength to endure the long, long, road ahead. Regardless of where the writer is on his/her writing journey the road is fraught with potholes and never ending challenges. The writer must keep fear and uncertainty at day.

* * *
Brenda Moguez lives in San Francisco. She writes fiction with quirky, strong women, with non-formulaic endings because life isn’t always perfect. She writes by the light of the moon and between conference calls. She has aspirations for a fully staffed villa in Barcelona and funding aplenty for a room of her own. She’s currently riding the agent query coaster and writing a third book. When she’s not working on a story, she writes love letters to the universe, dead poets, and Mae West. You can find her at and, where she explores passionate pursuits in all its forms.

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



Unknown said...

I love this reminder to keep your writing in perspective. I'm sharing this with my fellow food bloggers and blog community. Thanks, Brenda!

Margo Dill said...

You have written a very clever and important post here. Nice job. These are something that we should all remember as writers (and probably as human beings, too!). :)

Marcia Peterson said...

This is a clever way to write about some great advice. I'm sure we can all pick out a few motivators!

brenda said...

So glad you enjoyed. As writers we can often get tangled in our own knickers. Perspective is key. ( I remind myself of this all the time.)

Unknown said...

Such great "sins" of self to remember. Thanks for sharing. It is so easy to lose site of the calling and get caught up in the trappings and wrappings.

Angela Mackintosh said...

These are fantastic! Brenda, you certainly highlighted many of the challenges writers face. Thank you. :)

BECKY said...

Ditto -- I agree on all of the above!

I love this line: "As writers we can often get tangled in our own knickers."

Is that like getting your panties in a wad?! :)

brenda said...

It is the same thing, Becky.

We writers can be our worse enemies, which should be the case since we are having to deal with agents and editors. Thanks all for you comments. It's always good to meet to writers and share war stories and tips.

LuAnn Schindler said...

Good advice that everyone should follow!

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