The Ericksons

Assessing My Writing


Writing Assessment

Have you ever assessed your writing and who you are as a writer? Recently, Creative Writing Now sent out a Writer’s Assessment Worksheet to their e-mail list (which I happen to be on). Here are my answers:

What kind of writer would you like to be?

I want to be the kind of writer whose work people don’t want to put down. I want to write fascinating characters whose lives are transformed by the end of the book. Of course, this question is really trying to ferret out my genre of choice.  Mystery/suspense novels of a historical nature are what I really want to write; Plots twisting and turning down alleyways the reader doesn’t even see until they are right there with the character. The surprise of it is what I love most, hitting someone right between the eyes as they say, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming.”

Book Recommendation

I recently read a book called, The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker. This book is getting an amazing number of 5-star reviews and with good reason. Everything about it is pure perfection. Perhaps the best part of it is the surprising moments.  It’s WWII historical fiction. We all know so much about that era. Yet Hawkins manages to show us a whole new side of it. That’s what want, to see something unique.

Imagine a book you would like to write.  Visualize its cover.

I have no idea. This question makes me laugh because design isn’t my strong suit, and I went to art school. I guess I just get locked into words. Let’s change the intent of this question just for a moment. I’m working on a non-fiction book right now called, Gerbils Can’t Swim: Caring for Your Furry Friend. I envision an illustrated cover. There’s a gerbil trying to swim in a fishbowl. Another gerbil is tossing him a life preserver as a goldfish watches the action from below.

If you haven’t written it yet, why not?

What skills are you missing?  What other factors are getting in the way (e.g., lack of time, lack of ideas, fear, and procrastination.)

Let’s switch back to my dream book for this question. I always feel like I need to do more research. The real thing that’s getting in the way is the pile of projects I’m slowly wading through. All of these practical, non-fiction projects come so much more easily to me. They are still hard and time-consuming, but I am good at the process. It’s easy to get bogged down in the fiction process.

What aspects of your writing do you feel good about?

I craft great sentences, great paragraphs, and even great chapters. That’s the part of writing that lights my fire even when the subject is less than riveting.

What aspects of your writing are you unhappy with?

What would it take to improve them?

I’m often too direct and too concise. If I knew how to improve that, I would have done it by now (and this would be a longer answer).

How important is writing to you?

To try to assess its importance in your life, think of some aspects of your life that you consider more important or less important than writing.

Writing is more important than eating. I know this because when I am writing, it’s difficult to stop for meals (or bathroom breaks for that matter). It’s usually more important than anything other than God and my family. I will also leave the keyboard to hunt mushrooms.

What would you be willing to give up to make more time/space for writing?

What sacrifices would you be willing to make if they would allow you to reach your writing goals?

I don’t need to give anything up as much as I need to do something I dread—clean my office. When we recently installed our new flooring, everything went into my office. It now looks like a bomb went off and it’s so overwhelming I panic just walking into the room. I need to break it down into bite-sized pieces and get it done. When I have a designated workspace where I can close the door on the world, I get so much writing done.

What would you like to accomplish with your writing *this year*?

What will it take to get there?

I want to publish the revised version of Facing Cancer as a Friend and finish the rough draft of Facing Cancer as a Caregiver and Gerbils Can’t Swim. I’ve long wanted to write, “I Take You…” with my husband. It’s a book on marriage. But he has plenty of projects he’s working on too, so I don’t see that happening this year.

Have you ever assessed your writing and who you are as a writer? Have any of your answers inspired you to do something differently? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

What Are YOUR Thoughts?

I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!

About Heather EricksonThe Ericksons

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:

The Memory Maker’s Journal 

Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer

Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer

I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.

What are your thought? I'd love to hear them!

4 comments on “Assessing My Writing

Loved your answer to “What would you give up?” Innit that the truth!

Reply

Hi Jacqui. I finally got my office clean and not there are 4 – 150 lb oxygen tanks in it. At least I could see the floor for a few hours.

Reply

There’s nothing wrong with being concise. I have issues with things that are way too wordy. I get lost in that language and gain nothing from the reading of it.

Reply

Hi Liz. That’s how I feel. I guess that’s why I enjoy your writing so much. You say what you mean and I understand it. Have a great week!

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