I have two main passions in life, my writing and my fitness. I have to admit, I do the fitness thing a lot better than I do the writing thing. The first thing I want to do in the morning is work out, then I worry about writing, but that’s not the point of this entry. The main point is gratitude.
Beginners on the path to fitness are looking for any tips that will help them and, for the most part, are willing to try just about anything from anyone. Tell them you do 400 squats a morning and eat rutabega for breakfast and they’ll try it for a week. ( For the record, no I don’t do either. I follow high lean protein, high fiber with a mix of strength training and cardio.) The point is they’re grateful for anything you give them.
Writers on the other hand will out and out attack you for suggesting they change how they do things. It could be their first day writing and they’ve written 400 hundred words, quite proudly, in crayon, on construction paper and they will throw their box of Crayola at you if you suggest they use paper and pencil. And it doesn’t matter if you yourself are a beginning writer or a professional writer. They have their ideas and how dare you threaten them, thank you very much.
Now professional writers are some of the most giving, generous, open people you will find. They find no greater joy than telling a young writer how to get there. They want the next generation to succeed because they want the craft to continue. Simple, right? Remember the crayons. Most writers have an idea of how things should be and don’t feel comfortable when that idea is challenged.
Now, this is not to say that all writers are like this. There are a very few, open-minded individuals and I am blessed to know some. They drink in the sage’s advice and go in there little corner with their paper and pencil and carefully follow instructions. Of course, they may find later in their career that they don’t like the advice, or it didn’t work for them, but at least they tried.
I guess my point is that, for now at least, I’m tired of trying to help. I am by no means a professional, but I listen to the professionals and I try to pass on what I learn. Some people just don’t want to hear it. As it stands, I have decided to ban myself from certain aspirant forums and focus more on my craft. I will try to post my processes here and maybe, someone, somewhere will find a little success along with me.