Inside the Writer’s Mind: Letter to Amy

Preliminary notes: This little frivolity is a bit like a scene from a play.  The location is wherever (and whenever) I’m trying to write a letter… no, scratch that… trying to write anything at all.

Green italicized text = the voice of my “inner critic”.

Red italicized text = my thoughts in response.

Bold black text = what I’m struggling to write.

Strikethroughs are deletions.

Oh, and Bingo is my dog.


Dear Amy,

It’s been great chatting with you recently.

Use an exclamation mark to convey more enthusiasm, Paul.

YOU again? Scram! Be gone!

recently. recently!  Bingo and I really enjoyed

“Really” is a superfluous adverb.  Get rid of it.  Remember, Stephen King said “the road to hell is paved with adverbs”.

Right. Whatever!

really enjoyed enjoyed meeting your delightful big doggie, too!  Sorry, I forgot its name so please

Whenever possible, instead of “its” use gender-specific pronouns such as “his” or “her”.  And use a comma instead of a period between “name” and “so please”… tighten it up, Paul, by joining the two sentences.

Damn you! I told you to go away!

Sorry, I forgot its name so please  Sorry, I forgot her name, so please refresh my memory.  Anyways, I just thought you might like to

Replace “like to” with “enjoy”… one less word… remember what Miss Spinster always said in 8th-grade grammar, Paul: less is more!

like to enjoy checking out

Instead of “checking out”, consider using something less idiomatic, such as “reviewing” or “reading”.

Leave already, you hellish beast!

Don’t try to hurt my feelings, Paul; you’ll only hurt yourself.

I don’t need your existentialist bullshit! You’re not as smart as you think you are.

checking out reading

Attaboy, Paul!

Well gee, thanks – at last – now GET… THE… HE’LL OUT!

That’s “get the hell out”, Paul – you’ve got an extra apostrophe in there, a typo.

STOP editing my thoughts… screw you!

my little creative writing blog.

I’m hungry! You down for pizza? Large pepperoni?

Yes, GO! Go anywhere – pizza, Chinese, whatever. Just leave me alone!

Alright – large pepperoni.

(… sound of a door slamming …)

It’s called “Verbalis Neurotica”, “verbalis” being a made-up word meaning “to do with writing”, and “neurotica” being a reference to how many writers – being perfectionists – drive themselves nuts.  I also considered calling it “Verbalis Chaotica”, but it’s kind of fun how “neurotica” rhymes with “erotica”, don’t you think?  😉

(… a few minutes later …)

I’m back!

Oh my God, here we go again.

Anyways, just Google “Verbalis Neurotica” and you’ll find a little clutter of stuff

“Collection of writings” works better than “clutter of stuff”, Paul.

clutter of stuff collection of writings that you might find interesting.

On second thought, “hopefully-interesting writing collection” is tighter… remember Paul, tighter is better!

Dammit, YOUR job was to get the pizza! Let’s talk about the pizza. What kind did you get?

little collection of writings that you might find interesting. hopefully-interesting writing collection.

What’s it to you? I changed my mind about the pizza.

Whatever. Well, go get ME a pizza, then! Anything, any toppings, I don’t care. Knock yourself out.

Paul: avoid excessive use of idiom like “Knock yourself out”.

Gotcha! That’s “idioms”, not “idiom”! You can’t even spell properly, Mr. Know-It-All… now the pot’s calling the kettle black!

“Pot’s calling the kettle black” doesn’t compute… is that another idiom?

Just GO! And don’t hurry back!

Alright Paul… large pepperoni… see you in 20.

(… sound of the door slamming, again …)

Being a creative writer can be lots of fun, Amy, but it can also end up as self-imposed insanity. So, consider yourself warned!  Enjoy your day and hope to see you again.

Best Wishes,


(… tiny voice in the distance …)

That should be “I hope to see you again”. And “Best Wishes” is so common, Paul… can’t you think of anything better?

Dear God, give me strength…


4 thoughts on “Inside the Writer’s Mind: Letter to Amy

  1. Apparently the voices in your head speak a similar language to the voices in mine when I’m writing. The inner critic can be so cruel and brilliant at the same time. Thanks for a peek into your brilliance!


      1. Constantly! Similarly my cooking conversation goes something like….. should I use oregano… no maybe basil would add a cleaner or fresher balance… scratch that, throw in a small stem of thyme. What onion would lend the best flavor? Should I use walla walla, or maybe a shallot? Garlic too? Or just a garlic scape to give a hint of garlic…. If I use a garlic scape should I chop fine or leave long stems? yada yada yada, and all the while scratching out the ingredients that DO end up in a recipe and the amounts, weighing out those that need to be weighed, measuring those that need measuring, etc. I usually end up at the end of the day with a glass of wine to sort everything out. Best solution I can think of. haha.


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