Finding Your Writing Personality
Unfortunately, we can’t all be like Stephen King and publish one or two best-selling novels per year! He is a stellar example of the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the writing journey. If you’re not familiar with his story, he divulged all his methods in his memoir On Writing (which I highly recommend).
Although reading King’s memoir provides the formula for his success, it is a common misnomer that in order to be successful, an author must do X, Y, and Z. However, the truth is that an author has to first define the meaning of personal success for themselves.
For every novelist that was born to crank out books and set a breakneck pace, there are hundreds – nay, thousands – of other authors who are happy to be less prolific.
You’ll need to ask yourself – do you want to be known for your Wikipedia-page filling titles, or would you be happy with two or three novels to leave the world as your legacy? Writing a book isn’t for everyone and not doing so doesn’t make you any less a writer. There are plenty of successful writers that make their careers of shorter pieces or corporate material. Don’t limit yourself to what you’re “supposed to do” and define your writing goals for yourself!
Finding Your Writing Style
If you’ve decided to embark on the epic journey of authoring a novel, one of the most important first steps is to determine your writing style.
Writers usually fall within two different categories: pantsers and plotters. A well known NaNoWriMo term – “pantsing” a novel – means writing it “by the seat of your pants.” It means seeing where the stories take you when you start from only a basic plot premise and a whim.
Plotters are the exact opposite. The “plotting” writing style may mean that you can spend years planning your plot, developing characters, and perfecting your story with plenty of feedback-incorporating rewrites.
“Plotters” meticulously plan each and every part of their novels before they even begin writing. Using scene and character worksheets, “plotters” outline each and every twist and turn in their novels.
With this disciplined writing style and strategy, writers can usually maximize their output and minimize the time it takes to complete a novel, but can run into issues with emotional resonance. Although writers usually tend to naturally favor one side or the other, it can enhance your writing to incorporate elements from both styles into your writing practice.
Either way, you’ll need to set timelines and goals and then work towards them every day.
A writing tracker can help you keep things chugging along!
The idea of using a word tracker is to get you working towards your writing goals at your own pace. Tracking your writing progress is a way to remain accountable, while setting realistic and achievable goals.
Join my mailing list below, and I’ll send you your own fully editable writing tracker spreadsheet!
What’s your writing personality/style? Let me know in the comments below!