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!
- 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.)
- 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?)