Apr 2, 2012

Is Your Work More Babbling Than Writing?

My Catholic upbringing taught me that the word babble had biblical origins, referencing the Tower of Babel, where men found themselves suddenly speaking in different tongues and not able to communicate with each other.  Researching for this post, however, I was unable to find any reputable source to confirm that.  While the origin of babbling is somewhat of a mystery, it still means much the same as I thought - speaking incoherently, or nonsensical chatter.  Babies babble.

Do you babble when you write?

Writers are often spontaneous, crazed creatures whose thoughts must be captured before they vanish, so what often first appears will make little sense to other than the owner of those thoughts.  It's important to get the words out while the muse is still present, but editing with a fresh mind is equally important if any sense is to be made of them by the reader.

If you're such a writer, feverishly dipping your pen or banging the keys to get ideas on paper or screen before they've vanished, make sure to schedule time for a clean edit before being faced with a looming deadline.  If you're too close to the piece, enlist a fellow writer to give it the once-over before submitting for publication.  Once your words are out there they can never be fully retrieved, so taking the time now to clean them up is far better than being forever thought of as a babbling idiot.


  1. Since when is the Bible not a reputable source? Nice post though.

    1. Where does it say that? (confuzzled look)

  2. I don't babble quite as much as I used to. I have learned to filter out the useless stuff for the most part. I think lol. :D

  3. I often get thoughts for lines etc in my head and have to write them down, but when I re-read them later, sometimes, I really don't get what I was trying to say! :)

    Universal Gibberish

  4. Good point. I do a lot of babbling myself.

  5. I definitely babble while creating. In fact, I write about that tomorrow in my post about the creative process.

  6. Such a great addition to the A-Z challenge! I completely agree with the issue of babbling versus writing. I'm an excellent storyteller but not such a good writer. I have amazing ideas for stories, but when I try to put the ideas on paper the style is too stilted to make an impact.

    I've long resigned myself to giving these amazing ideas away to friends who are much more talented with fictional written words. And I realized recently that my blog is an excellent way for me to express myself and tell my stories. I'm a much better blogger than I am a fiction writer, and I think it's because a blog is much more like a story told out loud, than a novel in progress.

    In any case, what you said could not be more true. One of my real-life friends who writes on a blog, does not really edit her words. She has an amazing life, and wonderful stories to tell, but since they're not edited properly it's hard for those stories to shine.

    I don't claim to be a perfect writer, but I do choose my words carefully and edit just about everything under the sun. My posts take a long time to put together, but I know that when they are up on the blog they are EXACTLY how I want them to look.

    Thanks for sharing this post with all of us <3

    *~* Julia *~* http://beautifullywhimsical.blogspot.com *~*

  7. I loved the topic. Delving into the etymology of words is a fun past time of mine, when I am not working on other things. Phrases can be fun too!

    Thank you for an enjoyable read on my A-Z ventures.
    A-Z Haiku

  8. Big babbler here, when I'm starting!

    Happy Monday!

    My A-Z

  9. Great advice. It's easy to blog ourselves into blah-blah-blah!
    Write on!

    Popping in as an A to Z Blogging Challenge participant. Please feel free to visit and comment on any of my blogs as well, leaving a link to your own post, so my readers can find you too!

    All on Blogspot.com and all in the A to Z Challenge

    Heart of a Ready Writer – Bible &Devotional
    Meme Express – Daily Blog Prompts (A to Z)
    Nickers and Ink – featuring favorite classic poems from A to Z
    Practically at Home – Wait till you see what fellow writers are cited – with article links! Maybe you!
    Simply Snickers – Not posting daily in the A to Z Challenge, but inviting you to leave comments with you A to Z/NaPoWriMo poetry links!
    The Mane Point – profiling special horses from A to Z (just a few letter spots left!) –
    Working in Words – Writing How-to’s

    You can click my name/icon for links to all these blogs!
    Happy A-to-Z-ing!
    Linda Ann

  10. Ooh, I'm a babbler...even though I go back and edit my work, taking a lot of the babbling away, I still think I leave some in there way too often...great post!

  11. I still babble sometimes if I'm up writing much too late. That's why I take time out to skim over my work before I publish it. I've had some pretty hilarious mistakes over the years, including song lyrics (of songs I was listening to while writing) inside my content!

  12. I can't get "babbling brook" out of my head now. When we were naming our children and Brooke came up, my husband always said, "We've got enough talkative females (I have seven daughters) without dooming another one to a life of babbling nonsense."

    Such a man.

    I agree on the writing. I babble when I write. I usually know it and my manuscripts are riddled with notes to myself in parentheses. They usually look something like:

    (FIX IT!!!)
    (REALLY? She thinks that being mean is mean? Astounding)

    and then I keep writing. I'll fix it later.

  13. Yes, I tend to babble when I write and hoping this A to Z Challenge will help with that :)

  14. What a fun "B" post for the challenge! Yes, I babble. Then, I edit. A lot. I think it's the nature of writing from your emotions and knowledge. I just try to get it all out, then fine tune the best parts! Have a great day! ~ Angela, Whole Foods Living, http://www.wholefoodsliving.blogspot.com/

  15. I have the same Biblical connotation for the word and yes, often when I return to a piece I find it lacks a certain coherancy that makes it publishable until I edit. Great post.