Discovering and Accepting the Type of Writer I Am

Saturday, October 23, 2021

It's funny that Sue recently blogged about picking and choosing your pathway with writing. I ran into that very realization lately. It all started with a flash fiction contest I entered a couple of years ago. Part of the appeal of the contest was that you write the 500-word story in 48 hours, and submit what you have by the deadline. This resulted in little revising and rewriting on my part due to the time constraints. And I loved the little story I wrote and thought it was so charming.

Over time, I've attempted to rewrite that story. Through that process, I've come across various flash fiction contests and wondered to myself if my story was worthy. I've even submitted it a few times, and yet, as I look at it now, I feel like it doesn't represent the type of writing I want to put my time into. I have written flash fiction since then and each story tells me there's something more of a story inside yearning to be fleshed out.

Yet, it's not like I haven't been successful with this style of writing. Not too long ago, I got a 1,000ish word story published with Sky Island Journal. But, as I see contests come and go encouraging flash fiction submissions, I'm beginning to realize I'm not much of a flash fiction writer, and I really don't yearn to be. If it happens, and I write one, great! But I've accepted that it's not necessarily a craft I want to spend time perfecting. 

I've also discovered this truth in other areas of writing. For example, with freelance writing, I enjoy SEO writing, writing on behalf of businesses, and blogging. But ask me to pitch an article to an editor? I draw a blank. Ideas don't come. Weirdly enough, I could write articles for a business blog or newsletter and not run into that brick wall at all.

So, I've come to accept and learn more about the type of writer I am. It's not that these aren't areas I couldn't grow in, but I often ask myself if I really want to take the time to expand in these areas. Doing so may result in me pulling away from my own writing time, and become an excuse for me not to work on the stories I do have in my pending file. 

Like Sue says in her article, it's not like you shouldn't try new things. I love the idea of stepping outside of your comfort zone but don't let that become a roadblock for you. Sometimes comfort zones are comfortable for a reason.


4 comments:

Sioux Roslawski said...

Nicole--I bow down to you. I tried SEO writing years and years ago, and I was awful at it. I got some things "bought" or published, but it involved pennies per piece--sometimes way less than $10 per piece (and I sweated and toiled over those pieces--on HVAC and other things I had no knowledge of).

We all have our talents and our likes/dislikes. It's nice to know what our limitations are.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

SEO writing? Eeek. I'd much rather pitch an article. But, like you said, SEO just doesn't overlap with the writer I am.

It is funny how what one of us loves, the other backs away from . . . step by step.

Renee Roberson said...

Nicole, I've also had to tell myself to devote less time to flash stories. Unless you plan on selling an anthology full of them, it's not a great way to earn income. If you're looking to publish in a journal, that's great, but like you mention, there is such limited space in those and editors are subjective.

SEO writing is something I struggle with, too. I've discovered I enjoy more long form, investigative pieces, but those are hard to sell and they take so long to research. (Except for my podcast scripts!)But it sounds like the things you enjoy writing will help you continue to be a great PR pro or marketing communications consultant. Keep doing you!

Angela said...

What if you pitched an SEO article to an editor? ;) I think it's great you've found your niche. I try to only do writing I enjoy, but it's a variety of things at different times, from writing newsletter and blogging to creative nonfiction and memoir. I used to do a lot of pitching and SEO writing, and enjoy both, but I find the quick turnaround of writing timely articles stressful, so I'm avoiding those right now. Lol.

I loved your piece in Sky Island Journal and think you're a great fiction writer. I would gladly trade some of my short CNF pieces for your one beautiful flash! It's a masterpiece, so I hope you don't give up on writing fiction, whether short or longer. :)

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