Day 2: What is your biggest writing weakness, and what do you think you need to change to work on it?
My biggest weakness when it comes to writing is first draft perfectionism. I spend so much time trying to make the initial run coherent, flowing, and detailed that at the end of the day I’m lucky if I’ve hammered out an entire page! In theory this approach should be easy to change: all one must do is accept that the first draft of anything will be flawed, and write recklessly on in spite of that. In practice it takes deadlines. Word count goals, and deadlines. Those are the only things that seem to push me past turtle speed!
At the same time, I also wonder whether there might be some merit in my natural slow method. My drama professor once said that there are two kinds of writers: the meticulous and the reckless. The reckless are “word vomiters,” she said; first they get it all out and then they clean it all up. For them the hard work is in the revision. The meticulous, on the other hand, revise as they go. It takes a long time to finish anything, but by the time the first draft is out it will be near completion and need very little fine-tuning. Does a word vomiter spend as much time cleaning up their words as I do coughing up mine?
Perhaps. Perhaps not. When in doubt I like to remember the following:
“It’s easier to edit crap than air.”