Write Positively Most of the Time

It’s been said we hear “no” more than “yes” in our formative years. Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to think negatively. But, if you want people to respond well to your writing, you’ll want to consider writing positively most of the time.

People respond to what they read, and it’s your job as an author to offer the right clues to help your reader get the intent of your writing.

Consider the  golfer facing a water hazard on the right who thinks I’m not going to hit the water. I’m not going to hit the water. And immediately swings the club and drives the ball straight into the water. Think (see/imagine) water, hit water. So it is with your reader.

If you write, “There was no noise coming from the house,” your reader will hear noise coming from the house. If you write, “The house stood silent,” your reader will relate to the silence.

The first example in the paragraph above involves writing negatively (no noise), while the second example is positive (silent) or at least neutral.

When you write about what happened and who was involved, you’re giving the reader information. When you give that information negatively, your reader feels it negatively.

Here are some more examples of how you can change negative writing to positive.

  • The door was not closed. VERSUS The door was open.
  • Sue’s effort to win the lottery was not successful. VERSUS Sue’s effort to win the lottery failed.
  • Her neighbors were not sober at the barbeque. VERSUS Her neighbors were drunk at the barbeque.

Is it ever okay to write negatively? Absolutely, yes! For example, it’s better to write, “Our son isn’t home,” than it is to write, “Our son is out” if you want to emphasize the son is not home.

As author, you get to decide what images or feelings you offer your reader. Writing something positively is a better choice most of the time, but it depends on what you want your reader to see or feel.

Happy writing!

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5 Responses to “Write Positively Most of the Time”


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