Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dissident Writers Questionnaire

Ok am still in the process of making the Dissident Writer's blog pretty, but i've made up a questionnaire, if people would like to answer it? Maybe pass it on with a link to the DW Blog?

Whats the DW Blog, you ask? Well following this post about my feelings on writing and conversations with Corra (a fellow DW) i've made up a support group/blog for those of us who find writing isn't the easiest or most pleasurable thing in the world.

So Are you a DW Writer?

Well take a look at our lovely questionnaire below.

1. You read the following comment and react in the following way:

"I absolutely love to write, if I couldn't write - I would die"

a. Agree completely, you feel the exact same way!

b. You 'get' the comment, you love to write!

c. You don't get this statement at all, writing is this strange masochistic tendency you seem to have to perform - being a dominatrix would be much more profitable and feasible career!

2. You consider the question "Why do you write?" and answer:

a. I love it, writing is my life and my only true vocation! It is my absolutely dreamjob and i love every moment of it - even when its hard and awful - i wouldn't have it any other way. I live for my stories and characters

b. I have a story to tell, maybe more than one. I love to write, and explore my characters and their plots. Although I could live without writing, I don't want to.

c. I don't know. I just have to - its terribly annoying itch that i have to scratch. Seriously I don't know why i bother writing, everything i write is complete crap.

3. You post a piece online or give it to a beta reader or critique group and get constructive criticism. How do you react:

a. Hurt. It feels sort of like a personal attack because you know you've worked hard on this piece and you love your characters and plot so much. You realise though that you need to take it all on board to be a better writer.

b. It stings a bit, but you look at your piece and evaluate their advice/critique and make your own judgement on your work.

c. You feel like you've been ripped apart for about three seconds, asking 'how could they say that?!?' then you realise they are all completely right, that you are a FOOL to write such garbage and decide to delete it all/store in a secret place because you are so ashamed! You consider bribing mods of SYW forums to make your posted piece 'disappear' forever.

4. How do you find the writing progress:

a. Absolutely amazing. I love writing so much, it all flows so quickly. Before you know it I've written the first draft and am really happy with it. I know that editing will be hard - but after writing 2-3000 words a day, i really don't mind. I just can't wait to start on my next book. . .

b. I have a routine. I really enjoy writing but I usually lay out a plan first, then start the first draft. Sometimes i get stuck in parts, but i know that i don't have to write amazingly well the first time round, and plod along - getting my words down. Seeing the word count go up every day gives me a great feeling.

c. Pure hell. I've been staring at this page for six hours - i've written 200 words and deleted them - everything i write is utter crap. Writing is like having my nails pulled one by one, yet i keep going. Seriously Masochism does not cover it! I don't feel satisfied with my writing - never ever - even if my word count gets higher every day, i know its all awful

5. One of your writing habits are:

a. Thinking of your characters constantly - conversing with them etc. You absolutely love them and their universe and let them guide you through writing.

b. BIC - butt in chair. you have a routine and you keep to it. Your only problem is that you wish you had more BIC time because you really get into a stride during these sessions.

c. Delete button is you bestest friend in the whole world. After you die and presumable museum is erected to honour your masterpieces - you plan on there being no 'evidence' of first/second/third drafts. Even if this means you never get past 200 words of your WIP



You are the complete and utter opposite to a DW. Your cheeriness and love of writing makes us shrivel up like vampires in the sun. Be happy in the knowledge that you love what you are doing and will more than likely succeed in writing a huge body of great work (like Ray Bradbury)

“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.” - Ray Bradbury


You are a calm, self assured lover of writing. You are aware of the negative side (intellectually) but in your heart you are a writer and love being one. You are balanced in your thoughts and feelings, but really enjoy what you're doing. So, you are not a DW - perhaps in moments of Writer's block you might cross the line and dip the toe into our pool of crazy - but only for a short time.

“Whether or not you write well, write bravely” - Bill Stout


Aw welcome fellow DW!! I think you'll like it here very much. You don't know why you write, its an unanswerable question that hangs over you as you push and strain (like a woman giving birth) to write a single sentence that you won't delete. You feel defective as a writer because you don't feel that 'love' that many writer's speak of. Your relationship to writing is a love/hate one, where you come out feeling stressed, drained and usually drunk after an argument with it. You think you are alone, a freak but you're not!

“Writing a novel is like making love, but it's also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it's like making love while having a tooth pulled.” Dean Koontz


C.E. Wood Inspired said...

Wow. It's like finding out you're adopted. I never knew I was a DW, but there it is in black and white!
Thanks, Emily!

Diana Paz said...

B, C, B, B, B.

So I'm a solid "B"... what does that mean for me? For my kids? *sob sob* I always thought I was an "A"

Emily Cross said...

CE - you are not alone :)

Diana - aw you're a 'b' for balanced ;)

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