What’s that supposed to mean, you say, embracing success? Of course I’d embrace success.Yeah, well, I’m not talking about success in terms of getting an agent and publication. I’m talking about success in our writing. Yes, on some level it’s the same thing, but not for today. Don’t argue with me. :)
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to focus on the negative aspects of my writing abilities—knowing exactly what my weakest points are. And if someone compliments me on one of my stronger points (deep down, I know I have strong points), my brain automatically writes off the compliment with a, “She was just being nice,” or, “She had to come up with something positive to say, so I wouldn’t smear all her critique marks with my tears.”
Focusing on the negative to try to improve is not always a bad thing, but it’s so easy to get bogged down in it. I've received a few painful, though extremely helpful critiques recently, but I think I made them out to be more painful than they actually were. There were plenty of positive comments, BUT—there’s always a BUT—anything positive disappeared in the sea of red pen.
My lovely negative brain tells me, “Sure, you did okay over there, but look at these red marks! And these are things you knew needed to be fixed, even if it was only subconsciously. How could you not get it right the first time?!”
Even when I’m able to accept the positive, there’s always that little nagging voice telling me I could do better. And we need that little voice, or our writing will never improve. For today though, we’re going to tell it to Shut up! and leave us alone so we can be happy with our successes.
So, I want to know what your strengths are. What areas of your writing are you particularly proud of? Or even something unrelated to writing that you're proud of? No fair qualifying it with a “but it could be better” or “but this is where I need to improve”. And don’t try to tell me you don’t have strengths. We all have strengths, even if we’re blinded to them sometimes.
Okay. To get things started, I’ll go first. I’m good at writing dialogue. It comes very naturally to me. And I really want to put a BUT here, but I won’t. :)
Now it’s your turn. No chickening out. You’ll be happy you did it. You can even list two or three strengths if you’re feeling particularly awesome today. :)