“What is your greatest weakness as a writer?
What’s your greatest strength?”
Ooh, nice. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this topic before, so this should be a fun post to write. I’ll think I’ll make some lists… because lists are awesome! But I’m going to flip the question around, and discuss my strengths first because then the “weaknesses” section will make more sense.
Engie’s Writing Strengths
1. Finding ideas. I have more ideas – for both stories and blog posts – than I know what to do with! I get at least one new idea, or a neat variation on a previous idea, per DAY. I find my ideas anywhere and everywhere: People, memories, music, stories written by other people. I never have to worry about running out of ideas.
2. Including diverse characters. 2011!Engie was not very good at this – all her characters were cis straight white people. UGHHHHHH SO BORING. But I’m better at writing diversity now. One of the most important developments in my whole remembering-to-write-diversely thing was when I deleted the male love interest from one of my fave stories and replaced him with a girl – until then, I’d been trying to write a guy/girl romance and I got SO BORED and couldn’t figure out why they had literally zero romantic tension in any of their scenes. Now like 98% of my characters are queer women…
Engie’s Writing Weaknesses
1. Actually writing up all those ideas. I HAVE SUCH A PROBLEM WITH THIS. In writer-y corners of the Internet, I’ve often seen some variation of the phrase, “Ideas are easy. Executing those ideas is hard.” And I COMPLETELY agree with it – I have a huuuuge problem when it comes to finishing any of my many, many projects. I become distracted and forget about my latest idea in favor of… another idea! I really need to work on this.
2. Writing good dialogue. I have a tendency to make my characters infodump in conversations. Or they spend pointlessly long periods of time introducing themselves / saying goodbye to each other / et cetera. Or I write fascinating stuff like, “What’s up?” “Nothing much.” GAHHHH.
3. Naming my characters. Oh, eventually I find the perfect names for all my characters. But in the first draft? Things are pretty rough. I have been known to give my characters generic names such as Bob because I just couldn’t think of the right name at the moment, and didn’t want to spend forever thinking of one. (Because then I get distracted, and heaven knows that’s the last thing I need!) So I’m very fond of using “place-holder names,” as I call them.
4. Procrastinating. I spend hours fervently wishing that I were sitting in front of my computer or holding a notebook and pencil in my hands, and then when I actually get a chance to write… I don’t. All of a sudden I remember all the other things I desperately “need” to do, like updating my Facebook status or watching videos of cute puppies and kittens. I’ll have you know that I procrastinated on finishing this blog post by A) watching a video of a bird laughing like a supervillain, B) googling “which Wolverine comics should I begin with,” and C) flailing with Orphu @ A Mirror Made of Words about gay stuff on Agent Carter. I AM THE PROCRASTINATION QUEEN.
5. Not wanting to do research. Not unless it involves watching dorky cat videos, apparently. I haaaaate doing most research, even when it’s for a story idea I particularly love. It just bores me, OK? Sometimes I just make stuff up because I can’t be bothered to check my notes, or even make notes at all, which probably isn’t the best/most ethical writerly decision I’ve ever made. Oops.
Well, there they are: My writing strengths and weaknesses. I’m not proud of having more weaknesses than strengths, but oh well. (I can always try to fix them!) What are your writing strengths and weaknesses? Can you relate to any of my problems and/or successes?
And, most importantly: What do YOU consider my writing strengths and weaknesses? Don’t be shy – I’m curious to see what you think of my writing!
Want to follow our blog chain? Here are the participating parties, day by day:
6th — Ariel Kalati, Writer
8th — Galloping Free
9th — Miriam Joy Writes
10th — The Ramblings of Aravis
13th — Light and Shadows
15th — Musings from Neville’s Navel
16th — The World of the Writer
20th — Introspection Creative
22nd — Spellbound
24th — Unikke Lyfe
27th — Against the Shadows
29th — Teens Can Write, Too (We’ll announce the topic for June’s chain!)