Tag Archives: discernment vs. judgment

Fact-Track Your Writing: Tricks of Tracking #4


How much do facts matter in your writing genre? When I was very young, I decided I’d write fiction because surely fiction couldn’t need facts the way journalism and nonfiction do, so I could just make everything up. Then I realized that fiction needs facts to ground the reader in the imaginary world. But when […]

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Does Your Saboteur Push You into Writer’s Block?


When I refer to the Saboteur in these posts, I do so with the hope that you’re familiar with the term from one of my classes or reading Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance. But if you aren’t or if it’s been awhile since you were in class or read […]

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Discerning Writer’s Guide to Revision


To revise your writing, of course you must evaluate it. But evaluating is not the same as judging. Judging engages your mental filters and you stop seeing what’s really there. Once you assume something is good, you start seeing all the good things about it. Even neutral aspects will seem positive and negative aspects will […]

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How Do You Revise Without Letting the Saboteur Attack?


Revision requires that we see our writing for what it is: an approximation of our intended meaning and effect. We’re trying to recreate the same ideas and emotions in the reader that we experienced, to induce the same neurological state of consciousness, and we can’t do more than approximate that. The page will never hold […]

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Jettison Judgment and Develop Discernment (to Reduce Writer’s Block)


My second recommendation to Liz’s question about achieving a healthy balance between pride and humility is to jettison judgment and develop discernment. I have a theory that judgment is at the heart of every writer’s block (and most other forms of writing resistance). Usually it’s negative judgment and harsh criticism that creates resistance. But I’ve […]

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