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Tip Tuesday #53

I have another great tip from Deren Hansen today.  He blogs at The Laws of Making.  Please give him a visit when you're done here.  He's linked to one of his many great posts below. 

Here's a tip that sound's strange because writing is generally a solitary endeavor, but it helps me when I write:


No, this isn't about having a sunny disposition. It's about productivity. Not only does smiling make me feel better as I weave my words, it also seems as though the words come more easily. Perhaps it's because we associate smiles with confidence or contentment (both of which writers seem to have in short supply) and so our brains tend to follow suit when we change our faces.

Smiling is also about attracting readers: It's the writing equivalent of the fact that the phone company (way back when there was one phone company) trained its operators to smile when they spoke with customers because you really can hear the difference. We talk (often obsess) about Voice. Just like a spoken voice, I think a smile comes through as part of your written voice, particularly in terms of the enthusiasm with which you tell the story.

I won't promise that you'll write faster, but I think smiling will make both the process and the product better.

I have a longer discussion of this notion on my blog as part of a series of posts on how Dale Carnegie's principles apply to modern writers.

What an unusual but awesome tip, Deren.  I'm so glad you shared it!  I know I often emote my writing, especially if the scene is particularly funny or sad, but I'm not sure if that's normal.  I hope so!


Erinn said...

I love this advice. Thanks!


C. N. Nevets said...

Given my style and content, it's better if I cry. YMMV.

Unknown said...

It is amazing what a difference it makes in your entire demeanor when you put a smile on your face. Not the fake one you use for the dry cleaner when he ruined your shirt. The one that comes from inside. I really think there is something chemical that occurs when the corners of your mouth turn up instead of down. Plus, do you want frown lines or laugh lines on your face?

Lisa Galek said...

I prefer to grit and mash my teeth while writing. It’s great because not only does it wear down your enamel and it also gives you a headache :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'll definitely remember this the next time I'm having a bad day writing.

Lisa Nowak said...

Okay, I'll have to try this. It's easy enough to do, and it can't hurt, right?

Angela Ackerman said...

I would have never thought of this, but I gave it a try and it really works to change an attitude toward a difficult task (my case, revision!) Thanks so much for sharing your tip, Deren!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Kelly Polark said...

This blog post seriously made me smile. I couldn't help it.
What simple yet effective advice!

Alleged Author said...

I think all of us get so caught up with word counts and rejections that we forget to smile. We forget to remember that many of us are doing this for fun. What great advice!

Ishta Mercurio said...

Neat tip! I smile a lot - once a guy walking by me on the sidewalk said I just seemed way too happy, and I hadn't even realized I was smiling. I was just enjoying walking with my kids. But I never thought to try doing it while writing. I'm at a really tough spot with one of my manuscripts, so I'm going to try this!