Author Superpower #MFRW



This week’s writing prompt is “My Greatest Strength”

Welcome to week 12 of the 52-week MFRW blog challenge.  Each week I will post something about that week’s topic. Ready to play?

Welcome back to my little corner of the world. It’s interesting to me, one of the comments that is on the MFRW page; “Blogging is an opportunity for authors to connect with readers. Despite being fiction writers, blogging is an entirely different style of writing and often stumps us. Our challenge is designed to help our authors blog consistently, thoughtfully and with purpose.”

The reason that I find this interesting is that I have the opposite thought. It’s easier for me to write short blog posts than to stay focused for longer lengths of time to write a finished novel. There, I said it. My confession. It is difficult for me to focus –  hence why I have multiple unfinished and unpublished novels. I guess those earlier days of being an opinion columnist have conditioned me for the short bursts of thought, rather than to keep plugging away on one continuous thought. ADD tendencies don’t help. Anyway, moving into the focused topic for the day, my greatest strength.

Well, I can tell you ten things that it isn’t! Maybe that is a topic for another day. I had to think about this for a while,  in fact, I logged off of everything and pondered,  making a mental checklist of what I wasn’t good at. Those are easy and added to the time-wasting while my gears turned. I’ll admit it, I sulked.

My mind went down the list of all the things that I could see that my friends were good at. It’s a good thing I didn’t have any ice cream in the house or I would have drowned my sorrows in the company of Ben and Jerry’s.

It wasn’t until a phone call from a friend that I had a valid answer. I know, insecure much? She asked what I was doing and I told her bluntly I was wasting time while I was trying to think of something I was good at, something that would be my greatest strength if I even have one.  Don’t think I can’t see those eye rolls now, just as I’m sure she was rolling her eyes on the other end of the phone.

After a stern lecture for being down on myself,  she quickly rattled off things that she saw are strengths. She didn’t have to stop and think about them, she just rattled them off! Right, add ‘quick to think’ to the list of “not my strengths”.

I recalled a list that my media coach made me put together when I was in a mood like this a couple of years ago. What did I do with that list? Add ‘organized’ to the list of ‘not my strengths’.

My husband and I went to marriage counseling, and one of the things I had to do was put together a lost of his strengths, and things I loved about him,  then put together a list of my own strengths. Compiling his was easy. Mine? Not so much.

Just a side note here, but don’t you find it ironic that karma or fate tends to throw things like this topic up in your path when you are at a low point in that area? Hmm? Just me then? Yeah, irony.

My readers don’t care that I’m a good cook – no make that a damn good cook. I’m not going to appear on Master Chef or anything,  but I manage quite well to feed my family tasty nutritious, and sometimes not so nutritious foods. None of us are starving.  You guys don’t want to hear that I am an exhorter, finding value in everyone else. If you’ve read even one of my blog posts, you probably already know that.

So as an author, what am I good at? Isn’t it sad that it took cheating to come up with something?

OK, asking my friend over the phone, going through my stack of notebooks for that list, going through the marriage counseling folder, are technically cheating. Hey, when you’re down you’re down.

In that folder, I found the list my husband made about me. I was in tears. It amazes me that he sees all these wonderful things in me.  OK, maybe I should make a run to the store and bring Ben and Jerry home for a celebration. Instead, I decided to make his favorite meal and dessert for him. ( It’s a small thing, but something I could definitely do for him!)

In the top five of both lists – the one from the media coach and my husband’s list, and one of the things mentioned from my friend on the phone made me smile and I admitted,  this could be the thing. OK, let me be honest here. There were actually a couple of things that were on all the lists, which made me smile this ridiculous goofy smile and cry happy tears.

So what is my greatest strength?

I am never lacking ideas. I rarely ever get writer’s block, instead, I have a flood of ideas and have trouble focusing on just one.

A friend will ask my advice on how to move her characters from point A to point B, and I have a couple of ideas. I don’t even have to think about it, I can rattle off a list of options for her. Another friend needs a title – BAM I give her a list of options and more than a few times, the author will decide on one of my suggestions.

I have a creative mind. I can come up with an idea from just about any prompt that you can throw at me. I can make a meal that is practically gourmet from simple ingredients. I can make an elaborate plot out of a simple idea.

I can throw boulder-sized obstacles into my character’s path to keep them from their objective. I can always think of “what can go wrong now” to avoid a straight line to the end.

My name is Ellie Mack and my super power

is my Creative Mind.

I have no problem with doubt in this area. I know I am creative. this is not an area that I second guess myself. Why it was so hard for me to see it, I don’t know.

  • Lame plot? I got a solution.
  • Flat characters? I have some ideas.
  • A new twist on an old theme? I got a million of them!
  • Wrote yourself into a corner? Did you see the loose ceiling tile?

A brilliant mind is one of the sexiest qualities a person can have.

Being smart is sexy!

It feels great to know that I can in all sincerity say I am confident that this is a strength.

Confidence is sexy!

Confidence gives you the inner fortitude to be bolder in your endeavors.

Boldness is Sexy!

Knowing that you are strong in an area is enabling and allows you to work harder.

Strong is sexy!

Being smart leads to confidence. Confidence leads to boldness. Boldness leads to being strong. Being strong builds confidence  . . . and the cycle begins to gain momentum.

I’ve got my sexy back!

*does a smexy dance to my inner music*

Yeah!

YEAH!

OH YEAH!

What does sexy have to do with strength? EVERYTHING!   Sexy is so much more than a perfect size four female body. Sexy is a state of mind. A romance writer needs to have a certain sexy state of mind in order to write those steamy hot scenes and interconnective tissue that weaves a magical story that unites two individuals within the pages of a novel. Confidence gives you strength in who you are and what you are capable of.

Just like the rock hard muscles of a trained athlete, an author’s mind flexes with training and conditioning. It builds strength. A strength that others easily recognize, even when you can’t see it. Plus, the strong sexy author can make the voices of doubt that echo through the dark corridors of my mind shut the hell up!

This week’s prompt came at a time that I was truly down and I seriously needed this to get myself back up out of the mire. Thanks, MFRW! I needed that!

What is your greatest strength? Do you need someone else to point them out for you like I did or are you confident in your own to know your strengths and value?

You can check out what these authors have to say about it as well! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Til next time!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

 

 

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4 comments on “Author Superpower #MFRW

  1. Great post! And I don’t consider it cheating at all. I think it’s normal (at least for me) to see only the ‘negative’ or ‘weakness’ in ourselves so finding the good can be harder. This week’s post wasn’t easy for me either and it took me a while to figure out what I could be considered strong at. I wish I could say I rarely got writer’s block, but I carry it around like a 20 ton weight. These past two weeks you can say it’s a 40 ton weight as I’ve been stuck for that long on the same scene. LOL I know eventually things will clear but I’m envious of those that don’t suffer from it.

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    • You are not alone! I have several author friends who deal with that as well. One of them just posted on Facebook on Wednesday that you aren’t a real writer until you get writer’s block. So in her mind, I guess i”m not a real writer, but I don’t agree. Way back in high school, we won’t discuss just how many years ago that was, my creative writing teacher told us that if you ever get writer’s block, then try one of three things.
      1. Brainstorm – write down every conceivable idea that comes to your mind, regardless of how ridiculous it may seem. Your MC is backed into a corner or stuck – from the deux en machina to the most far-fetched thing you can dream up, write them all down. Let it sit for a bit, then go over and compare it to the plausibility of your plot.
      2. Free write. Forget your novel, forget whatever it is that you are stopped upon. Grab a notebook and a pen. Set a timer on your phone (back then it was the kitchen timer) I used this one just last month and my free writing looked like: I can’t believe that I am resorting to this ridiculous thing again after so many years. Why can’t I think of an idea for my own novel? I was helping XXXXX with her story when she was stuck, and I could easily come up with VVVVVVVV, but when it comes to my own story, then I lock up. Write whatever it is that you are thinking.
      3. Flash fiction – take a picture or a prompt and write a brief 1000 words on it.
      Those three things generally get things flowing for me. Give them a try!

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  2. The more I read people’s blog, the easier it is for me to see my strengths, because I it seems that being a writer requires a certain set of strengths. While I haven’t yet seen anyone else highlight creativity, it’s obviously a crucial strength.

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  3. My mom said to me two weeks ago, “It’s amazing the way your brain works…” I always had a ready excuse for why I was late/didn’t have my homework/’forgot’ to do my chores.” If I hear the word ‘no’ when I want to do something, I will try to turn it into a ‘yes’. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t.

    I once had an editor say to me, “come on; you have a better ending than that in you!” I snarkily replied after 15 minutes of brain-wracking, “And they lived happily ever after…’ got up from my desk and was halfway across the room when the ending hit me:) So sometimes being a bit of a smart ass pays off? LMAO!

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