Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Great Adverbectomy by Lisa Buffaloe

When I first began writing, I wrote completely without guidance, operating my keyboard without training wheels. After several manuscript rejections, I found much-needed help through a critique group. My first writing mentor addressed a problem. Since I had enough adverbs in my first paragraph to give an editor a heart attack, they were removed. Gasp. Wheeze. Whimper. I loved my adverbs. They were astonishingly, beguilingly, charmingly, alluringly wonderful.

After recovering from shock, I went home and held a small service in their honor. Lovingly, longingly, I took one final look at my Word document before starting my search. Weepingly, I sought for any word ending in the dreaded, tell-tale “ly” and my pages lit up like a Christmas tree. Adverbs were everywhere! No longer did they look as innocent. Goodness they had infiltrated a perfectly, decently written document and created something abnormally, agonizingly, alarmingly irritating. 

My work headed to the verb gym for a total manuscript makeover. Wow, who knew training could create such a lean document. Yes, the great adverbectomy was a touch painful. And although at times I may gaze longingly at my adverb buddies, in reality my manuscripts are better without them.  

In the same way, there are things in our lives that we think are okay, but in reality hinder our growth as Christians. Or perhaps there are things that cause us to stumble and sin. God provides the manual – His Holy Word – to guide us along our path. We don’t get to pick and choose what we think works best; we need to remember God is the creator and He has the final word on how best to live our lives. 

Talk to God and ask Him to show you anything that might be holding you back. And even if it’s a touch painful to remove, God wants to make sure you are the best you. 

Heavenly Father show me anything in my life that is holding me back from being the best me You want me to be.  


Lisa Phillips said...

This post made me chuckle! I remember during my first Christian Writers Guild course, my mentor sending back an edit of one of my scenes. The thing he picked up was participles: "ing" words. saying, "you did it here. And here. And here. And again...."
It's this advice from mentors, critique groups and writing books that makes our voice stronger and clearer.
Praise God for them!

Lisa Buffaloe said...

Thank you, Lisa! Goodness, I am SO grateful for the help I've received (and the help that continues to come alongside my writing journey).