Monday, February 6, 2012

From The Trenches: Maggie -- Comparing Writers to Shoes

I feel like I apologize a lot on the internet -- usually for my lateness for something or another. Well, this is one of those times. I am late to post this, but this time there is a real excuse; I've been out of town twice this month, and everything normal and organized in my life has gone out the window and been chopped to bits in a jet engine.

All (slight) dramatics aside, I'm writing today on the uniqueness of writers, because it's something I've thought about at length, and I feel like I may have something for a few of you who need to hear this. With that incredibly long sentence out of the way, I'll jump right in with italics, to emphasize my point.

Every writer is different.

You've probably heard it before. Or thought it before. Or something. But I'd like to elaborate on just how true this is.

Let's compare writing to shoes.

Think about all the different feet in the world-- big feet, little feet, (here I ignore the temptation to quote Dr. Seuss), narrow feet, wide feet. Then think about all the different styles of footwear-- sandles, chucks, boots, flats, heels, vibrams. Now think about everyone you meet. You're bound to meet more than one person that share a particular size, or prefer one kind of shoe. But at the end of the day, everyone is different in what they wear and like-- what fits their style, yet is comfortable or effective in one way or another. I believe it's the same with writers, and the way that we tell stories.

There are some basic 'sizes': Pantsers, plotters, in-between-ers.

There are some basic 'styles': Speed writers, organized drafters, slow writers, fast writers, scrambled writers

And, just like shoes, there is a size and style for you. However, I think the most important thing is NOT finding where you "fit in", or trying to map yourself to a specific "writer personality type." While that's fun, it has the potential to drop a couple boulders on your path of creativity. Trying to conform to one size or style isn't, ultimately, going to yield original, stylized, personality-infused novels.


My advice to you, O Writer Who Needs To Hear This, is not to go Perfect Fit Hunting, but to try on several pairs and find what's most comfortable, while still being effective. Something that gets the job done, but does so in a way that doesn't hamper with your creativity, or dampen your personal flair.

That's all I've got for today-- and it's been a long one!

For the comments, what gets the job done for YOU? Do you like to draft in a week and tear it to shreds later? Do you write in 100-word chunks? Do share! Your words may encourage someone else. It helps to know you're not the only one out there.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, and KEEP WRITING!


  1. Ooooo, great analogy! I also order you to reply to my DM.

  2. I tend to write whenever inspiration strikes...but I also know that I can't just sit and wait, so I sometimes have to force myself to write a little bit before I really get back into it. Whenever I encounter a block in writing the actual story, I usually step back and start writing general info--biographies for the characters, a description of the terrain, a history of their world, etc.--anything, just as long as it's related to the story. Usually that world-building will help to kick my brain back into its writing mode, and then I'm a happy little writer. :-D

  3. It depends on how soon I want to finish the book and what else I have going on at the time. For example, right now I'm trying to finish a first draft of a novel but I have to keep putting it off because of school work. I like putting a schedule on things though. That way I will be more inclined to write. Laziness tends to consume me :)

  4. @Rachel Ooooh! That sounds very similar to the way I write. I LOVE world building. =) Thanks for the comment!

    @Sarah I sooo understand. I love deadlines, too, because while they're stressful, they get the job done. ^^ Good luck finishing your draft & thanks for reading! :)