But what would I say is my greatest weakness?
I think it would be that I don’t move quickly. I don’t mean that I don’t write quickly. I don’t write as quickly as some people I know, but I’m happy with my ability to get words onto the page on a regular basis. I mean that I don’t necessarily see and respond to the latest “thing” quickly.
I am not a fad-chaser, and that is true of me both as an author and as a person. (Ask me sometime to tell you the the infamous Beatle boot debacle when I was in 4th grade. That cured me forever.)
After many painful efforts in the course of my career to write what someone else wanted me to write, I have discovered that I write best when I write my stories. Not only do I think the writing is better, but I have a lot more fun actually writing the stories when I don’t let outside influences sway me. So while the latest trend might be vampire-themed romantic comedies or Navy SEAL books, you won’t see me jumping on the bandwagon quickly.
This might be a good quality, but it might also be a bad quality. On the one hand, I know what I have to feel about a story before I can get words out of my head and onto the screen. On the other, I miss out on opportunities I see other authors taking advantage of. And while I sometimes feel regret at being so slow to move, I also realize that if I tried to be something other than what I am, my work would suffer.
Or maybe my greatest weakness is my inability to turn in a manuscript to an editor until it feels right to me. Until my blood is flowing smoothly through my veins. I’ll probably never be one of those authors who writes quickly and publishes rapidly. Again, a lot of missed opportunities. But I simply can’t put my name on a project until I know it’s right.
I see writer friends taking on exciting projects, like 50 novellas in a series, each one set in a different state, and I feel a pang of regret. I would love to write something like that, but I know that if I did, it would take me roughly 973 years to complete the project. The only possible way I could possibly make a new novella available every week or even every other week without putting up my first, rough, ugly-dreck draft and asking you to spend money for it–and you will never have access to my first, rough, ugly-dreck draft of anything. It’s just not gonna happen.
Plus, I would get bored. So maybe that’s my greatest weakness. I get bored easily. I need variety like I need air–in what I read, in what I watch, in what I eat, and in what I write. So the thought of writing 50 books , even short ones, in the same series makes my eyes glaze over and my brain shut down.
I know for a fact that if writing the books bored me, reading them would render you catatonic.
There are more weaknesses I could list, but thank goodness our writing prompt only asks for the greatest of them all, so I can safely conceal the rest of my warts from view.
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