This is the beauty and the horror of being a writer — or trying to be anything, really: You can feel important or unimportant. No one cares. No one is watching. You can have fun or you can suffer. No one is grading you. No one is invested. You can proclaim yourself ahead of schedule, or you can spend your whole life telling yourself that you’re running behind. No one is there to measure. You can suspect that you’re insecure and outdated, long-winded and short-sighted, high-strung and lowbrow. Or you can conclude that you’re charismatic, a teensy bit talented, never boring, and reasonably worthy. You have choices. You are the decider. Because the truth is, no one else gives a flying fuck.I Can’t Stop Comparing Myself To More Successful Writers! – Heather Havrilesky, The Cut.
When I was head of editorial at lastminute.com, I added a banned words list to the website and blog writing guidelines. Because when you describe every destination in the world as ‘unique’ and ‘off the beaten track’, you’re not really describing anything at all.
So I was pretty pleased to see someone tweeting an excerpt from the Guardian’s style guide, where they’ve got a similarly no-bullshit approach to the word ‘iconic’.
…and please can someone tell them to stop?