Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! To join click HERE!
I am not sure of other people's experience with "new" writers. When I say that it isn't from a place of looking down on them, I mean it as someone who has yet to finish a piece of writing fully. Someone who has written, but maybe is not clued into the writing world.
I've had several times where someone has come to me and asked me opinions on writing. I remember what it was like for me when I had asked others for advice. Sometimes their words were not so much helpful as they were overwhelming and sometimes crushing.
I always managed to push past and I think that is probably true for most people, but I tend to keep it in mind when I dish out advice. To me it is very important to keep the person writing, it is the only way they get better. I try to point out the good things and fun things and the stuff about writing that can really make it worth it.
The other day a friend came to me and I have known them for quite some time. They have mirrored my journey through writing in a lot of ways, only they have not made that step to really dedicate themselves to it.
This person made some comments about writing that were basically alluding to the fact that they might as well do that because it would be easier than what they were doing with their life. Now anyone who does this seriously knows one thing is never said about the writing process—"It is easy".
It is pretty grueling at times and can take a lot out of you. Not even just finishing a piece of work, but getting it out there and keeping yourself and your work relevant in people's minds. I was torn between 'setting them straight' and what I normally do. In the end I decided that I knew this person well enough to give a little hard truth.
I guess my question for this month's IWSG is, how do you go about giving advice and when do you take the kid gloves off?
As always, have fun and keep writing.
Even if you hadn't told him the truth, once he started on that final path, he'd find out just how hard it is.ReplyDelete
I use tact, but I'm usually honest and tell them the truth.
It's a very difficult thing to do, offer constructive feedback without hurting someone. I've been as honest as possible when I'm asked. I had to tell my sister-in-law that something she wrote needed a lot of work. I felt bad, but she appreciated the truthReplyDelete
I teach Crafting a Novel at college, so I am always in the position of 'telling it straight.' This is not a profession for whiners or sissies. This is cold hard business, and you have to be able to take the slam of criticism from editors/critics who can't even do what you can. But in giving criticism on written work, I strive to be kind. There is always a kind way to help someone write better.ReplyDelete
I think the truth is the best way to go. With kindness, of course. If they're not ready to hear the reality then they're not ready to be writers. On that note, I'm not sure I'm even ready to call myself one lol but that's because I always think I should be learning more. Still, there's always a way to make it constructive, helpful, and not break the person's heart.ReplyDelete
Really depends on the person asking. If I feel they are serious about writing, then maybe not take the kid gloves off, but not sugar coat either. Experienced writers (those that have completed at least one project, published or not) I offer extremely constructive feedback. They know it is hard to write, and while I don't want to discourage, I don't want them to think they are the "next big thing" too soon. It could happen, we all hope it does, but reality is best served sooner than later. New writers will discourage themselves easily as they are not dedicated. And if they are, then they quickly become "experienced" writers. A viscious cycle.ReplyDelete
Yeah. Totally agree that easy is not a writer word. Keep fostering and encouraging the passion and I say let them figure it out on their own how HARD and life consuming it is because all of us have to learn very much on our owns. That's adulting!!ReplyDelete