Learning My Writing Style
Taking years of lessons and making it work.
I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember. My sister used to joke you could hand me two clothespins and, in an hour, I’d have a backstory for them. I was very good at keeping myself entertained by coming up with all sorts of stories and adventures for my toys to go on.
When I figured out I could write them down so I didn’t have to keep them in my head, I was hooked on writing. Despite criticism from my guidance councilor, my dream was to become a published author.
Not there yet.
But I wrote my first book in the sixth grade and finished my first novel in high school. I won’t explain how bad the writing is and how little I knew about everything.
The problem was my brain churns out snippets of ideas at a fast rate and not all of them are connected to the work I’m currently on. On one hand, it means writer’s block doesn’t happen because I can work on something else.
On the other, it means I rarely finish what I start.
Last year, I decided I wanted to change that. I set out to finish writing a book a quarter. I completed two books before life went crazy. Which is two books more than I had at the beginning of the year.
Pushing myself had me coming to a realization and it changed how I approached my writing. I love hand writing my books. I think better when I’m putting pen to paper instead of fingers to keyboard. I edit better when I’m typing.
So I’ve adjusted my expectations. Not with the number of books I want to finish this year, that hasn’t changed. One of my goals this year is to complete four books again.
But I’ve come to grips that I can’t be typing up the book I’m currently hand writing. Because I’m editing as I’m typing, it stops the flow of my creativity. I have to have the book nearly finished before I can start typing.
Which means, this year, I’ll be typing up one book while hand writing the next book. Technically that means I’ll be finishing five books this year, but I only count it if it’s typed up and ready for beta readers.
I’ll be interested to see how this new plan works out for me.
What have you learned about yourself that made the biggest shift in how you do things?