Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Writing Superpowers

Road Trip Wednesday just keeps getting harder and harder.  Today's question is: 

What are your writing and publishing superpowers (drafting? beta-reading? writing queries? plotting? character creation? etc.) -- and what's your kryptonite?

Honestly, I feel like I have no business even answering this one.  I have twenty blog posts and two WIPs that, combined, don't yet reach 10,000 words.  But really, right now--that kind of is my superpower.  I'm new.  So I'm allowed to not know things, I'm allowed to ask questions, and I'm allowed to not be very good.  This is the first thing I've done that I'm really, truly new at in a long time.  Like, maybe the last thing was trying out for my first high school play, or picking up the clarinet in 8th grade.  Other things have been offshoots of things I was already good at.  When I stage managed for the first time, or directed, I had already done a ton of acting and random tech theater work, so I felt that there was pressure to be good right away.  When I started teaching, I had gone through ten summers working at camp, so even though teaching public high school in Queens was a far cry from theater camp at a Y outside Albany or progressive private school camp for 9-year-olds in Greenwich Village, I still expected to be good right away. 

But writing?  The only time I have ever sustained any kind of daily writing habit was when I was fourteen and writing fanfiction.  For Ally McBeal.  (Plus one crossover, where Ally and friends visit the Bartlet administration from The West Wing.  Oh yeah.  It's out there.  It's terrible--all 13,000+ words of it!)  So going into real writing, I have no pressure other than wanting to tell stories.  I can celebrate every word, because it's one more than I had written before.  I can bang out a short story and submit it to a contest, blithely aware that I will almost certainly not be chosen for publication.  I'm basically a writing infant--and that's my greatest strength right now.

And my Kryptonite?  At the moment, computer games and trashy TV.  Really anything that lets me put off actually sitting down to write!


  1. Oh, those pesky distractions! I have them too!

    And I've dabbled in fanfiction too. NOTHING to be ashamed of!

  2. I'm with you on the multitude of distractions! I can find a million and one ways to avoid actually sitting down and writing. I just spent the last three days 'looking for inspiration' on the net. Right. More like wasting time :) Today was good, though. Good for you for giving writing a go. I'm with Alison on this one too: there's NOTHING to be ashamed of with respect to fanfiction!

  3. Yeah, I don't feel shame so much as awe at the amount of time I spent--and I wrote it all long-hand in a notebook before typing it, because I only had the ginormous cream-colored Dell desktop that sat in the living room and that I had to share with my little sister and my mom. Also: it's amazing how much better my dialogue was for the West Wing characters than for the Ally characters. I had an ear for my sources, apparently.

  4. Yep, distractions are killer for me too (aren't they for all of us?). I love my blog and Twitter and my family and my LIFE, but yeah... sometimes I just want to WRITE!


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