Today I posted over on my author blog about being an HSP (highly sensitive person). It's a personality trait title for the scientific term, Sensory-Processing Sensitivity. In a nutshell, I get more easily overwhelmed than other people. I think a lot before entering situations, even a blog post. I often second-guess myself. And I'm a big crier. I cry a lot.
This has all made me stop and think about our personalities in correspondence to our writing strategies. This is one of the reasons why I get really, super irritated when I run across blog posts or articles claiming that there are only specific ways one should write a novel. I really dislike those "rule lists" you see go up all the time, and I really don't like writing advice in general, even though I have given it many times. I believe I've always made it clear that my advice is just suggestions, and I do believe trying out different things is a good thing, but a writer just shouldn't feel pressured to write a specific way. Ever.
For me, being an HSP, I have to outline. Writing by the seat of my pants is a Bad Idea because as with anything in my life, I plan. I observe. I once did National Novel Writing month (writing 50,000 words in a month), and it was a Bad Idea for me, even though it did eventually end up in a published novel, but not without a lot of heartache. Still, I tried it and found that writing under pressure does not work for me. I do no write best that way.
So this helps me see that my personality plays a huge part in the way I write. This should be obvious, of course, but I think a lot of writers these days listen too much to outside sources and not enough to themselves and their own needs. My suggestion today is that you stop and observe your own personality. Are you writing the most efficient way possible for how you normally function, or are you trying to force your writing style to suit someone else's idea of a good writing style? In all honesty, I think when we hit the correct stride of writing suited to our personality, that's where our voice really shines through.