Despite my preferred username and love of writing, I’m not the greatest writer in the land. In fact, there are a lot of things that make me a horrible, no-good, very bad writer. Let’s look at a few of these.
1. It took eight years and nine novels to write something that I wanted to edit right away. I’ve thrown a lot of crap on the paper during that time, and I have no plans to look at most of it again.
2. I can’t finish a work of fiction outside of a timed writing challenge to save my life. Even within these challenges, if it’s not NaNoWriMo or Script Frenzy, I still have a tough time, as NaNoWriYe 2003 and 2004 have shown. I still have stories on my hard drives ready to finish and be edited, but for some reason they remain untouched.
3. I can’t motivate myself to finish writing or editing once the original fire has gone out. Something out there has to be motivating me to write an original work, and the promise of just getting a story out, no matter how much I love it, is little motivation.
4. Editing is the bane of my existence. It was the most dreaded part of the nonfiction course I took, and while I haven’t done much actual editing this month, instead concentrating on rewriting, knowing that I will be editing the no
5. My writing arsenal isn’t that big. I know the rules of grammar. I have a decent grasp of the English language. What I don’t have is an exceptional ability to put all those together in beautiful prose that everyone around me seems to possess.
6. My vocabulary isn’t as big as it should be. The biggest and fanciest word isn’t always the best, but sometimes the most obvious word isn’t the most precise one. The best way to find the most precise word is to gain a bigger vocabulary.
7. I don’t read as much as I should. These days I haven’t been reading much at all thanks to editing taking up all my time. Next month it will be Script Frenzy, and after that I’ll be editing again. This is bad for a lot of reasons: I enjoy reading, reading is the best way to see what I like and dislike in writing as well as seeing what makes for good and bad writing, and of course, reading is the most fun improver of vocabulary that doesn’t have profanity all over it.
8. Most people haven’t even read what I’ve written. This is only because I’m a crazy perfectionist who requires that everything be perfect before it’s sent their way and is afraid that no matter how many improvements I make to the story, the premise is still going to be terrible. If your premise is bad, there’s little hope for you.
9. I am really short-winded. Most of you won’t believe this, especially if you’ve done multiple NaNoWriMos with me, but it’s true. I don’t pepper stuff up that much, but when I do, it gets cut in the end to reveal a skeleton. This also applies in my non-writing life. If I’m going to say something, I say what needs to be said and leave it at that. Why waste more words saying the same thing? As a result I look like a poor communicator, but I’m not (I hope not, anyway). I just get to the point quickly and let everyone else ramble.
Don’t worry. Despite all these internal bashings at my writing, I’m not all that bad. We’ll look at some of my redeeming points tomorrow.