Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Celebrating our uniqueness

 As newbie writers, it's easy to get sucked into comparing ourselves to the authors we want to be someday. With so much info available on the interweb, we can research (read: procrastinate) how people write, where they find their inspiration, their editing methods and just about anything else you can imagine.

The temptation is strong to copy the successful behaviors of other writers in the hopes that this will also bring us fame and fortune. 

Are you trying to be a copy? source


I'm not a genius or a master of what works, but I can tell you that trying to copy someone else will not make you the next Stephenie Meyer or Suzanne Collins. Instead of trying to be like someone else, we should learn to celebrate the things that make us unique in the world of writing.

Ok, I'll start. Here's my list of things that I think make me unique. Share your own special brand of awesomeness in the comments and let's take some time today to be proud of who we are right now.

1. I'm an extrovert in a sea of people whose preferred past time is curled up in a chair, by themselves, reading a book. I love to read, but I need people. Lots of people. On the Meyer-Briggs test I score 100% extrovert. Not a stitch of introvert in me. While this means I can't lock myself away to write, I like to think of the upside. I'm not afraid of engaging others in conversation and this can lead to all kinds of learning.

2. I love feedback. I have CPs who cringe at the idea of letting other people read their work and getting their opinions. Personally, I love it. Part of this is the extrovert in me knowing that I'm always a better person with others. This translates into being a better writer with input. I'm not ashamed to say the other part is the extrovert in me that likes being the center of attention. A whole table of people talking about my writing? Yes, please!

3. I am a sparse drafter. Most folks I know write monster sized first drafts that have to be trimmed down to consumption size. I am the opposite. I write thin drafts that cover all the basics, but need to  be fleshed out. I tend to leave out descriptions and action within my dialogue the first time around. I actually like going back and adding this stuff in later.

4. Rejection doesn't really bother me. As writers we are told to give ourselves time to digest the rejection that is a standard part of our path and then move on. This is great advice. I consider myself blessed that I don't need that digestion period. For some reason, I've yet to feel a real sting from rejection. I think this is because of all my past experience. While writing rejection is new to me, I've put myself out there enough in other ways that I'm use to it by now. Wow, that line makes me sound like a big looser. But I don't feel that way. Knowing that I can put myself out there without the all consuming worry of rejection following me around all day is freeing.

5. I'm not a life-long writer. I hear so many stories from pubbed authors talking about how they've been writing for as long as they can remember. That's not me. I distinctly remember thinking writing would be really fun in high school and taking a creative writing class. I wrote a little after that, but didn't really pick it up again until after college. I cast my creative net wide and explored the world of the arts with everything from community theater to singing in a barbershop quartet. Now that I've rediscovered writing, I can't imagine not doing it in some capacity, but I wasn't always like that.

So what makes you unique in this crazy world full of writers? Celebrate the differences that make you the amazing person you are!

6 comments:

  1. I think I'm unique because I don't feel like a writer. I feel like a recorder. I meet these great people and they tell me their stories. I just write them down. The whole experience is surreal to me, and I love that.

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    1. That's great. Your head must be one fantastic place. :)

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  2. I've been thinking about this all morning. It's such a great question. What makes you unique? What sets you apart from other writers? This is especially timely after my post yesterday.

    A couple of things have come to mind, but they are half-baked at this point. I want to give this some more thought. I mean, really, shouldn't I be able to just answer this straight off?

    Thanks for the food for thought -- I'll report back. :)

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    1. I don't think you need to be able to pull this off the top of your head. But I think it's worth knowing. We hear all the time that agents want to know what makes our manuscript unique, but I don't think we spend enough time thinking about what makes us unique.

      Good for you for thinking about it!

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  3. I have no idea, but I hope something does!

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    1. I bet you could come up with it if you gave it some thought!

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