his·tri·on·ic

ˌ/histrēˈänik/

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noun

plural noun: histrionics

  1. 1.exaggerated dramatic behavior designed to attract attention.

The broadest brush makes the widest stroke. However if you just go around making broad strokes without a purpose or reason for those strokes, if you’re not well enough informed to have a specific goal, then you’re just going through the motions.

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I’ve painted rooms before. In fact, just about every room in my house has been painted by me, and with a purpose. The bar room is meant to be welcoming and relaxed. The dining room is painted with colors meant to enhance ambiance and engage conversation. I didn’t just randomly pick a color, slap strokes all over the place and then shout out my windows for everyone to come see my masterpiece, “JUST BECAUSE I PAINTED IT YOU MUST COME SEE IT!”

The metaphor here, in case you missed it, is for writing. If you write to complain about something, have a solution at the ready. Otherwise it’s verbal self-gratification.

Here’s an example: The reason I wrote this piece is to hopefully influence writers to propose a solution when they complain about something in general terms, instead of just bitching and using broad terminology to give voice to their histrionics.

My solution: Begin with the end in mind.