spock: keep calm and carry on

Writing meme

from ignipes

1. How often do you write a week?
Sometimes every day, always 3 or 4 times a week. When I was traveling this summer, sometimes I went a week without writing, and I started feeling like something was missing from my life.

2. Do you carry a notebook with you? Is it full of stuff to do with writing?
I do, but I haven't used it as much lately. It's a pretty even mix of writing, grocery lists, and stuff to do with school.

3. Do you only write when inspired?
No. My deal with myself is that I always have to start, but if the words really don't flow, I don't have to keep going. But most often, I find that I fall into my "writing place" if I can at least get started, and even if I don't keep the actual words, I like the ideas I come up with.

4. Can you self edit?
Definitely. I actually think it's one of my better skills, and I love doing it. I use a beta reader for stories that are long or deal with unfamiliar concepts, but most of the stories here are un-betaed. Even when I get others to read it over before I post it, I can guarantee that I've been over the story many, many times before I let anyone else look.

5. How do you feel about critique?
It depends on who it comes from. I appreciate critique from a beta reader -- I mean, what's the point in getting someone else to look at your writing if you plan to discard everything they say? I also choose beta readers whose writing I respect and opinion I trust, so of course I'm going to listen to them even if I don't change the story in exactly the way they suggested.

Drive-by critique from random commenters is different. It doesn't really hurt my feelings, but I think that like all other unsolicited advice, it's a bit rude, especially if it comes from someone who isn't posting their own fic for critique. Most of us wouldn't walk up to strangers and tell them that they're wearing an unflattering color or that their hairstyle doesn't really work, and I think we need to treat others' stories the same way. If you don't like it, just move on. Maybe you just have different views about fashion or hair or writing or whatever. It doesn't mean that the other person did something wrong.

6. How do you feel about rejection?
Well, the brilliant thing about fanfic is that this is not an issue. Maybe sometimes people don't comment, but that's not the same as receiving a letter saying that someone actively did not want my story. I suppose I would feel divided about rejection if I were to encounter it. On the one hand, I am confident and craft my stories carefully, and I don't think that my belief in myself would change just because someone didn't want it for their book or magazine or whatever. On the other hand, I might wonder if I needed to take a closer look at the story, like maybe there's something I could improve.

7. Are you misunderstood?
Is that a life question or a writing question? In either case, I'm going to vote no on both counts. People find me easily intelligible.

8. Is your writing misunderstood?
I don't think I write anything so lofty or ambiguous that it could be misunderstood.

9. Do you consider writing a craft? An art?
I don't find this a very meaningful distinction, but if I have to pick one, I guess I pick craft. It emphasizes the idea of shaping something carefully over a period of time.

10. Have your relationships suffered because of writing?
No. My boyfriend has no idea I write fanfic, and I'm not particularly certain whether (or if) I will ever come out, but he's quite understanding of my desire for alone time to do whatever the hell I want. Same for my other friends.

11. Has your job suffered?
Well, summer break isn't over for another week, and I only started writing this summer. I doubt that my job will suffer though, but if it does, I will definitely cut back on the fanfic. Let's keep things in perspective here: job that is a vital expression of my identity is way more important than my desire to run off and live in Star Trek land. I don't totally buy the distinction between real life and fandom because fandom is important to me, and that makes it real. That said, I don't think it would be healthy if I let jobs or relationships suffer in order to write fanfic.

12. Do you ever get smacked with inspiration?
How could I write if I didn't?

13. What percentage of writing is talent, inspiration, and hard work?
34% is talent, 28% inspiration, and the remainder hard work. Seriously, though, I don't think I can divide it easily. I think all of us are born with certain innate talents, and for some people, those talents include a gift for writing. But you need hard work to build on talent, and I think hard work can actually give you a talent that you didn't possess before. Inspiration is a bit trickier, but I actually think it's easy to find, especially in fandom. Just join a challenge and you're done! I also think that the more you write, the better you get at spotting sources of inspiration around you.

14. And most importantly - do you enjoy writing?
No. I hate it. I spent my entire summer writing Star Trek fan fiction as a bizarre form of masochistic torture. In other words: stupid question. Who would take a writing meme this long if they didn't like writing at all?
Re: Point 14.

I have an excellent icon stashed away on my laptop from NaNo 2005. It says "I do not like to write. I like to have written". This is my philosophy on writing.
Argh, but then the question is, how do you define critique? Some people have different definitions AKA, pointing out spelling errors, if I've been unintentionally rude, I apologize
Not at all! Sometimes those slip by me, and I appreciate it when people help me out. It's kind of like how I'd want to know if there were spinach in my teeth. What bothers me is when people comment and they're like "this part of the story doesn't really work" or "I find your dialog awkward" or whatever. That doesn't happen often, but I can't say I like it.