And while hating our manuscript is just one step on the road to greatness, it really is a fine balance between criticizing our manuscript enough to whip it into shape and loving it enough to pick it up every day and keep going with it.
If you subscribe to every writing blog you can get your hands on like I do, you're bombarded with even more things to worry about every day:
How much are you using passive voice?
(Way way way more than I would like to? Right, Chessie?)
Are you sure you're showing and not telling? Everywhere? You sure?
(Oh, geez, let me check...again...)
Is there too much back story? Not enough back story?
(this has kept me up plenty of nights...)
Is your first page punchy enough? Uh huh. What about your first sentence? Your first word?
(Kill. Me. Now.)
How's your voice? Will an agent fall in love with it?
(*puts head in vice on desk installed specifically for this purpose*)
It's really easy to get to the point where you're ready to have a party where all your friends will roast marshmallows over your burning, passive voiced, non-punchy, bland, good-for-nothing manuscript.
Yeah. I was there on Friday, actually.
Then I read this guest article by the lovely Gennifer Albin over at the League of Extraordinary Writers that lifted my heart a little. In case you're too time-stingy to click over there, (yeah, I've been there.) it's about making sure that your villian is not a cardboard cutout. And that she has a backstory, and motives you can sympathize with.
And I realized: Yeah, I'm pretty good at that. (If you are one of my CPs, don't disagree now. I'm on a self-love roll.)
I am pretty good at that.
Other things I'm good at:
- Writing kissing scenes (thanks Gina)
- Describing clothing (thanks Chess)
- Writing fast (I can do a thousand coherent words in like 30 minutes)
- Writing every day, no matter what (Seriously - no matter what.)
- Revising - I get a super-invigorating rush out of it.
Oooh! Looks like it's time to call out the Team Travelers Cheering Squad!!!!
|Thanks for the illustration, Francesca, my spit-polishing star of a CP.|
Recognizing it is giving me the push to go after those things with gusto on the WiP (23K and going strong!) and work even harder at the things that aren't on the list. It's motivation to move them from the "Things I Suck At" list to the "Things I'm Awesome At" list.
So, let's hear it - what are you awesome at? What writing tasks do you totally rule over? Consider yourself the goddess of? Leave a comment to tell me and to pat yourself on the back.
And then everyone else will confirm your suspicions. You're awesome at SO MANY THINGS. You just keep on keepin' on.