Last month, I signed up for the course Advance Study for Writing for Business, as part of the editing program at Simon Fraser University. I thought it would teach me techniques for more effective writing in business situations (e.g. press kits, query letters). However, the first assignment kind of threw me for a loop when it asked me to identify what type of writer I am.
I was given three choices of writing styles: sprinter, plodder, or bleeder. Apparently plodders write very slowly, require time to think things over, and take many distracting breaks. Bleeders on the other hand, are perfectionists. They will not rest until their prose is perfect, ruminating over every word until the sentences are perfect. And lastly, the sprinter is never at a loss for words, writing quickly and spending the rest of the time revising the original text.
It took me only a moment to figure out how I write. I am definitely a sprinter, and I would have to say that it's a rather nice pocket to sit in. Although, there is always that inevitable point when I have to force myself to sit down and really concentrate on revising my original text into coherent paragraphs, when all I really want to do is keep writing.
On the other hand, some people would argue that being a plodder is the best type of writer because you are able to write and revise as you go, with no major hiccups along the way. But then again, anything is better than being a bleeder. As the name suggests, it's a slow, painful process of dripping out words one by one, agonizing over each one before moving on to the next sentence. If this is you, I suggest you try some free-flow writing exercises to loosen up your hands and your mind, opening yourself up so that you can make progress on the page.
Learning about how I write has been an interesting point of reflection. So tell me, how do you write?
Stacey D. Atkinson is completing her debut novel Stuck, to be released this September by the indie company Mirror Image Publishing.