Just The Word

Editing JustJust.

I just wanted a bit.

It just takes a moment.

If he would just hurry up.

It just means…

It would just be setting you up for failure.

My editor suggested that I delete the word ‘just’ as often as I could from my soon-to-be-published novel.  A quick search showed me how often I used the word, and how needlessly. Apparently it is a common writing error. I’m tempted to revisit my older titles to see if I’ve overused it in those stories too, but I won’t. It would ‘just’ depress me. (See? I’m still doing it.)

As I work on my novel-in-progress, I’m hyper aware of that niggling adverb.  I’m striking it from my writing vocabulary. Just wait and see if you can spot a single j word. (oops)

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5 thoughts on “Just The Word

  1. I hear you! I’m “just” glad there’s a “find” command to search out these little thorns in the side. I have this problem “too.” BTW, my overused words are “too” and “also.” 😉

  2. I do this too! I’ve been striking ‘justs’ from my novel in progress recently. Interestingly I recently read an article that suggested that this is an over-used word in business too – by women – and that it makes us come across as less assertive, so I’ve made a conscious effort not to use it at work either 🙂

    • That IS interesting. I wonder why it’s a woman ‘thing’. Some kind of warped apology? Excuse? “I just need to walk the dog.” Instead of “I need to walk the dog.” With the ‘just’ inserted it is a kind of excuse, as if walking the dog shouldn’t be important on its own.

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