Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Find and Replace

Modern writers are lucky. We have techie tools at our disposal, such as Find and Replace. If Jane Austen had originally named her main character Mr. Rogers instead of Mr. Darcy (gasp!), imagine how many feathers and bottles of ink she would have used in revision.

As we leap ahead with first drafts, 7th drafts, synopses, queries, submissions, and *shudder* rejections, we can do a productive Find and Replace of our own. Let us ...

Find fear - replace it with courage
Find impatience - replace it with calm
Find doubt - replace it with confidence
Find envy - replace it with joy
Find competitor - replace it with friend
Find rejection - replace it with acceptance

We writers are lucky to do what we love. Yes, the process can bring us down sometimes, but wow, creating a story from scratch or teaching through nonfiction is a one-of-a-kind feeling.

What stage are you at with your project? And please feel free to add to the Find and Replace list!


  1. Find dejection - replace with cheer!
    Good list, Julie.

  2. Wonderful list and very encouraging. Nice post!

  3. Great reminder, Julie. We have to focus on the positive!

  4. Enjoyed this...something I will think on often.

  5. excellent post, Julie! Thank you! I'm currently dealing w/the impatience and doubt portions of the show.

    breathe... breathe... this is a nice mantra~ :D <3

  6. I love your Find and Replace list! I'm closing in on the last 15,000 words of my first draft of my current novel. I'm right at that Find and Replace stage with my other novel that's on submission though. Find discouragement Replace with Determination!

  7. This was great. Printing out your Find/Replace and putting it on my cork board in front of my laptop...Thanks!
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  8. I'm printing out this fabulous Find and Replace List. :) This is great and just what I needed.

  9. Fantastic post, Julie! I so need to remember this in my own writing. I think I'll have to hang this list somewhere in my writing room like Raquel said!

  10. Find confusion, replace with clarity of mind! Oh how I love this! I'm RTing it right now, and I must NEVER forget it. Because I need to do a lot of finding and replacing to stay happy and productive.

  11. This is such an encouraging list and I really like KarenG's addition of replacing confusion with clarity, I could do with some of that in non-writerly aspects of life!
    - Sophia.

  12. I love your blog; BTW.

    I totally agree, we as writers, are lucky to have technology to help in the writing process.

    Whatever helps cut down on revisions… or complete rewrites, I am interested in using.

    If I had to write with a pen and paper, I wouldn’t be a writer… because no one could read my work.

  13. Technology is a great help! If I had to write on an old fashioned typewriter and revise/type again...I wouldn't even try!

  14. This just makes me smile. I love the idea of finding negatives and replacing them with positives. Very uplifting. :)

  15. Awesome! I love the replace rejection! :)

  16. What a great idea to replace negative words with their antonyms. So often we become jaded when writing or getting rejected. Awesome post!

  17. What a great post (and list)! And so inspirational.


  18. Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing the Find and Replace list. I'll have to make myself a copy of it, to post it where I can see it each day.

  19. Julie,
    great post...find anger, replace with compassion~
    what an important change of mind...

  20. Find vitamin water replace it with zinfandel. Loved this post. I want to be as positive as you are when I grow up, Julie.

  21. Hi Julie .. this is a great thought .. wonderful idea .. and Leslie's comment above - find vitamin water .. replace with Zinfandel - fun! Cheers Hilary

  22. This is JUST perfect. Like a few others, I'm copying it and printing it out for reference. Thanks! And your entire post is beautifully written!

    Since I'm at the end of the road with my memoir (very close to publication now), my years of hard work have been replaced with excitement!
    Ann Best, Author

  23. I love the Find/Replace suggestion: replace competitor with friends. So true in the writerly community. Celebrate ANYone who gets published! It's a hard road, and anyone who writes books supports the publishing industry, which we all depend on.

    My WiP is inching along, and I mean inching. Busy, busy...

  24. I love this post! (Although, you have given me a very odd mental image of Mr Rogers/Darcy sloping around Pemberley in an old cardigan and carrying puppets...)

    Find work and replace it with fun...since that's why I started writing in the first place.

  25. You want to replace Mr. Darcy! That's blasphemy! OK, I admit, I've had a little too much coffee.
    OK, find chaos and replace with peace.

  26. Julie, you have a great way of looking at things. You're awesome. Probably lots of people have told you that today, but add me to the list!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  27. What a wonderful list! I love your positive thinking.

  28. this is brilliant julie, simply brilliant.

    i have used find and replace in longer works, and am so grateful for it. but i would never have thought to use it in the way you propose!! an excellent resolution for 2011!!

  29. What a lovely post! I love reading your blog, Julie.

    I've thought about how lucky I am as a modern writer with technology at my fingertips. No wonder classic writers rambled on and on at the beginning -- they didn't have the luxury of rewriting that we have today. :)

    I love how you brought the whole thought full circle to the writing-life attitude. We do have a lot to be thankful for!


  30. Great post, and one to reflect on often. I'm probably at the impatient stage, since I'm finishing a rewrite and hoping I won't have to do yet another. (But I also don't want to jump the gun and send it out too early.)

    Meanwhile, in addition to find/replace I am also grateful for cut/copy/paste. What a lot of work that has saved me. If I get I'm impatient NOW, I think back to the days of carbon copies and white out and count my writerly blessings!

  31. Hey Julie! I've given you a blogging award, you can check it out here if you want! http://thesouthernscrawl.blogspot.com/2011/01/awards-and-zombicorns.html

  32. Oh, Julie! I am really enjoying your blog (yay for the Crusade!) I love Find and Replace - and I LOVE your spin on it :) I feel so lucky to be able to work electronically, and to be discovering so many amazing bloggers!


  33. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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