As a followup to yesterday’s post, here are some reasons I’m a good writer after all.
1. I write. A writer has to do only one thing in order to be called a writer: write. They don’t have to write in just one genre, but Twitter alone is not writing. I write in two online journals, a paper journal, and various works of fiction.
2. I’m consistent. This picture should give you a good idea.
That picture was taken in January 2007, and every journal I’ve written in between September 1998 and January 2007 is in that picture. Even though online journaling and college have slowed down my paper journaling, my extra writing has made up for it. Taking a similar picture now would add nearly twenty journals. In fact, my half life anniversary (in which I will have kept a paper journal for half my life) is coming up this May. That’s a long time.
3. I enjoy writing. Writing is part of my life blood, what I was born to do. Writing clears the thoughts out of my head and keeps me at a reasonable level of sane.
4. I carry a notebook and pen everywhere. You never know when an idea will come, so I keep a small notebook in my purse all the time when my regular journal would just look awkward. Even if the regular journal does look awkward, I usually carry it with me anyway. This way I’m ready to scribble down an idea the minute it hits me.
5. I keep my old ideas. Sometimes the idea that sounds great at the time sounds terrible a year later but sparks a completely different story when you reread it when you come across it yet again. I usually archive mine digitally or in my paper journals, where I’m bound to come across them during the most random situations.
6. I recognize that a first draft is in fact a first draft. It’s going to be imperfect. It’s going to have holes and rough spots and contradictions in the same scene. (No, really. This happened once in the novel I’m editing now.) I embrace the crap and worry about its imperfections later, not while I’m writing it.
7. Remember that grasp of the English language I mentioned yesterday? My knowledge of English grammar makes most pedants cry. I am also pro-subjunctive. That is all you need to know here. Don’t worry; I’m not perfect in these matters. There are still many areas in which I need to improve. (Tip: Ending a sentence with a preposition is, contrary to popular belief, not incorrect. This myth comes from the attempts to Latinize English. Latin and English treat prepositions differently, particularly prepositions in verbs.)
8. I let my writing go where it wants to go. Robots? No problem. Magic? Sure, go ahead. Sometimes my own brain will surprise me in a pleasant way.
9. I take my writing seriously, but not that seriously. Yes, it is a large part of my life, but I’m not above snarking my own work. It’s a good stress reliever. Try it sometime.
This was harder than I thought it would be. I stopped after seven to eat, then returned and was disappointed to see that the last two didn’t magically appear on the screen. Such is life. They did show up, even if I had to badger them out of my head.
3 replies on “Why I’m a good writer”
I love this post!! An excellent self-reflection! Do you mind if I borrow the exercise and try it myself?
I doubt this is a very original exercise, so go ahead. If you post it somewhere, link it on Twitter when you’re finished so I can read it. 🙂
I may do this on my blog, too! Great idea! And I’m sure my collection of journals would look very similar to yours!