Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Friday, October 24, 2008

Frustration and Irritation

Okay, I flew off the handle yesterday. Almost deleted the post, but then decided to leave it there - if only to show others in this position that they aren't alone. (I did change the subject to remove the f word. It wasn't necessary.)

You see, I get frustrated when I hear about some of the dumb, thoughtless and often mean things people who call themselves writers say to other, often newer, writers. Early on, I was on the receiving end of some of this bilge, and it really knocked me off kilter. I was naive enough to believe that everyone in a writing community was there to give and receive a little empathy. All the unpubs are going through about the same things, and all the pubs have been here themselves, so it stands to reason all the people in a writing community want to help one another.

Silly me.

Which is I left that community, and part of the reason why I subsequently left another. Too much backbiting, in-fighting, dirty-little-digs and out & out misinformation passed off as wisdom. *shrug*

I'm the first to admit I don't know everything about this business. (If I did, I'd be published already, right?) One thing I do know, though, is that no matter what anyone says, you have to be true to yourself. Hence yesterday's unscheduled rant.

I get irritated when a supposed authority on the subject of writing says stupid things - for instance any sentence in which the idea of not being a real writer comes up. I've heard people say you aren't a real writer unless you write x-number of words a day. I've heard about people who've said silly things like 'only hacks write...' pick a style, any style and it'll fall under someone's idea of being a hack. First person? Hack. Omniscient? Hack. Start with dialogue? Hack. Romance??? Hack. Get the idea?

Anyway, I usually ignore the little irritations. What's the point of confronting any of them? When you're in a discussion with someone who's obviously irrational, the best thing to do is stop talking - you'll never get through to them, and they won't stop trying to get through to you. The only problem with that for me, though, is that all the little irritations have a tendency to build up and fester until I blow a gasket. Like yesterday.

Add that to the stress of the past month, and Voila! Exploding writer.

Anyway, what it all boils down to is that I really want to help newer writers avoid the crap I went through, and if just one of them can look at a bad piece of advice and say 'bite me', then my work is done.

Have a nice weekend everyone. In the words of Rufus, "Be excellent to each other."


1 comment:

Kristen Painter said...

I think this is something creative types go through no matter what the genre - writing, painting, poetry, etc.

Remember that you must please yourself with your work first. Tell a good story. Write well. That's all that matters.

My word verification, oddly enough: publash