Are your writing weaknesses on this list?

Day 17 / Tuesday = 73 Days Left in the Challenge

Time to expose and remove weaknesses in your writing method.

Image: Woman writing looking at her computer screen.

Time to get real. Take a hard look. Be honest.
Today, we’re looking at weaknesses in our writing process.

Last Week: Process Week

Monday – Your “Before” Process
Tuesday – Your “During” Process
Wednesday – Your “After” Process
Thursday – Your Total Process Including Deviations 
Weekend 2 – Analyzing Your Process

This Week: Implementation Week

Monday – Exploring the Process of Others
Tuesday – Weaknesses in Your Process – This is today’s post.
Wednesday – Strengths in Your Process
Thursday – Building A Better Process
Weekend 3 – Implementing Your New Process

Writing during a writing challenge requires more than “just” writing, it requires careful consideration of the many aspects of process and method. The who, what, when, where, why, and how of writing. There’s a reason some writers achieve their goals during a writing challenge and others do not. Often, it has to do with a writer’s awareness of their approach toward writing.

Writers who analyze their writing process and adapt for efficiency #write more. #85K90 Click To Tweet

Last week on the 85K Writing Challenge, we took careful notes on the before, during, and after of our writing process, bringing it all together for a weekend analysis of what works and what doesn’t work.

This week, building on yesterday’s blog post, we’re trying new things by adopting the writing practice of others to see if there’s an approach we previously hadn’t tried, but now must consider. For instance, during our first week of the challenge, I scheduled an 85K Coffee Break field trip on January 6 to visit the #5amwritersclub hashtag. Was it easy to wake up at 5 a.m. to write for an hour with a group of writers on Twitter? No, certainly not. But a curious thing happened: I got a lot done. And when I had to stop writing at 6:15 to wake my family up for work and school, I stopped writing mid-scene. Practically, mid-sentence. And I learned that a 5 a.m. writing session goes a long way toward setting up the writing for later in the day. It was easy to pick up where I left off after my early morning writing sprint before the sun came up. Have I done it again? Yes, twice. And I’ve scheduled it into my week now. Because it works. But I wouldn’t have known it works if I hadn’t tried.

Does the thought of waking up an hour early to write make you grumble? Try it. Results may surprise you! #85K90 #5amwritersclub Click To Tweet

This week, in pursuit of our goal to write 85,000 words by March 31, we advance our study of method and move toward implementing the most effective writing process we can. Today, our focus is on weaknesses.

Image: Time to focus on weaknesses in writing methods.

Name one thing you’d like to change about your writing habits.

Wish you outlined more?
Wish you pantsed more?
Wish you had better story ideas? Character arcs? Tension? Plot?
Wish you had more time to write? Longer writing sessions? More frequent writing sessions?
Wish you had someone to write with?
Wish you had a critique partner?
Wish you knew more about grammar?
Wish you wrote with better clarity or elevated prose style?
Wish you knew more writers in your genre?
Wish you read more?
Wish you typed faster?
Wish you knew how to use Manu, Scrivner, FocusWriter, etc.?

What are your weaknessed? In what areas of your writing life can you improve?

Do you write with a lack of depth?
Do you rely on the passive voice?
Do you tell more than you show?
Are your characters flat?
Do you make excuses not to write?
Do you talk negatively to yourself about your writing? Feel jealous of others’ success?

Today's assignment on the 85K Writing Challenge: 1. Identify a weakness in your writing. 2. Fix it. #85K90 Click To Tweet

For members of the 85K Writing Challenge, there’s a Mini Challenge posted in the members-only Forum. Go to: Forum > Write > Mini Challenge. Not a member of this site? Sign up here. There’s no cost, and membership unlocks full access to this site and our community.

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ASSIGNMENTS FOR MEMBERS OF THE 85K WRITING CHALLENGE:

1. Write. Today’s word count challenge? Complete an entire chapter – start to finish. Then write two pages into the next chapter, stopping before you’re finished. If you accept this challenge, indicate your acceptance by telling the #85K90 tribe:

I accept the #85K90 daily #writingchallenge: I will write an entire chapter, then write two pages into the next before stopping. Click To Tweet

2. Write at a time that is not comfortable to you. Choose one day this week to wake up early (or stay up late, whichever the case may be) to write one page of your novel. If you accept this challenge, tell the tribe:

.#85K90 daily #writingchallenge accepted. I will choose a day this week to either wake up early or stay up late to write. Click To Tweet

3. Building on yesterday’s blog post, try writing like someone else today. Write faster than you typically write. Edit less. Write at a coffee shop. Skip TV to write. Whatever you typically don’t do, do today. Examine how it makes you feel. Evaluate your productivity. Integrate a new writing practice into your weekly writing routine.

4. Visit the Mini Challenge in the members-only Forum for a special assignment based on today’s discussion. Go to: “Forum > Write > Mini Challenge.” (Note, this is a members-only Forum. If you’re not signed up for this website, you’ll have to do that first.)

5. Yesterday was a Monday Word Count Report day. If you haven’t done so already, report the number of words written over the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Report even if your word count is zero. Monday and Friday Word Count Reports are essential for accountability during a writing challenge. Similar to having a workout or writing buddy. Report using our members-only Forum. Go to: “Forum > Write > Monday Word Count Reports” and then report under the January 16 date. (Note, this is a members-only Forum. If you’re not signed up for this website, you’ll have to do that first.)

Join me on the #85K90 Writing Challenge. We report word count totals every Monday and Friday in our Member Forum. Click To Tweet
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Julie Valerie

Julie Valerie

85K Writing Challenge: Embracing the writing life by advancing the practice of productive writing from first word to first reader.

5 thoughts on “Are your writing weaknesses on this list?

  1. I have a weakness for editing. I tend to go back and edit the previous day’s writing before writing forward into the storyline. During this challenge, I’m not editing before writing. I’m simply writing, knowing the time will come very soon for editing – once I’ve captured the complete discovery draft. Do I falter? Yes. All the time. But I’ve taped a small yellow stick-um to the corner of my computer screen that reads: DON’T EDIT. WRITE.

    I believe, at its core, this weakness reflects a kind of “nit-picking” (and, okay, a love of syntax, too), that I need to quiet while working on getting the rough draft finished by the March 31st deadline.

    Wish me luck!

    What’s your weakness? And how will you fix it?

  2. My weakness is doing a lot of the preparatory steps in my mhead. Then I think through waht I wih to write and have at it. I have stopped using music or games on the radio to augment my process. I seem to stay more focused in the solitude. Unless that changes, I will continue to do so. Also I have tried to write later int he evening but find myself getting tired too quickly. To change I write relatively soon after getting up. My head is clear and I can get a good start. It also allows me to do a double session of writing if I choose. This will augment my output but also allow me to relieve the pressure of daily writing in that I can reach the daily goal and whatever I do beyond that is gravy. Use whatever works for you. I also decided to stop doing everything in my head. I got a white dry erase board which I keep near the keyboard to jot down thoughts for the next scene or chapter. Only writing things go on there. No calls to make, appts. to keep or tv shows to record. We will see how that works. Keep writing.

  3. I feel a weakness is I don’t spend enough time on character traits before I begin to write. I have a rough idea of who they are, of course, but I usually get deep into my story before I force myself to fill in all the details of their lives, habits and characteristics.

  4. My biggest weakness is inconsistency. It’s really hard for me to have a consistent routine because my day job just saps so much of my creativity and I’m a night owl. So, if I try to get up early before work to write, I’m a zombie. And, if I try to write after work, I feel like I’ve nothing left to give. I’m most productive on the weekends, but I really want to build a daily writing habit. I’m going to try experimenting with the times that I write and I may take a notebook so I can handwrite during my lunch hour at work.

  5. I’m like Rachael. I’m very inconsistent. VERY. I’ll go weeks without writing anything and then have a big burst. I’m hoping (once school goes back in a week) that playing here with you guys will help me be a little more consistent.

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