My Greatest Writing Strength and (Shh!) Weakness

Today we are getting serious on the blog. As part of the TWCT blog chain this month, I’m talking all about my greatest strength and weakness as a writer. And I think it’s going to be hard to talk about both, because I still feel that as a writer I’m not completely grounded in what I know about my skills yet. My writing is always changing, and so are my strengths and weaknesses.

My Greatest Writing Weakness

I’ll start with my greatest weakness so I can end on a positive note, okay?

I censor myself too much. By censoring, I don’t mean not using curse words and other things because I wouldn’t do that anyway. No, I mean censoring myself when it comes to pouring myself wholeheartedly into my writing. The thought that someone will be reading my writing is always nagging at the back of my mind, and a lot of times, it stops me from fully pouring all of my emotion into my writing. I start questioning myself, and changing my writing based on what an audience would think of it. This isn’t really a direct decision that I make. Instead, it’s more of a subconscious thing that creeps through my writing. I know that readers connect the most to writing that is completely raw and honest (hello, Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire!), but it’s not easy to write like that.

My Greatest Writing Strength

And I’m ending off on a good note. Yay!

I’d like to think that I have a wonderful imagination. I’ve never really struggled with finding ideas to write down, which is probably why I rarely struggle from writer’s block. I always have a million ideas running through my head, and more often than not, the problem becomes finding out which idea to pursue next. I just want to write all of the ideas NOW, you know? And it’s not only with actual writing piece ideas that my imagination helps. It’s also with my goals. I’m a pretty ambitious writer, and I have huge dreams that I’m always chasing after. My dreams grow constantly and I’m definitely not afraid to jump right in and pursue them. I’m not sure why, but for some reason, failure in writing scares me much less than failure in other areas of my life.

So, what is your greatest writing weakness? Strength? Oh, and before you go, make sure to check out the rest of the bloggers in the chain. 

Tuesday May 5th — The Little Engine That Couldn’t

Wednesday May 6th — Ariel Kalati, Writer

Friday May 8th — Galloping Free

Saturday May 9th — Miriam Joy Writes

Sunday May 10th — The Ramblings of Aravis

Wednesday May 13th — Light and Shadows

Friday May 15th — Musings from Neville’s Navel

Saturday May 16th — The World of the Writer

Tuesday May 19th — Butterflies of the Imagination

Wednesday May 20th — Introspection Creative

Friday May 22nd — Spellbound

Sunday May 24th — Unikke Lyfe

Monday May 25th — The Long Life of a Lifelong Fangirl

Wednesday May 27th — Against the Shadows

Friday May 29th — Teens Can Write, Too, announcing June’s chain

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21 thoughts on “My Greatest Writing Strength and (Shh!) Weakness

  1. Thanks for ending on a happy note. 🙂

    May I offer a resounding “Me, too!” in regards to both the points you’ve described? During the first drafting stage, I find myself cutting off my thoughts. They’re not good enough. The words don’t “flow” like they’re supposed to. It’s not art.

    At the same time, though, I love those thoughts. They’re not good enough for my writing, but they’re still fun. 🙂
    –Abby

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  2. My greatest weakness is in the details – describing places, character appearances, character emotions. I’ve been reading about description like crazy on different writing sites and trying to improve, but it’s definitely something I have to work extra at.

    My strength is in dialogue – it comes pretty natural for me, and often times I’ll write a conversation then have to edit back to include other things, like descriptions, actions, etc. so it’s not them just talking back and forth!

    Also, I just wanted to add that finding a writing site focused on critique and posting a couple of chapters up there helps a TON when you’re unsure of your strengths/weaknesses. It’s really difficult at first, taking criticism and all that, but I don’t know where I would be as a writer without all the feedback I’ve gotten!

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  3. Great post idea. I think the more open, raw, and honest you are, the more powerful your writing can be. It is something I struggle with too though. Even when I am writing in my DIARY that I know NOBODY is suppposed to read, I find myself writing to an audience.

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  4. I actually censor myself emotionally and politically at the same time, leading to apolitical and unsentimental characters. :/ But I’m sure you have a fantastic imagination *points at blog URL*, so yay, that’s a great note to end on!

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  5. Great post! I can relate to self-censoring. It’s way too easy to let possible criticism get in the way of my writing. But it usually works to forget that my writing has the possibility of being read, and just focus on my writing process – no other worries allowed!

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  6. Being a chain member (Spellbound) I’ve had to think about this stuff quite a bit lately…my weakness is action scenes and strength is writing style (so I posted a bunch of short and somewhat-embarrasing excerpts, which may or may not have been necessary), but I understand the censoring thing, since I used to do it to myself. I like to think I got over it, though. And the way too many ideas thing, too…only writers have the ability to wish the ideas would just lay off for a while…

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  7. Oh, I feel this. Although, I’ve always had a problem pouring too MUCH of myself into my writing, and things get messy, because I don’t deal with my emotions otherwise and it all gets put into this little book. xD
    My greatest weakness, though? Actually thinking things through. I…I don’t think when it comes to writing. I’m the hugest pantser ever and by the time that first draft is done it’s not really a story at all, haha. Greatest strength is probably characters, though. Hopefully.

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  8. I know I’m not a teen anymore and can’t join in this chain buuuut I’m going to steal this prompt and use it at some point because SO MUCH AWESOME. Ahem. So I think I have the same writing strength as you! 😄 I have SO MANY IDEAS. They literally spill out of my brain. I have lists of them on walls. The thing I lack though?! CHARACTERS. I have ideas and no one to bounce around in them. -_- I also lack belief in what I do, but hey, I think every writing can attest to that at some point, right?!

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  9. Great post! It’s neat to see someone in tune with their writing enough to say their strengths and weaknesses. I’m definitely on the same page as you with your weakness. I always think of my grandmother reading my work and I start filtering, haha.

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  10. I don’t think I censor ENOUGH. For me, I’m crazy with my ideas to the point where people have to physically take me aside and go, “sweetie, that isn’t working.” I just have a lot of confidence in what I do but I also think that’s my greatest weakness because I don’t always see the flaw in my own writing – and I know it’s there.

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  11. I don’t really censor what I write, but I get what you mean. 🙂 Sometimes I do it, but not too often. I’m so aware of what my audience will think of my writing that sometimes I change it a little bit so that it’s friendly to obviously everyone, and that everyone will be okay with it 🙂

    But my biggest writing weakness is always trying to make my first draft PERFECT. 😦 I always do it. Whenever I write, I re-read a few paragraphs, and every time I re-read them, I feel that it’s getting worse and worse so I end up changing it even if I’m not yet done with the entire draft yet. It’s an awful habit I wish to change D:

    Great post Ana! 🙂

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  12. I can relate to the censorship often, though I’ve been trying to overcome it. If I’m writing a first draft, I try to keep in mind that it’s for me to get the story down; the revision drafts are the ones where other people will see it. Sometimes it helps. 🙂

    On the other hand, I’m a little afraid of running out of ideas. I’ve got a lot of ideas, but there’s always that thought of running out. That’s awesome though that you have big dreams and chase after them! Best wishes! 🙂

    Also, I’ve tagged you for the 777 Writing Challenge, if you’re interested. 🙂 You can find it here: http://lovely-whatsoevers.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-777-writing-challenge.html

    Have a wonderful day!

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  13. Ooooh, creativity and imagination is an awesome strength to have! I don’t think censorship is one of my problems, though, in word or feeling: sometimes there are no words but curse words that say the feelings I have for my work, and I don’t bother to stop myself. That’s what editing is for! 🙂

    My weakness is probably apathy. I haven’t edited my WIP in many days, and I don’t even care. Go me. 😄

    By the way, I’ve tagged you for the Creative Blogger Award, if you’re interested: http://semilegacy.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-creative-blogger-award.html

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  14. I don’t *feel* like I censor too much while writing, but there is definitely huge pressure in thinking that someone might not like what you’re writing. It can get really scary and it’ll make you want to change EVERYTHING.

    I also have all these insane story ideas bursting in my head, and that leads to my personal weakness… disbelief in my ability to turn those ideas into a good story. More often than not, I end up giving up on my novel just a few chapters in because I feel like I’m not doing my original idea any justice. 😦

    Awesome post, Ana! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

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  15. I definitely understand your censoring thing, I feel like I’ve grown away from that a little but when I first started writing I was very much the same way. Even now, after I wrote a really sad novel which was basically me baring my soul, I find myself a little…afraid to write another book like that. Like I can’t handle all the feelings that come along with it and knowing that other people will be reading it and everything, it makes me hesitate before writing.

    I also feel like imagination is one of my strengths, however I do go through bouts of writer’s block. But it’s more bouts of self-doubt where I get terrified to write again.

    I am still, technically, barely a teen but I so wish I’d known about this before now! (By the way this is my first visit to your blog but I love it!) =)

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  16. I feel like my writing style is also constantly changing- I don’t feel like I’m grounded in my strength and weaknesses yet. As I write more and more, I find myself discovering new strengths, weaknesses, and overall just learning more about myself. So I feel you on that front. ❤

    Censoring yourself is actually too easy to do. It's so, so difficult to pour everything you have onto the page, because it makes you vulnerable. But yeah, you're totally right when you say that those are the kinds of books that become really successful and that manage to really strike a chord in people. I aspire to do that one day. Hopefully. Looks like we're both just going to have to yell at that subconcious. =)

    Imagination is so important for a writer (duh, I know, lol), and so it's awesome that you have a ton of it! 😀 I'm such a dreamer as well, mainly in regards to my blog, which is why I think I fear failure in blogging a lot too (weird how that works). I'm sure you're going to make it though, so no being worried! Just go for it.

    Lovely, lovely post!!

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  17. What a beautifully honest post, Ana! I think the whole censoring thing is tough for a lot of us writers – it’s really difficult to turn off our inner editors and just let the words flow. That’s something that comes with experience and a lot of courage, I suppose. I know I’m still learning how to do it – to stop holding back and let all of the colours, no matter how dissonant, splatter onto the page.

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  18. Thanks for being honest, Ana. I think you have a great imagination. My mind is always scurrying with busy little ideas, but I usually never get around to writing them down. Hmmm… censoring is hard. Being honest is one of the hardest and scary parts about writing, I think.

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  19. That is a great strength! I too feel like my imagination never stops going. 😄 I can think of stuff on the spot that just come from somewhere in my odd brain. That also is a tough weakness. It’s hard to get to a point where we can write without worrying about what other people think. I still struggle with that. I feel like my greatest strength is I’m really good at creating characters. We have come to a good understanding where they tell me all about themselves lol. My weakness is I tend to envy the skill of others like when someone wins a contest over me or I read a book with such amazing writing and this can discourage me, but I’m slowly moving past this. 🙂

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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