Hello everyone! As of this moment, I don’t have anything new to read and, unfortunately, I’m a cheapskate who doesn’t want to buy any books right now. I can hear the e-readers saying “But just get an e-book! They are so much cheaper!” Well, I’m old-fashioned and I can’t bring myself to invest in any electronic versions of books. Back to the subject, I want to talk about my personal writing habits that may make my fellow writers cringe to death or you might say “yeah same.” I’m also going to talk about the bad habits I’ve embraced and the ones I want to change.
My first crappy writing habit is that I don’t plan any of my stories ahead of actually writing them. I’ve seen all these “worksheet” type things on Pinterest that are meant to help you really get the details of your story straight and flesh out your characters. I’ve known people who have created entire maps for their fictional worlds. I am proud to say that I don’t do any of that. Sometimes, I can’t even pick my character’s name right away. I’ve changed pronouns midway through a story because I couldn’t decide on the character’s gender. Settings and time periods mean nothing to me until I feel like its important (which might not be until after the first chapter). Every time I tried to map out a story ahead of time, I ended up feeling discouraged because then I feel as though I’ve put too much work into something I don’t even like anymore. Feel free to call me lazy but I am proud of my spontaneous planning.
My second crappy writing habit is I can have a difficult time committing to my stories. I don’t even like some of the stuff I write. One of the most common piece of advice for writers is “The only obligation you have is to love your story.” Guess what? I don’t always like what I’ve written. I’ve thrown away entire stories just because I got fed up or even bored. On one hand, it is very liberating because I don’t have to commit to something I don’t have confidence in. On the other hand, it makes me feel bad because maybe I could have fixed it but I didn’t even want to look at it again. I’ve been doing my best to try to work on my stories, rather than just throw them away when I feel like it. I’ve been pretty good at it too. Some of my ideas just need a little more tweaking.
This next writing habit I’m going to talk about is probably the one I want to change the most. My third crappy writing habit is that I hate sharing my stories. I am horribly self-conscious about what I write and I panic at the thought of having to share my ideas. They sound great in my head but I find myself having a cringe attack when other people read them. As you can imagine, my Fiction Writing I class was absolute hell. But, that class kind of sucked regardless. Anyways, I am trying my best to become more confident about my writing. I am perfectly capable of handling critiques when it comes to my technical writing (i.e. essays) but when it comes to prose I can’t stand it. This one will take a while to break but I am determined to be confident.
What I’m trying to get at here is that there is no way to be a good writer. Every writer has their own style and process that they have honed over the years. You know what they say: it isn’t stupid if it works. You are a writer regardless of what you write, when you write, and how you write. Don’t be afraid to change, either. Keep going and I guarantee that you will find that one story that you fall in love with.
PS: I’ve found a really good writing app called Werdsmith. It’s free and it has been a really good writing tool for me. Check it out if you want.