Writing strengths — every successful writer either has them or develops them over time. Sometimes it’s difficult for a new writer to see their abilities objectively, so here’s a list of mine. Not everyone will have the same ones, but the following qualities are major assets in my writing.
1. Discipline —
I’ll be honest. I’m stubborn as all get-out. When I make my mind up, it takes an act of the gods to get me to change it.
(Ask my mother… I once left a candy bar on the counter for weeks because I’d made up my mind not to eat it. My little brother eventually ate it.)
Even obstinancy doesn’t fully help with the primary skill all writers need to acquire. You’d think it would.
Daily sitting my butt in front of the computer is a toughie!
For the longest time, I left the house every day to write in a coffee shop. It got me into the habit.
(And an expensive habit it was, too! Sixty bucks or more a month for coffee? Yikes!)
When I’m writing, I sit at the dining room table at eleven in the morning. Every. Day.
The writing isn’t difficult once I get there. It’s the getting there that’s the issue!
2. Working Solo —
Fortunately, I’m an introvert. Working alone is an added benefit to this career! I’m swimming in solitude with my day job, too, keeping my mental and emotional equilibrium on an even keel.
When I’m not dealing with work issues, hanging out with my wife or goofing around online, I’m daydreaming.
(Rarely about my current project, though!)
While many writers are introverts, not all of them are. Hence the reason this is one of my strengths. For others it may be a weakness.
3. Inner eye —
I’m blessed with being able to see what I’m writing on the page.
Once I call up a scene, I observe it — the camera panning left or right across the set, the characters and how they move, how they display emotion as they deal with the situation in that scene.
It’s a private movie reel playing in my head. All I do is report it.
(The key is to call up multiple senses while writing — smell, sound, taste.)
I think I could have a career as a film director.
4. Inner ear —
Additionally, I hear what I read and write. (Maybe that’s why music means so much to me. It’s my version of poetry.)
That’s not to say I hear each character’s voice. It all sounds the same in my head. I’ve never thought in images or written word, though — my thoughts speak in my head.
So when I write this sentence, I can hear how it sounds and discern whether or not it stumbles or seems unnatural.
One of the strengths that others have attributed to me is that every book I write has a different voice. This skill, this inner ear, is the cause of that.
Anpo in Tiopa Ki Lakota speaks and thinks so much differently than modern Americans. Torrin of Warlord Metal has her own flavor, as does Whiskey in the Sanguire series.
I hear each book differently, and it comes across in the writing. (Even the voice for this blog sounds different than anything else I write.)
A very powerful gift!
5. Curiosity —
I love to people watch! I could spend hours roaming the mall, the streets of cities, watching documentaries on television.
There’s so many questions to ask! So much to learn!
I get story ideas from practically anywhere. The more I learn, the more ideas I come up with.
The more ideas I generate, the more stories I write.
6. Voracious Appetite —
For reading! Get your minds out of the gutter!
I’m all over the board when it comes to reading topics. Sure, I have my favorites (Science Fiction,) but whenever something strikes my fancy I run off to research it.
I recently finished the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown (and am jealous!)
I get an education by reading. Not just in receiving information, but in examples of how others write. A horribly written book is going to teach me as much if not more than a book of literary genius.
Grasp of Language —
This is another natural ability of mine. It’s probably connected to my Inner Ear. English classes were always a breeze for me in school. (It was Algebra that was the mystery.)
Having a native comprehension isn’t the be all and end all, however. Ask my editor about dangling participles… I dare ya.
8. Enjoyment —
This is, by far, the most important strength I have when it comes to writing. I love doing it!
Some years have been busy, busy, busy. Deadlines looming, books to complete, manuscripts to edit. All the work is rarely stressful.
I have a blast!
I would love to do this for a living!
If you don’t enjoy what you do, don’t do it!
What about you? If you’re a writer, can you list eight writing strengths of your own? How do they differ from mine?
And if you’re a reader, what strengths to you see in your favorite writers’ books? Can you speculate (or just give the authors an ego-boost!) by sharing your opinions?
We love to hear from you!
A fan-geek and internet junkie, D Jordan Redhawk is an award winning writer of lesbian romance, writing in multiple genres. She highlights the outsider and reveals that we are not all that different from one another. Her books are published by Bella Books. You can reach Redhawk through her website, Facebook, or become a Patron!