Lisa Kenney has a great meme today about what are her five writing strengths. Unfortunately she then tagged me for it and I found myself at a loss. I really don't know if I could come up with five things that I would consider a strength in my writing. Why? Because I don't think I've been proven on any of it yet.
If you were to ask me what were my five strengths as a lawyer I could answer quickly and surely. I am an excellent legal draftsman (if you need a contract, I'm your man, er - you know what I mean), I am an excellent negotiater, I am extremely no nonsense, I can be intimidating (important in certain situations), and I can be quite compassionate (important in others). And I know these are my strengths from all my years of working and peformance reviews and promotions, etc. But creative writing? I honestly don't know that I can answer this. How can I with no publication credits to my name yet?
Maybe this is where my analytical, black and white mind fails me. Where I feel it would be somehow wrong to list strengths when they have not been proven to me as such. This is not some form of humble pie, cause humble isn't really in my vocabulary. Just how my weird brain thinks on things.
So what can I say that has been proven to my satisfaction? This is what I came up with.
1. I have very thick skin. Not only is thick skin essential for surviving as a writer, but it is proven to repel wrinkles and stretch marks.
2. I am a meticulous researcher. If I have a character chewing gum, rest assured that I would have researched the exact type of gum, from flavor to appearance and who made them at what period of time, and the exact composition of the gum including what particular sapodilla tree in Central America the latex sap came from. No one scratches their ass or picks their nose in my WIP without me researching it first. I take my ass scratching very seriously.
3. I learn more about my craft from reading others all the time. Lisa said this too and I completely agree. How can you write if you don't read? I say this to my students who are afraid of writing. For them, since they are writing academic papers, I always remind them to read the paper or news magazines and journals every day so that their writing will improve. Right now, I think alot of them only read the National Enquirer or nothing at all, if their papers are any indication of their reading.
4. I enjoy editing. I really do. I love tightening and tightening and tightening - sort of like a plastic surgeon on Joan Rivers face...
5. I enjoy writing. This is clearly a proven strength for a writer, right? I mean I'm not saying I do it well, I'm just saying I enjoy it. Love it actually. Writing feels good even during the times when it can be incredibly hard and frustrating. When all you have is one sentence out of hours of writing. It still feels great. And that's all I have to say about that.
To tag or not to tag, that is the question. Last time I did a blanket tag, not many played and I was deemed a spoilsport by some. But I like being a spoilsport so I think I shall blanket you all again! And as always, play if you want to or if you are like Charles at Razored Zen, you can always wear your "repel all tags" cloak. I hear it is pretty effective.