Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Writing Handicaps

Tip of the Day: softball is a dangerous sport.

My current mode of transportation this week has been lots of fun getting used to!

Walking around with these makes me realize how much I appreciate having my feet in normal everyday situations. Because walking in crutches is not the easiest situation, especially if you are balance-challenged. At first it was a bit hard to get used to and I still almost fell while trying to get down a step this morning, but all in all I am getting better.

But having to move around with them has me thinking about handicaps in general, even related to writing. We all have writing handicaps, or things that might hinder us from writing. It might be as large as dyslexia or a physical impairment that makes it challenging. Or merely something that you aren’t as good at—such as having difficulty deciding what to write about, writing effective dialogue, creating compelling imagery, etc.

As I’ve learned this past week, complaining about it and dwelling on it does absolutely nothing. Was it annoying having to walk in crutches during a move, where there’s a maze of boxes blocking all paths, you have no idea where anything is, and your old apartment still needed to be cleaned. Yes, very annoying. But things still needed to get done. And the only way to get things done was to take it one step at a time and work on getting better with my current limitations (with the help of my amazing husband, of course).

Same thing applies with writing. I have a really hard time creating visuals in my scenes. My scenes often come to me as streaming dialogue. I have to make a conscious effort to add in visual clues throughout the entire chapter to get the reader into the scene. But I’ve been working on it every book. And now when I start writing my first drafts, I do include more visuals and it’s become easier to do from the start. Getting feedback and learning what to improve has made this possible. Otherwise, I might not have even known things weren’t coming through to the reader effectively.

So working on writing flaws can seem challenging, but if you want to be a published writer it doesn’t help to just dwell on all the things you can’t do or can’t do as well as other writers. Just remember how lucky you are to do the things you can do well, and then work on improving all the rest. With time, it should hopefully get easier.

--Emily, Miss Querylicious


DeenaML said...

I am currently trying not to berrate myself for using "was" per Kate's post a few weeks ago.... No more whining! Just work on it! Hope you are healing! :)

Kristina Springer said...

Oh no Em, what happened?