Confidence and Apathy: My Personal Achievements and Struggles with Writing

Totally arbitrary photo of hands typing. (Photo courtesy of

Totally arbitrary photo of hands typing. (Photo courtesy of

I’m not a very anxious writer. I’ve never really felt that borderline terror a lot of writers feel when they start submitting their work for editing. Sure, I hope that they like it, but I don’t get that worried, nervous, butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling that I get when, say, giving a public speech.

I just don’t feel that.

However, I know that a lot of writers do. So many, in fact, that my non-nervousness is not normal. I am very definitely in the minority in that regard.

For me, when I submit something, as soon as I hit that send button, it’s like a switch goes off in my brain, and I just quit thinking about it. It’s out of my hands.

Perhaps it’s just hubris, but I don’t worry about what people may think of me. (At least, not when they’re basing their opinions of me on my writing.) The people who I want to know me already do, so if I write something completely dumb, I know that they know that’s not who I am. And for everyone else—well, if they come to erroneous conclusions about me based solely on what I’ve written, well, they don’t know me. And I don’t care about what they think, anyway.

I think that, in a way, this is because I’m a new writer. Continue reading


Of Story Structure and Character Development – Writing Strengths and Weaknesses

Before I wrote this post, I actually sat down with Jessica and asked her for her opinion. This is because Jess is probably the one person on the planet who has read almost as much of my writing as I have.

Strength: Structure

Originally, I said that my strength would probably be dialogue. I enjoy writing it, and back in college, my teacher mentioned that my dialogue was consistently the best part of my stories.

But when I talked to Jess about it, she said, “Nope. Structure.”

And Jess is always right, so I listen to her.

If you ask me for my favorite book on the writing craft, I will say Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham. And if you say, “Structure? Really?” then I will most likely buy you the book myself and say READ IT.

Continue reading

My Top Writing Strength and Weakness – Description & Pacing

Of course everyone has a range of strengths and weaknesses, but these are the two that definitely stand out from the rest – one way or another – for me. These two actually seem, to me, to be almost easy to get as diametrically opposed skills – case in point, both myself, and, at the other end of the spectrum, Rebekah.

Continue reading

Discovering Your Strengths and Weaknesses in Writing

In writing, as in everything, we all have our strong and weak points. The key is focusing on your strong points when you doubt yourself, and to allow your strong points to help guide the work you do. Discovering your strong points can help you discover your niche (or niches, as some of us have more than one) and find where you create your best work.

Your weak points, on the other hand, are not something to bring you down. They are the guidelines for telling you where you need the most practice or research, or sometimes they are the key to keeping you from wasting your time on a project that will never be your best work and your heart really isn’t in.

So what are my strengths and weaknesses? As I grow and work, these change, but for now… Continue reading

Strengths and Weaknesses in Writing

What are my strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

Great question to ask. Sometimes hard to answer. Michelle and I had a great conversation about that recently, which led to this example.

We all struggle in one area or another. We all have gifts. Some aspects of writing come naturally to me, while others have knocked me down more times than I care to count.
Continue reading

Of Pacing & Description – Writing Strengths & Weaknesses

Hi everyone! We have a few different series that we’re going to rotate through here on Fictional Ferrets until we get through all of us, but we won’t bombard you with the same series all at once. First up, though, I’m going to start with “Writing Strengths & Weaknesses”.

One of the benefits of having several regular critique partners is learning each other’s style. I know what kind of critique I’m going to get from each person, and who to send it to if I feel like I’m having a specific problem.
By gnuckx (Flickr: Roma Italy - Creative Commons by gnuckx) [Public domain or CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Every writer has their own styles, and their own strengths and weaknesses. For now, we’re going to just focus on one strength and one weakness per Ferret. In actuality, every writer has more than one strength and/or weakness, but there will be one that stands out to you the more you write.

Also, your writing strength doesn’t have to be something that comes naturally to you in the first draft.

It can also be what you most easily see how to fix in subsequent drafts.

So, Rebekah’s Writing Strengths & Weaknesses are:

Continue reading