I missed my Wednesday writing post so I'll do a double post next week to catch up...well, I'll try. ;)
A strange thing happened to me last week. I'm not going to get into the crazy/petty details but I am learning there is a particular breed of person (can be male or female) that enjoys making statements that bring others down. I have had this happen to me twice in the last week. Now, don't get too sad for me, I'm a pretty tough cookie and take this sort of thing in stride, but others do not. I found myself listening and wondering why people choose to behave this way? Is it a self-esteem thing? That's what all the psych majors would say, but I think it runs deeper than that. And the reason I chose to blog about it today is that there seems to be an overload of this type of person in the writing world.
Have you met one? Either in person or online? It's the kind of writer that likes to tell you what you are doing wrong and what you can do to make it to THEIR level. Hmmm...okay, so you are not published, is that correct? Yes, says the person. And you have no training, right? Yes, the person repeats. So, why am I to listen to you? Uhhhhh...
Yeah, that's what I thought.
See, I am a tough critter. My crit partners can probably attest to this fact, but I am also extremely supportive. I think critiquing should be tough. It is useless if it doesn't force the writer to stop and think. If you are simply critiquing niceties, stop. You are wasting the person's time. But on the same front, if you read something and think it is absolute crap take a step back. Is it in the same genre as what you write? Same style? It is one thing to point out issues, it is another one entirely to call something "bad." Don't do that, please for the love of strawberries stop yourself! We are all learning here. We are all striving for the same or similar goals. Why not support one another? And this goes for all elements of life, not just writing.
I am from the South, that is of the U.S, and all Southern women are given the same gift at birth. We can insult you, like slap you in the face insult, with a wide smile on our faces and so much sugar in our voices you're liable to get a tooth ache. It is an unfortunate gift. I have a family member that has practiced her sugar slap to the point that you have to do a double take to be sure you heard her right. She'll compliment your makeup, smile wide, and then say something like "Don't you just hate it when ladies with full lips wear lipgloss." And you start to nod and realize, wait -- I have full lips and I'm wearing lip gloss!
Congratulations, you just received the sugar slap.
Moral of this super long post? Please, please, please follow Lincoln's wise words - "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
Trust me, if you are prepared to smack someone down to size realize now in actuality you are only making yourself look like a fool...I'm actually thinking of another word, but I'll keep my blog relatively clean. ;)