Tuesday, March 01, 2016

From "but" to "yet"


At my writing group, we often do an exercise that consists of freewriting for ten minutes using a word or phrase as a prompt. Last time we met, the prompt was the simple word "but." One of the members, Pam, wrote the following; I liked it so much I'm featuring it here as a guest post.

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How many times does the one word "but" stop me from doing something?

I would exercise tonight, but it's too close to when I'll be going to bed.

I would call my friend for coffee, but it's likely too short of notice.

I would go visit my parents, but I wouldn't be able to stay very long.

It would be nice to find another simple word and remember to try adding it on each time the "but" gets in the way.

How about the word "yet"?

I would exercise tonight, but it's too close to when I'll be going to bed ... yet if I cut my routine time in half, I could manage it.

I would call my friend for coffee, but it's likely too short of notice ... yet it doesn't hurt to ask.

I would go visit my parents, but I wouldn't be able to stay very long ... yet a short visit is better than no visit at all.

I hope I will remember to use this word to help me, but old habits are hard to break ... yet I'll never know unless I try.


8 comments:

  1. Short, sweet and very helpful. Thanks Jeannie!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Judy -- yes, I thought Pam came up with something pretty profound in 10 minutes of writing. We can all benefit from this kind of change in our attitude and perspective, I think.

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  2. LOVE this! That "yet" word is what got me to the voting polls at 6:45 pm on Super Tuesday. Almost didn't make it!

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    1. Maybe this post will have a significant effect on the results! :-)

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  3. Thanks for posting this Jeannie. I love our writing exercises and this one resulted in something worth thinking about. We'll have to write about sunsets another day ;)

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    1. Mr. Sun is still bitter. :-)

      And thank YOU for allowing me to post it.

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  4. Pam's shown that the word "yet" comes across as a lot more powerful than the word "but". Her examples get me thinking about where else I might be letting my "but" get in the way of my "yet".

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    1. I thought so too, Tim: "but" shuts things down, whereas "yet" seems to open them up, allowing us to take a new perspective on the situation.

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