Question of the Week: Strengths and Weaknesses

26 Dec

This week’s Question of the Week comes from Kayleigh, and is, “What are your strengths and weaknesses as writers?”

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My weakness as a writer would be that I lack discipline. By and by, I’ve come to realize the importance of JUST WRITING even when uninspired. If you check out my blog posts you’ll find several rants in which I try to defend the act of waiting for inspiration rather than forcing yourself to write. I do still believe that it’s important to be patient for the right story to strike you. But I now know that during the wait I should still practice writing–like writing random short stories without any outlining. It takes discipline for a semi-perfectionist to force herself to write…even if it’s crap… It takes discipline to be proactive.

My strength would be that I’m a very sensitive person. People say that being sensitive is no good (well, that’s what I hear often). But because I am so sensitive I’m able to feel so easily the emotions of my characters. I’m so sensitive that all the hardship my characters go through become so real to me that I’ll actually cry as I write. Therefore, because I am able to mentally go through the same trials as my characters, they become like living friends to me.–So what others view as a weakness, I view as a God-given gift.

The Writer who Got Two Partial Requests

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I think its really hard to admit your strengths because it is much easier to focus on what’s not going right: weaknesses. My strength is that I can write tragic really, really well. I don’t like to write it because it makes me sad and unhappy, but my best work seems to be really depressing. Perhaps, my strength is writing when I really feel that way. I’m not sure. My weaknesses are that I tend to overanalyze everything and obsess. I tend to think right away that everything I write is horrible and that it should be deleted or erased and never seen by anyone. I then obsess over it for days and mope around. I sometimes wonder if being your worst critic is automatically a writerly weakness or if some writers think their writing rocks all the time. 😉 Happy Holidays, everyone!

~ The Writer Writing Her First Novel

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I think my strengths and weaknesses are tied together a bit. One of my strengths is that I can write really complex, intricate plotlines that all ultimately connect and interweave to create a vivid world. This, however, can turn into my major weakness: super-long word counts. I usually have to struggle to AVOID writing super-long books with 10 different plotlines and 20 characters. Learning to keep my books concise has been an uphill battle, but with each book I’ve written, my word count has gone down. While I might have to cut some plots or characters, learning to be brief has really tightened my writing itself, and resulted in stronger books.

And, to be completely ridiculous and honest, I also have a weakness for writing about blonde-haired, blue-eyed heroines. And I’m a sucker for writing about tall, dark, and handsome love interests.

~The Writer Who’s Waiting on Submissions

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I agree with Rachel that my strengths lie in drama and tragedy. I’ve learned very well how to perform the crescendo of emotional agony and end it in that perfect, musical cadence that lends the chapter or book with a powerful finality. I also think I’m fairly good at coming up with new ways to say mundane or overly used phrases. I’m very mindful of keeping the same words separated as far as possible so the writing doesn’t sound repetitive.

As for weaknesses, I’m great with initial ideas, but bad with details. I can come up with new ideas for books, but books are not based on single great ideas, but rather a lot of little details that make up an entire, complex plot. I also have problems with timing in the story; if I feel like not enough reading time has passed since significant events I write filler, and it’s hard to cut that out because I’m uncomfortable with significant events having close proximity to each other.

~The Other Writer Waiting on Submissions

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Thanks so much for your question Kayleigh! We hope you all had very happy holidays!

If you want to submit a question, please click on the Ask A Question of the Week link above. We mostly go in order, unless it’s an emergency writing situation, and after we answer your question we reply to you with a link to our responses.

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