Back in October, I tried to surround myself with writers who were participating in NaNoWriMo. I am always on the quest to build a community of writers that help each other out. The one question that I was asked in preparation for NaNoWriMo was: “Are you ready?”
My answer was No. I knew by their question they were asking if I had everything planned out. So when I answered no, it was because I didn’t have everything planned out. And the day I wrote, I still didn’t have everything planned out. This of course confused people. How can I begin writing if I don’t know every detail of what will happen?
I often have the fear, when helping people, of becoming a Writer Snob. I try to give people my opinions on their work and give a mixture of positive and negative reviews. I never sugar coat things, but try to recognize when people do good. But of course the negative elements are remembers and can easily over look the positive and I sometimes worry that if a person is not ready to hear the negative, they may believe I am picking on them.
Perhaps the fact that I am worried about this is a good sign. When I rate people, I rate them to how I would want them to rate me. And if there is inconsistency in their writing, I need to point it out to them. I believe in the concept of Co-opitition. Working with writers to help boost them which helps boost me while we also compete against each other.
I do try that when I give something negative, that I offer a possible solution or work around that they may be able to use. Not all the time, but as often as I can. If I review your work, please note that my intention is not malicious, it is only to help. I also hope that if someone reviews my work after I review theirs, they don’t take their anger or frustration out on my writing. If it is bad, it is bad, but be honest and helpful.
A lot of times in critique, I see people who say something is good, or something is bad. But that is the worst thing to tell someone. They have no direction to go off of. Why is it good, what makes it bad. I think to be a good writer, you need to be a good critic.
More than that, I try to give advice in other ways. Give nudges here and there. I never expect anyone to follow my advice because I accept that I may not understand fully of a situation or problem. But I am very passionate about writing and the process therein, and focused on my path. I want my fellow writers to have success. That is why I put a lot of focus on this blog.
In the end, I don’t want people to mistake my helpful nature as being snobbish, that I think I know more than others. I just want to be helpful.