I am not a fast drafter. I’d like to be one, but I’m not, just like I’m not the sort of person who can get out of bed before 7:30 am on a regular basis, or the sort of person who can run a mile and enjoy it. My drafts take a while. They’re generally in pretty decent shape when they’re done. That’s just the kind of writer I am.
I’d like to be the sort of writer who has a knack for delving deep into characters’ emotions. I am really, really not that sort of writer, especially in my early drafts. I always have to focus on my main characters’ emotions in revision, no matter how much I try to get them on the page the first time around. Even after I’ve done my best, I know there are other writers who could have done it better. That’s just the kind of writer I am.
I’d like to write a Very Serious Book one day, the sort of book that will make Serious People have Serious Conversations about Serious Topics. This is never going to happen.
I’d like to write an entire book without worrying for a minute about what other people will think of it. That’s never going to happen, either.
Here’s what might happen, though: I can accept my writing self–my strengths and my weaknesses. I can accept the books I write, and I can feel proud of them. And I can encourage my writer friends to embrace their own stories and their own processes without measuring them against their own ideas of what the writing life should be like.
So, dear readers, I’d like to know: what kind of writer are you? What parts of your writing life have you decided to accept?