Trust in yourself. Your perceptions are often more accurate than you are willing to believe………….Claudia Black

This quote presented itself to me today at a time when I really needed the reminder. These past few days I’ve been doing some heavy revisions. I’ve been brutal. I’ve had to be. Once I realized what needed to be done I had to trust my instincts, something I didn’t do the first time around. Cutting can so be painful.

There’s something to be said about putting some time and distance from your work. I’ve been away from the particular story for several months. This time when I picked it up it was with a fresh pair of eyes. Thanks to some trusted advise I immediately saw what needed to be done. The strange thing was it was SO obvious. I can’t imagine why I didn’t see it before. It’s hard to watch certain paragraphs and sentences get cut but, if it’s gotta go it’s gotta go. No two ways about it. There’s no sense bellyaching. A writer has to be tough.

Already I can see the story more clearly and I like what I see. I’m following my instincts and it feels pretty good.

So how are you when it comes to trusting your instincts? Do you usually get it right the first time around or does it usually take a couple of tries?

Leave a comment


  1. Jo Ann Yhard

     /  May 14, 2010

    You’re so right, Laura. I find the best thing is to put it aside for a bit, and it’s amazing what you notice after a small break.


    • Absolutely, JoAnn. Taking a break is a smart thing to do. We see our work with a different set of eyes and thankfully, so.


  2. Was it Stephen King or Stephen King quoting someone else who said “Kill your babies”. Sometimes your favourite parts don’t fit the final product. I often find myself “killing my babies” in my journalistic work when my favourite quote or image doesn’t suit the final focus or flow of the piece. It’s hard to do but makes you a better writer!


    • So right. I did take out some favourite parts. I found that once I actually got started it was easier the further I got into the process.

      Thanks for stopping by EK and leaving a comment. 🙂


  3. I seldom get everything right the first time as I’m busy putting my thoughts down rather than thinking about the technical things. A few days later I go over what I’ve written, cut and paste to get a logical order, and take out anything that doesn’t fit. I don’t throw those bits away if they sound interesting, rather I put them onto a separate document to save for the future. Sometimes I can work them in, and sometimes not. Occasionally those ideas spark thoughts for a different story or article.

    My novel is the hardest to edit as I keep coming up with more scenes, leaving gaps to fill or making some stuff irrelevant. I’m rather sick of it at the moment.


    • I’ll giggled at your last sentence because as I was going through the edits for Bitter, Sweet I had that exact feeling. I couldn’t even tell if it was good but since it was being published I had to trust that the editor knew what she was doing. Of course, once the book came out it felt totally different. I loved it! And you’ll feel the same way about yours, too, Carol.


  4. I think I’m getting better at trusting my instincts (and I think my instincts are developing to be more trustworthy!), but time away from a story, especially when it’s fiction, is critical for me. As is not over editing (something my work and I both suffered from in earlier writing days).

    I was so excited to come back to the Internet and find you have so many new, great posts for me to catch up on, Laura. I’ll be back to read the ones I missed soon.

    🙂 Ev


    • It’s not aways easy to trust our instincts and even to figure out what those instincts are actually telling us. Sometimes our brains win out, if you know what I mean. We end up telling ourselves what we think we need to hear.

      Nice to have you come visit anytime, Ev. 🙂



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