People Say I Am Encouraging…
I have gotten that comment a few times this past week and a couple questions about why I spend the time and energy to help others. There is an answer, but not exactly what you might expect.
Let me back into this for a second.
I suppose if a person is really working to chase their dreams, I try to tell them the truth about fiction and writing if they ask. And if I think they want the truth.
If a person is really working to become a better storyteller, I am willing to answer questions and give my opinion when asked. If they really want my opinion and not just some pat on the back.
And I talk to myself in these blogs to try to get things straight in my own head about certain elements of writing and publishing.
But I sure don’t think of myself as being encouraging in the slightest. In fact, as my friends would tell you, I don’t suffer fools and am very disdainful of stupidity, to the point of being rude when pushed.
I have learned over the years that when faced with stupidity, I just nod and turn away, letting the stupidity continue on like a bad cold.
And unless pushed, I tend to ignore stupidity in comments and emails. So I’m not supportive there at all.
Let Me Be Clear…
I am not talking about someone just not knowing something because they are new to writing and publishing. That’s not stupidity in any fashion. That is just being at a certain place in the road of learning.
I have no issue with that. None.
I try to help writers along the road of learning as best I can. That’s why Kris and I do all the workshop and why I am heading off to Superstars next year to help there.
I enjoy helping someone move along the road. I enjoy helping someone learn. And I encourage a new writer to take in all the information they can and then decide for themselves what works for them and what doesn’t work. I find that very smart and have had the wonderful pleasure of knowing a lot of writers doing just that.
I consider myself still on the road of learning about storytelling and the business of writing.
But I got a hunch if that was all, I wouldn’t do much teaching, if any. And I sure wouldn’t be seen as encouraging. So let me see if I can explain my real reason.
Here is What I Love…
I love good questions that bring on discussion. Why? So I can learn, that’s why.
I love learning and I love being around people who love to keep learning. That means if you spent the money and the time to take a workshop, you have a desire to learn and I want to help if I can.
I love answering questions that are questions from a person trying to learn, because by the very act of trying to come up with an answer, I have forced myself to think about the question.
And thus learn.
So the truth is that I don’t consider myself encouraging to others. I consider myself selfish to the extreme, because if I surround myself with people hungry to learn, it keeps me learning.
It is why I say in almost every email that questions are welcome. If they weren’t welcome, I would never type that.
That fact that others get some encouragement and learning from my hunt for knowledge is great. A win-win situation in my mind.
So thanks for the kind comments about me helping or being encouraging.
But the truth is that you all are helping me stay active and learning and growing as a writer.
And for me learning is great fun. The best.
So thanks to all of you.