The Individual Voice, at www.theindividualvoice.blogspot.com, a writer who I admire for her amazing intestinal fortitude and writerly clarity, tagged me with the task to write something about what are my writerly strengths. Now, I could make a fairly lengthy and probing list of my many weaknesses as writer, or make some comment or another that “the ability to hunt and peck on a keyboard does not one a writer make”.
D at www.joefelso.wordpress.com has modified this meme to a list of strengths he ascertains writers have and hopes to live up to in his own writing. I will further mutate the meme, and make a list of qualities I perceive in good writers, that I hope to sometime attain in my own. My list is not in order of importance, but how the thoughts occur to me.
1. Unflinching consideration and exploration of both positive and negative situations. I suspect it is a writerly strength to react honestly to all kinds of circumstance and write about it, and through it in an exploratory way. Much of what I have learned in life has been a result of how others have shared their perceptions and reactions, or have modelled different ways of thinking about things.
2. Incredibly acute ability to listen, to hear. Good writers seem to have really well-developed listening skills; they seem to be sound and idea sponges. They seem able to snatch out of the air the errant idea, the character of dialogue, the novelty of a perception.
3. Willingness to expose their frail underbelly to critiques of all-sorts. This may be because they act under a compulsion to state cases as they feel obliged.
4. Committment to labouring mightily at their craft. They seem willing to wrestle with their angels and demons and their written outcomes seldom give a hint of the depth and range of their struggle.
5. On guard against self-indulgence. This has got to be a really tough trait to develop in balance, as, sometimes self-indulgence is necessary to stretch as a writer, to try out and see where it is fitting to give in to, and where it is an excess.
So, that is some of the stuff I admire in other writers and think about when reading their words.
Further, would like to tag: Kay at www.lookingforbeauty.wordpress.com
Nita at www.nitawriter.wordpress.com to take a shot at writing to this meme.
I am curious to read what all who have been tagged have to write about this meme. It is a way to further learn what to keep in mind while “typing”. Thanks to all of you who have addressed this topic and so generously shared your considered thoughts.