NCWA welcomes Ann Kroeker, Content Editor for The High Calling.
In light of Charity Singleton’s recent post about becoming masterful, I looked back on a list of Five Writing Strengths I wrote four years ago, to see if I would change or add anything—to see if I can still draw from these strengths to be the best Ann I can be as a writer.
I like to think I have more than five, but this is a good start.
The Meme Instructions:
So, here’s the challenge: make a list of five strengths that you possess as a writer/artist. It’s not really bragging, it’s an honest assessment (forced upon you by this darn meme). Please resist the urge to enumerate your weaknesses, or even mention them in contrast to each strong point you list. Tag four other writers or artists whom you’d like to see share their strengths.
Five Writing Strengths:
1. The ability to sit still for long stretches of time.
Not everyone can do this, you know. Some people get antsy, restless. After a few minutes of sitting still, they fidget and have to get up and make hot chocolate or call a friend. Writers need to be able to sit still for hours in order to get their work done. I can’t help but think of that famous advice writers hear at conferences and in books: How does one become a successful writer? “Apply [bottom] to chair.”* I can do that. I admit that I do head into the other room to grab a handful of nuts now and then or fix a cup of tea. But I can sit still when need be.
Each person I meet knows something that I don’t—I can always learn something new if I ask the right questions. All it takes is a little curiosity. Whether working for a newspaper or corporate client, finding interest in some aspect of a new industry, person, story, or methodology is a strength—if I myself am interested in it, the way I write about it will probably be more interesting, as well.
3. A Commitment to Lifelong Learning.
I’ve abandoned the pursuit of higher education in a formal sense, but Autodidact Ann lives (and reads and researches) on. The more I learn, the more I have to write about.
4. Love of Reading.
Numbers 2, 3, and 4 are suspiciously interrelated. It might seem that I’m taking one idea and stretching it out to fill space—which might be yet another strength in itself—but I do think they deserve to be singled out. Curiosity often leads to learning and reading, and one often learns via reading. But there are other ways to learn and satisfy curiosity, and there is more than one motivation to read. Yet (and this is the point) reading inevitably enhances writing—the content may inspire (or not), the writing style may be worth imitating (or not). Either way, reading widely only helps a writer. Storylines linger, nonfiction facts inform, ideas from texts comingle with others in my mind to form something new. A writer who doesn’t read is doomed to compose in a narrow style and draw from a limited library of ideas. I relish a good book, and I believe that makes my writing richer.
I wrote about this in a previous post. Never, never, never give up. Stick with it. Persist. I may not have the greatest writing talent—I know I don’t—but I stick with it. I try to improve and learn from my mistakes, continuing to forge ahead the best I can. As a friend of mine said (I paraphrase), the most successful writers are not necessarily the ones with the greatest talent; they’re the ones who persevere.
It’s your turn. I’m posing the same question to all who write:
What five writing strengths do you possess?
Consider writing a post exploring your own strengths and link back, so we can read and learn. I’ll include a linky tool below. If you don’t want to publish a post, jot some notes in the comments.
Speaker and author of Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families (August 2009, David C. Cook) and The Contemplative Mom (2000, Shaw Books), Ann Kroeker’s articles have appeared in a variety of publications including The Indianapolis Star newspaper, and magazines such as Decision, The Student, Christian Home and School, and Indianapolis Woman. She contributed to several books including the award-winning Experiencing the Passion of Jesus, by Lee Strobel and Garry Poole. Content Editor for High Calling Blogs, Ann has been married to her Belgian-born husband for 19 years and together they have four children, ages eight to 16. Ann is committed to encouraging and inspiring families as they face the demands of daily living.