BLOG CHAIN–I’m Weak and I’m Strong, But I’m Still A Writer


Sandra got to start off the first blog chain of the new year! Her question:

What do you think your strengths and weaknesses as a writer are? Did you have to develop your strengths, or did they come naturally to you? How are you trying to overcome your weaknesses?

Wow, what a question to get me thinking–well done, Sandra!

Strengths:

  • Determined
  • Quick to learn
  • Open to feedback AKA Listening
  • Technically good (like grammar-wise and stuff)
  • Creative (There, I said it. I’m not THE most creative person, but you MUST have SOME creativity to do this stuff, right? Plus, I couldn’t have more weaknesses than strengths, could I? No. So there ya go.)

Weaknesses:

  • Keeping all the details in my head all the time (which means I’m prone to inconsistencies)
  • I can get concrete (meaning that quick to learn thing goes right out the window if I’m stuck, LOL!)
  • PLOT (O. M. G. I totally had to give up pansting and convert to outlining because of it, for realz!)
  • Pacing (I struggle with balancing “down time” with tension…I tend to not have enough down time and then overwhelm the reader with action, go figure!)
  • Stubborn–sometimes i don’t know when to quit or when taking a break would be BENEFICIAL

How developed strengths:

  • Attitude matters; I totally pull skills learned through residency and med school…if you’re not determined in those arenas, then you don’t make it. That’s the way it is.
  • The quick to learn thing…Um, yeah, you gotta be quick on your feet too for residency and med school.
  • The MOST IMPORTANT thing I can do for a patient is to LISTEN to them. Developing hearing ears takes time (years, really). The same applies to writing. It’s hard not to get defensive when someone tells you to change something, but it’s all about perception, not necessarily what you think. So, if a reader says X, there’s probably a reason and what you think takes a back burner. (This is not always the case, but I found it to be true in a majority of instances.)
  • Developing technical skills came from PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!!!
  • I develop creativity through practice as well as reading, paying attention to my environment, and spending ample time in self-reflection.

How to overcome weaknesses:

  • Notes help me keep details straight. My crit partners have great eyes too, thank goodness!
  • If I really get stuck on something, I’ll walk away and let my subconscious (AKA unconscious, yup, that’s the technical term) mind work at it…or I’ll try to approach the problem from a different angle. Again, CP’s come in handy cuz I brainstorm with ’em. 😉
  • I had to relinquish my panster ways and give in to the lure of outlining. This IMMEDIATELY gave me a plot to anchor my manuscripts on.
  • My CP’s help catch pacing errors. I also learned how to balance back story, description, action, inner dialogue, and dialogue to keep things moving. I’m still a Padawan, but I am feeling the pacing force–it’s quite powerful and pervades the entire manuscript.
  • When I start to look at writing as a chore rather than something to be relished and enjoyed, then I know it’s time for a break. And I TAKE it. Whether I like it or not, LOL! (That’s pretty stubborn, right?)

In case you missed Margie’s post yesterday, here is the link. And don’t forget to check out Shaun’s post tomorrow!

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17 comments on “BLOG CHAIN–I’m Weak and I’m Strong, But I’m Still A Writer

  1. Wow, great post. I really like listing the weaknesses and strengths and then the plan to correct the problems.

  2. vtremp says:

    Love your Padawan comment – having watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars over the break with the kids, I actually know what you’re talking about.

    I think knowing our strengths and weaknesses as writers is so important to producing good material.

    Thanks for the post!
    Vicki
    http://www.vbtremper.wordpress.com

  3. Christine Fonseca says:

    Love your response…I think I need to start writing mine now….

    Great plan, Laura! And you are stronger than you realize. Seriously.

  4. Michelle H. says:

    Great answer! Let your creative light saber slash away at all your weaknesses!

  5. Ciara Knight says:

    I’m a huge Star Wars fan. So, love your Padawan comment. 🙂 This is a great list. the funny thing about my Strength and Weakness list. I surprise myself at times where my weak spots are, and sometimes I can’t believe the silly mistake I made when I read back a manuscript. Although, I still work hard on my weaknesses, I also pay close attention to my strengths to make sure I don’t get lazy.
    Side note: My blog moved to http://www.ciaraknight.com. 🙂

  6. […] and weaknesses as a writer? To find out what Amanda said, check out her blog. And hop on over to Laura’s blog to see what she has to say (hers is already up as yours truly is a day late […]

  7. Stephanie McGee says:

    Very interesting post. I haven’t ever spent any time trying to figure out what my strengths/weaknesses might be.

    Definitely lots of things to think about. Thanks for this!

  8. Great post! I’m stubborn too, and sometimes it can be a strength as well as a weakness–at least, I like to think so. 😉

  9. Indigo says:

    Great post!

    Let’s see strengths:
    Descriptive
    Creative
    Great Imagination – not lacking story ideas

    Weakness:
    Confidence
    Procrastinate on writing way too much
    Distracted easily

    This year I’m determined to wield my weaknesses with my strengths to finally put myself out there in the publishing world. (Hugs)Indigo

  10. Charli Mac says:

    Strengths- Emotion and dialogue. I am 6 for 6 making my beta readers laugh and cry. Love when I do that.

    Weakness- Tendency to say the same things 20 different ways. Too many ideas and not enough focus. Worst trait I am a panster. I can’t help it.

  11. I think you’re definitely creative. I also love what you said. Attitude does matter. People who think they’re never going to reach their goals probably won’t.

  12. AWWWWW, you gave up and went to the Light side? Don’t you know the Dark side has cookies? 🙂

    Seriously though, if plotting works better for you, cool. I just can’t do it (at least on any kind of a grand scale). It’s interesting that you chose to list your answer, which is so different from the other entries so far. It’s so cool to see how we all answer these things.

  13. Amie Borst says:

    oh wow! apparently we are VERY similar in our strengths and weaknesses!

  14. Open to feedback is a great strength! That’s a tough one to acquire.

  15. lbdiamond says:

    Thanks, ladies and gents! As always, I appreciate your comments, thoughts, and support!!!!

  16. Love the thoroughness of this post!! Fantastic! Being open to feedback is a great strength to have!

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