Thursday Thought-Self Help: Dear Writer, You Need to Quit

Dear Writer, You Need to Quit  by Becca Syme is not a book about writing. Instead, the book is a manual for writers. Syme, who is a Gallup certified Clifton Strengths coach, has focused her training on helping authors. The individuals creating the books.

The key word is individual.

One size fits all is a myth created because standardizing is easier than dealing with differences. The theory  doesn’t work for clothes, hats, or writing methods. Even standardized sizes are wishful thinking. Ask any woman who has ever purchased a bra. Why should writing style be different?

They’re not. Syme believes in alignment: creating an individual strategy based on how the author is wired. My own critique group is a microcosm of writing styles; from a woman who writes 30-page synopses, to someone who does some character work, some scene work, and has a rough outline, to someone who sits down to write by the seat of her pants.

Syme points out and repeats there is no right way to write, that we each not only need to accept our writing style–what works best for us–but also embrace it. Not only embrace our uniqueness, but work to strengthen our methods. Strategies for the organized writer will not work for an organic author.

A plus-sized woman dreaming of breast reduction surgery wouldn’t consider buying and wearing a 32A  bra. Why would an intuitive writer believe she should write a detailed outline of the book she’s writing? The fit won’t work.

Bob Dylan is a musical genius, but that doesn’t mean his Christmas album or covers of Sinatra standards were great. Or even good. Those styles aren’t his strength.

If you can imagine Stephen King writing category romance, you have a better imagination than I do.

The point is writers need to quit practices that don’t align with their strengths. Quit working against your wiring and work with it. You’ll be amazed at the results.