Sitting at my computer, I stare at the screen with little anticipation, breathing as though each sigh robs me of my train of thought as I wait for inspiration to strike and guide my next words.
There is an ongoing debate in the literary world regarding the use (or overuse) of adverbs in writing. While adverbs certainly have their place in the literary world, relying too much on adverbs to convey a thought can leave your work a little lackluster in the end. The above examples both convey the same idea (author experiencing writer’s block) but I think we can all agree that the second sentence is far more engaging to read. Why? Because it SHOWS (versus tells) the reader what the character is thinking/feeling.
Good writing draws the reader in, makes him or her experience the moment with the character. The more enticing the writing is, the stronger the connection between the reader and the story can be.
That’s not to say that you, as a writer, should avoid adverbs altogether, but you should certainly be aware of how often you do use them, as, again, too many can take away from the potential of your storytelling.
If you find that you use adverbs a lot, that’s OK - keep writing! Don’t let your flow be hindered by word choice; but when you go back over the pages you wrote, challenge yourself to find other ways to phrase your sentences to omit some of the adverbs and engage the reader with more active descriptions.
In time, it will start to become more natural for you to move away from using so many adverbs and can broaden your literary horizons.