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 It is difficult for me to focus –  hence why I have multiple unfinished and unpublished novels.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

 

 

 

 

Understanding Who We Are


Ten Rules to Live By in Order to Achieve  Success

  1. Feed Your Strengths! Understand your personality and know what your strengths are.  Work with your natural bent instead of trying to be something that you were never designed to be. If you are a creative, embrace the creative nature. If you are an analytical thinker then go forth and analyze! For me, the daily doldrums can get the best of me.  It’s part of why I get bored with long term projects. New experiences stimulate my mind whereas  routine gives others comfort.  I need to make sure that I have opportunities for new experiences in order to fuel my quest of understanding the world. I’m never going to be a skydiver –  that’s a little too much experience for me. However, safety within the four walls of my home become stagnant and are soon interpreted as imprisonment just as if I were sentenced to solitary confinement.  If you don’t know what your personality is, google personality tests. Here’s an example of one that is helpful: http://www.16personalities.com/  Here’s  something it said about mine: ENFPs are fiercely independent, and much more than stability and security, they crave creativity and freedom. Don’t Lose That ‘Little Spark of Madness’  Now, how accurate is that? 
  2. Face Your Weaknesses! Every one has strengths and everyone has weaknesses. I know – difficult to believe but it’s true. Realize and accept that some traits are  your strengths and others are  your weaknesses. By facing your weaknesses, you can overcome them and they will have less power over you. My effervescent personality makes me vulnerable to schemers and cons. I hate the word,  but naivity is one of my biggest downfalls.  I’ve been “suckered” many times. I tend to be too trusting and believe that people are honest and have integrity. They aren’t and they don’t.  Human nature is lazy and selfish – a lesson that I often have to be reminded of.  I’ve gotten myself into some very dangerous situations because of this blind trust. An eagerness to push the envelope means that I often act before thinking. I have anger issues.  OH, some people get angry,  but I have had some real issues with  anger to the point of rage. It’s a real thing.  The hell hath no fury like a woman scorned type of thing. I have a long list of unfinished projects.  Writing projects, craft projects, home improvement projects, you name it. This is one area that I have made improvements on,  knowing that I work better with a deadline and a todo list in order to progress to  completion.  I have this inner need to experience everything that life has to offer and could lead to some real problems.  While I’m not going to  sample heroine or meth just for the experience,  I have been known to do some daring things. Daily routine is the bane of my existence.  I need change, variety, something new. For others that would be a nightmarish existence.  I get that – we are all different. I get angry when others try to make me conform to their ideas.
  3. Express Your Feelings. Emotions – they aren’t always sweet.  I love passionately.  I give generously.  I feel compassionately.  I act impulsively. I get hurt easily. Don’t let anger get bottled up inside you. If you have strong feelings, sort them out and express them, or they may become destructive! I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions either on impulse, or out of anger. I hate the question-  why did you do that because I don’t alwayhs have an answer.  I just did it.  I didn’t think about it,  or weigh the consequences  I just acted. Why does there need to be a reason?  I have had to learn to think first act second. That is not a natural process for me.
  4. Make Decisions. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. You need to know how you feel about things in order to be effective. There are times however that it is not wise to share your opinion.  Just because you have a thought does not mean it needs to come out of your mouth or be typed into social media.
  5. Smile at Criticism. Try to see disagreement and discord as an opportunity for growth, because that’s exactly what it is. Try not to become overly defensive towards criticism; try to hear it and judge it objectively.  YEah,  I’m still working on this one.  I don’t take criticism well.  Smile? Are you kidding me? More like grit your teeth and breath a deep cleansing breath.  Let. It. Go. Sometimes they are trying to help, however misguided they are.
  6. Be Aware of Others. Remember that there are 15 other personality types out there who see things differently than you see them. Most of your problems with other people are easier to deal with if you try to understand the other person’s perspective. I often have to remind myself of this. OFTEN. Just like above,  there are people who think through, analyze, weigh the options, consequences, how it affects other people before they act. If I did that,  I would  never have done over half of the things I have.
  7. Be Aware of Yourself. Don’t forsake your own needs for the sake of others.   I am so guilty of this.  As a mother I am a giver.  My personality lends itself to giving out and putting myself last. Realise you are an important focus. If you do not fulfill your own needs, how will continue to be effective and how will others know you are true to your beliefs? If you do this  very often, you will find yourself at a place of dissatisfaction in life.  This is where I am trying to work back from!
  8. Be Accountable for Yourself. Don’t waste mental energy finding blame in other’s behaviour, or in identifying yourself as a victim. You have more control over your life than any other person has. So be in control.  Own your actions,  live your own life.  Stop blaming others, stop making excuses, and stop waiting for life to happen.  Waiting means life will pass you by while you sit in the bleachers.
  9. Assume the Best. Don’t distress yourself by assuming the worst. Remember that a positive attitude creates positive situations. OH I am all over this one!  I am probably guilty of being the eternal optimist,  always looking at the best case scenario. Now, when I (best case scenario visionary) work together with my husband (analytical thinker who tends to be worst case scenario) we can come up with a plan that benefits us both. Isn’t that kind of the idea?  We balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  10. When in Doubt, Ask Questions! Don’t assume that the lack of feedback is the same thing as negative feedback. If you need feedback and don’t have any, ask for it.  Asking questions does not mean you are stupid, it means you are curious and interested. When was the last time you asked a question in something that you had no interest? Hmmmm?

GO FOR IT!

You want success in your life,  you  take the pilot seat. You want it? Work for it, work towards it.  Understand  your own strengths and weaknesses.  Stop beating yourself up over  a personality trait that  is different than the majority.  It may  be the very catalyst to  change the atmosphere!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie