Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

What if Iago was a Woman?

For all that I'm a theatre major, I hardly ever talk about acting on this blog. But this project is so cool and fantastic and awesome and wicked that I just have to take a minute and tell you about it. What if Iago was a woman? For those of you who don't know, Iago is a villain in Shakespeare's tragedy Othello. He is considered one of the worst, most evil antagonists in all of Shakespeare.  Plot summary: Othello is a Moor, which in those days referred to someone from Africa. He, a black man, marries Desdemona, a white woman. Society flips its shit, but they can't exactly do anything because he's the General of the Venetian navy and there's a war on. Desdemona, unable to stay with her angry father, goes with Othello to Cyprus, which is in rebellion. A storm sinks the enemy navy and our good guys arrive safely. Iago, though, is not happy. Because Othello passed him over for promotion (and assorted other reasons that all amount to "I just want to fuck sh

Missing people around the holidays

This winter is highly unusual for many of us because of the pandemic. The holidays are often a trauma trigger in any case, beyond the simple stress of preparing the celebrations. For example, some people have bad memories of spending holidays with abusive people, while others have to deal with the grief of experiencing their first holiday without a deceased loved one.  This winter, so many people are spending their holidays sick or without those who have died from COVID-19. One of my friends used to make and boost threads about being kind to yourself around the holidays, geared towards those for whom the season is a grief/trauma anniversary. This year, my grandfather died. Later this year, that friend died. Every time I think of all the people who didn't survive 2020, I think of them and how fucking unfair that feels. In 2020, we weren't able to hold a funeral for my grandfather. The social rituals around death, designed to help us deal with it, have been disrupted. Distance is

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène, a YA Book By A Young Author

Review time! Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow is a young adult novel by a young adult, so I was very interested to read it. There's also a #MuslimShelfSpace tag going around, and this review is a nod to that. The idea is that there's been a lot of stereotypes and anti-Muslim sentiment spread around, so buying and boosting books about and by Muslims can help educate people and break down harmful stereotypes.  The author is French with an Algerian background, and  Guène  wrote Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow when she was in her late teens. Although the novel is not autobiographical, she shares many things with its main character. Doria, like her creator, is the child of immigrants and lives in poor suburban housing projects.   Guène   wrote that she realized girls like herself weren't really represented in books, and felt that Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow was a way to tell the stories of people in the suburbs who are ignored by the elites of French literature. Plot: Life Sucks, Until It Doesn