Saturday, 5 March 2011

Strengths and Weaknesses

It has been said that courage and fear go hand in hand. You cannot be courageous if you have no fear.

This blog will be similar to last weeks in the fact that it will give you more of an understanding of who I am as a person but more importantly how it relates to my writing.

As I watch the world around me and observe my own behaviour and the behaviour of others I am always fascinated by many things.

One thing that fascinates me is the diversity of people. Everyone is an individual with their own genetics, environment and ability to choose. The uniqueness of every individual is incredible. I love this fact for many reasons but also because it relates to writing. This is because as you write you can shape the things in your own web of circumstances. Then you can dictate the actions and reactions of the character because of their own environment, genetics and ability to choose.

Observing these things it is very clear that humans, whether real or fictitious, have strengths and weaknesses that are influenced by the three things mentioned.

As always I will indulge in my own experiences and as I write it will be clear why I am discussing this topic. Just like last week I must go back to my childhood and youth, but this time I will keep it brief. First of all I must make a bold statement that is the premise for this blog.

I suck, (excuse the colloquialism), at spelling, grammar and punctuation.

As far back as I can remember everything I ever wrote at school had statements, in various forms, telling me I had to improve my spelling, grammar and punctuation. Did I listen to these statements? I was far too distracted and pretty lazy when it came to that sort of thing, so no. I always passed essays and exams, who knows how, and that was enough for me. Even at university I got through my course despite these weaknesses.

…As I write I am starting to think this may not have been the best thing to write about when I desire to have a career in writing, but my justification and explanation is about to follow and this will hopefully keep you on my side…

I finished the first draft and began editing my book. One word comes to mind, “Humiliation!”
So many errors and so many mistakes, it was embarrassing. I think I read through it seven times and still mistakes get highlighted even now. I don’t envy my editor if ever I get one. A couple of times I wondered if I should pack it in. I could save a lot of embarrassment from when people highlighted my errors. And I admit at times I was scared of people’s opinions.

So why did I not just accept I was poor at this and just stick to my plans to go back to university to become a primary school teacher.

I like a challenge, that’s why. But more importantly it was my strengths that kept me going.

I completely believe that what I am writing about is really good. And so far opinions from those who have read it, and those who have left comments on the Facebook page for ‘The Chronicles of Elementary,’ seem to be the same. The ideas and concepts and how they fit together really excite me. It gives me that drive and belief I discussed in the last blog update. Add this to the fact that I know what’s coming in the other books, and especially the last of the six, I am very very confident. I must admit it is sometimes hard for me to contain my excitement. But I try hard not to get ahead of myself because if people don’t enjoy the first book etc they will never get to the sixth and then it becomes pointless.

The strengths of the ideas and concepts kept me going, and despite my weaknesses, I pushed on with my work. The great thing about weaknesses is that they can be improved.

I have learned so much since writing. Granted the technical stuff I should have learned at primary school, but it’s never too late to learn and grow. Furthermore there are other things I have learned from these weaknesses, I guess you can call them life skills. These were learned because of the experience and could not have been learned at primary school.

I am currently writing up book two and I can already see a Grand Canyon size improvement in my abilities to write. It is very encouraging to see this improvement.
I am so glad that somewhere in my genetics, environment and choice making I have, or have learned, the ability to see my weaknesses objectively, understand them and then improve them. Because of this my writing, and my life, will only improve with time and that is a happy thought to have.

The great thing is that the examples highlighted by my own weaknesses and strengths in writing can relate to everything a person does in life, whether a job, family life or a hobby. We all have things we are good at and we should be proud of those things. Then we all have things we maybe aren’t good at and can improve if we choose to.

It takes courage to overcome the thoughts of being embarrassed and the fear of failure. No one likes to feel weak or be told they are bad at something, but sometimes we just have to understand our limits, be objective and to “know thy self.” When you overcome those fears you will realise that you have no limits and your potential is like the numerical figure pi. You will then be able to feel the enjoyment that comes from progression, where otherwise you would remain in the same place treading water.

Have enjoyment and belief in your strength.
Have courage and objectivity in your weakness.

Foot note: 02/09/2016

I can't believe it was five and a half years ago. I don't think I've come as far as I thought I would, but I've learned that maintaining who we are is actually just as important as trying to become who we want to be. It all depends on the stresses, pressures, levers and circumstance we face. A lot of them could easily swallow us whole or break us. Therefore, maintenance and patience comes before naive perspective of success.


  1. Crushing on the last two lines. "Have enjoyment and belief in your strength.
    Have courage and objectivity in your weakness." Armoring one's self with knowledge while being afraid makes a person humble and yet confident. - Layce of royal essay.

  2. Wow, I can't believe it's been over three years since I wrote this blog post. I love what you've said about confidence and humility. I think most people don't even realize that they can both co-exist, or that humility is even a positive character trait. I think that comes from a false perception of what being humble actually is. Anyway, I better stop there before I start writing an essay about the perceptions of confidence and humility. I just want to say thank you for your comment, it made my day.

  3. Very impressive publication here. Moreover as I see, this question is very actual for many people indeed. Personally I totally agree with author opinion about this subject and I think that it would be really interesting to create such discussion with other this website visitors. Anyway thanks a lot one more time for the great and informative publication. And I will definitely be waiting for more such nice posts like this one from you. Kind regards, Peter Rickson.look at my profile

    1. Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed the discussion. I hope you find some more topics on this blog that are of value to you and perhaps others :)

  4. At the risk of making a suggestion you probably already know, I also want to point out that you don't have to walk the journey alone. Having a strong and healthy support group, whether they be family, good friends, or counselors, can empower you along the

    1. I couldn't agree more!! Ultimately, when it comes to the writing it is me, and me alone, that has to do it, but in terms of help, encouragement and motivation to actually do the writing, all the types of support you mentioned play a huge role! I wouldn't have got as far as I have with out them! :)

  5. Personally I totally agree with author opinion about this subject !

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