Monday, July 15, 2013

Know Your Own Weaknesses

This week's writing goals:

- Write 2 Examiner reviews
- Do another page on Contracted
- Transfer longhand pages into The Other Book (which I did not do last week)
- Start editing The Book as per CP notes

Last week was not the greatest for meeting my writing goals. I did write a whopping 30 pages of Contracted and I resisted editing The Book, but that was it. I left everything else to the last minute -- but when I ended up doing yardwork literally all of Saturday, I couldn't finish them.

The weird thing is, it's a lot harder to write 30 pages of new material than it is to write a couple of 500-word reviews and copy some stuff down that you already wrote. I don't know why I avoid these seemingly simple and quick tasks. I think I assumed they'd be simple, so I left them to the last minute. That's a major flaw I have -- leaving things to the last minute.

"Know thyself" means being able to admit your flaws as well as take pride in your strengths. If you spend all your time playing to your strengths, you will continue to be good at the things you already know you're good at. But what about all those things you're not so good at? If you ignore them, they'll continue to suck.

This comes back to bite me in the butt in the form of critiques. I can't overstate the value of having a beta reader or a critique partner. Alyssa was all like, "this is where it is really vague" and "this is stagnant" and "but why?" and I was all like, "OMG why didn't I notice that?" and "OMG, I did notice that one part, but I was deliberately lazy and ignored it."

I always push myself to improve at things that I'm already good at. If I like a scene that I wrote, I will edit and polish and obsess over that scene. If I don't like a scene, I will do a halfhearted edit or two, tweak some grammar stuff, mess around a bit with description, and move on.

I don't know why. It's not like the scene will get any better on its own. I've been asking myself all the wrong questions. I should be asking, "Why don't I like this part?" and "What about this part don't I like?" And then figuring out how to improve them.

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