Friday, January 4, 2008

An interesting point and How I got here: part 4

Hello and TGIF

Actually it is almost Saturday as I write this. 11pm right now on the East Coast. I've had the second kid this week come down with a stomach bug so my days have been spent on things other than blogging.

I wanted to speak to something Wayne said in yesterday's comment about people being overly encouraging when they're coaching writers [I hope I'm not misrepresenting you Wayne].

You sound like my husband. Don't sugarcoat it, just tell him like it is.

I agree that people need to be honest but I don't think that means they can't be encouraging. There is enough rejection in writing land. Don't just reject me...tell me WHY I was rejected. As a content editor I know sometimes the only answer is "it's just not quite there" but other times you can say "I'm not feeling this scene."

Writing needs to engage the senses. My favorite quote about writing is something Stephen King said in his book "On Writing" He said "Writing is Telepathy".

I agree some people can be over encouraging and they set up unrealistic expectations but then others can be unnecessarily critical. I wonder what some of the rest of you think? Feel free to comment on this on your own blogs then leave the link in the comment section. I'll stop by and see what you have to say. You can also leave comments for me on my blog like usual.

So we're now going to get to part 4 of How I got here. I'm not sure how many parts this actually will be so I'm going to start to abbreviate this as HIGH. It's actually kind of cool how that turned out. I hadn't planned it that way at all.

Okay, HIGH part 4

As I said, I was so crushed that my teacher completely hated my writing that I stopped all together. In retrospect that was really silly. I wrote suspense/thriller kind of stuff [even then] and loved the plot twists of Alfred Hitchcock and Twilight Zone. My teacher [the one who hated my writing] counted Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson among her favorite writer and poet.

But, just the same I allowed that one rejection to stop my writing. Life didn't stop during those next 10 years. I studied in France as an exchange student, went to college and earned my BA, got married, had my first and then my second child, and started a successful networking Marketing business. I was a very busy lady and felt life was where it should be. Then in April 2002 I was sitting in my chair reading a book and suddenly it dropped in my spirit "I should start writing again." My very next thought was "I need to close my business and write." I hadn't thought about my stories [although I moved them with me from one apartment to the next, one house to the next during that whole time]. I can still tell you where exactly I was sitting, what color the chair was and that leaves were starting on the trees. I could tell you it was a weekday [although which one I don't remember] and it was around 2pm.

I remember all these details because it was my fear of rejection that delayed my execution of that prompting inside me. That was the first mistake of many that I'd make in my new writing career.

But then that is a topic for Monday.


Melanie Dickerson said...

That was exactly what I meant when I said that teacher didn't know much about teaching or writing. If he had known more about writing, he would have been able to tell you what mistakes you had made, what "rules" you had broken, or he would have understood that it just wasn't his favorite genre/style. And if he had been a good teacher, he would have understood that you deserved encouragement, not a put-down.

Anonymous said...

Same things happened to me to "reject my writing" "Not good enough" All those lies from the enemy.

I want criticism. But only if a person can be constructive about it. If it is wrong, tell me why and how to fix it. If I knew how to do it "right" I wouldn't have made the mistake in the first place. I have also gotten used to the fact that not all people like the genre I love to write in. That being said, I have this calling in my blood and will write till I go home.

Thanks Tiffany for the great work you are doing.