“Just”… No

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During my two month mentorship with Martha Brockenbrough, author of The Game of Love and Death. Martha highlighted a writing tick that I didn’t realize I had…

The tick was using just in my writing—a lot. Like fifteen times in twenty pages a lot. It was my writing crutch and I hadn’t even realized it (how embarrassing). But, once my eyes were opened to it—Oh goodness, did I see it.

For example, the below snippets were taken from the pages Martha Brockenbrough reviewed:

Just please protect her…

just make sure you look after yourself…

…I just wanted to be…

Can you see how just is not necessary?

It doesn’t enhance the sentence, it just sits there like an inedible garnish on a dish—Yuck!

As you don’t need that inedible garnish on your tasty plate, get that word off your compelling page…

Please protect her…

…make sure you look after yourself…

…I wanted to be…

See? So much better once the crutch word has been vanquished from the sentence, don’t you agree?

If just isn’t your crutch word—you’re not off the hook yet! There are other adverbs that can weaken a writer’s writing.

Below is a list of the most over-used adverbs. Do you overuse any of them? (Be honest…)

  • Just
  • Very
  • So
  • Kind of
  • Really
  • Totally
  • Actually
  • Seems
  • Suddenly
  • Probably
  • Could have
  • Hopefully
  • Perfect
  • Viciously
  • Usually

If you use a crutch word, don’t fret! Thanks to Control+F, you can easily track those adverbs down after you finish writing and replace them. Easy fix!

Last Piece of Advice: Don’t settle for an adverb modifying a weaker verb, when you can use a great verb. Your writing—and readers—will thank you!

Keep on writing!

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