Monday, October 27, 2008

Breaking Rules

Breaking Rules.

I think it is cute when I see a toddler walking over to the cupboard door and trying to open it when he knows he isn’t supposed to. That is what toddlers do. Most moms are one-up on them though and have placed safety locks on the doors. This is when the tantrum begins because toddler kid can’t get his way.

Writers are not toddlers by any means, but they do need someone to tell them, "Hey that’s not the right way to do that." Or maybe, "Could you try it this way?" The writer doesn’t lose his/her temper they just drink in the gained knowledge and move on. Lesson learned.

Newcomers to the field of writing think it is cute to break the rules. They prance around with the, "I can do what I want" attitude. Then as soon as someone corrects them, they run for the hills to bury their head deep in the soil.

Writers need to be tough. A thick-skinned writer is like a desert lizard, they can take the heat all the while bathing in it too! Just remember that you are not a toddler and that you will continually need to learn and take big sips of the cup of knowledge. Place your hand out into the open air, letting someone grab hold of it as if to guide you.

Never fear criticism, never fear writing, always embrace the tree of life. It might have splinters but you’ve learned a great deal and will carry the experience with you a lifetime.

Today’s words:

dalliance (dah-lee-uh ns)
1. to dawdle
2. amorous toying: flirtation

halcyon (hal-see-uhn)
1. calm; peaceful; tranquil:
2. rich; wealthy; prosperous:
3. happy; joyful; carefree

miscreant (mis-cree-uh nt)
1. a disbeliever; heretic
2. villain

prevaricate (pri-var-i-cayt)
1. to speak falsely or misleadingly; deliberately misstate or create an incorrect impression; lie.

rectitude (rek-ti-tood)
1. rightness of principle or conduct; moral virtue: the rectitude of her motives.
2. righteous


Granny said...

Good one joni! Learning to write is not so much about the pat on the back as much as it is about soaking in the opportunity to learn along with the willingness to see feedback as a helping hand that points out your weaknesses so that you may improve!

granny :-)

Anonymous said...

Well said!

We writers really can be children.( all of us.) :) And all children hate correction. Some writers simply aren't ready for the hard truth that can accompany feedback. The reality is, you either grow a thick skin or go home to play in your own sandbox.
The good news is, when you return, there will always be critics prepared to shoot you down a second time. The world is full of self-proclaimed experts. :)

That's one job that will never be outsourced to another country.

Improvement is hard, so is listening to criticism. I'm working with a teen group over at NaNo and let me tell you, if you breath one too many times you are bound to get attitude. The teen writer is as sensitive to criticism as a mole is to light. And if you aren't very careful, the teen will burrow out of sight, never to be heard from again.

So, yes, writers need a thick skin, but critiquers need a silver tongue and a sense of balance when it comes to positive and negative feedback.