Sunday, September 12, 2010

Overabundance of Outside Opinions...

Those of you that are writers, you can feel my pain probably on the topic of this post. On dealing with people who are not writers or even slightly creatively inclined.

I’m not knocking those people, not in the slightest. There are days I would love the normalcy to not have a million thoughts running through my head, or that instant panic when you get a really great idea and can’t find a pen. There are days that I would kill to be able to fall asleep without the aforementioned thoughts playing a concerto in my head. To be able to listen to a song on the radio and not have a movie preview of sorts flash through my mind which sends me on a wild tangent of story ideas.

However, there are days that I love it. Usually, those days are every day. Today wouldn’t be one of them.

Allow me to explain…

I live in a house that is chaotic at best. Boyfriend, his disabled mother, his two sons, my two daughters, two cats, and two dogs and myself all share this house. We live next door to his sister and her three kids, his two nephews are here on a regular basis. That is a full house if you ask me. To find the time to write if you’re easily distracted is a feat in and of itself. Luckily for me, if I’m inspired, the headphones go on, music gets turned up and I can tune out the world.

However, that being said, I’m insanely picky about the advice or opinions that people give me. I’m blunt, and yes as a reader’s opinion, I listen and soak up every syllable of every word they utter about my writing. However my feeling is that if you don’t write, you admit to not having any inclination to write, and you haven’t read really any of my writing, what the hell gives you the right to have an opinion about how or what I should write?

Am I being mean in this? Someone please tell me if I have overstepped some unwritten rule to aspiring authors that their critics get to be anyone who has never taken the time or energy to read my stuff. A friend I know for example, yes, a great asset to have when I go to him for an outside opinion. Phrased such as if you were watching a movie and this is the storyline, what would you like to see happen, example A or example B? I phrase it as such because he doesn’t write, admits to not having a creative bone in his body when it comes to writing, won’t read my stuff because he doesn’t read much, but yet never stops telling me how I should be writing or what I should be writing. However he has been invaluable at times when I got stumped on my book as far as where I should go from one point to get it to the next. He has offered insight that I thank him for.

But he follows that up by giving me countless opinions as to if I really was as dedicated a writer as I claim to be, then sickness, houseful of people, stress of a recent life changing situation being dropped on me, work and everyday life wouldn’t stop me from having already cranked out 2-3 more novels. Um hello… haven’t even gotten the first one published. Same friend also doesn’t stop telling me what genre to write. That even though I like the supernatural realm of writing, things go bump in the night type fiction, if I was really a writer I would be able to drop everything and write a crime drama.

Is it mean of me to ask that if he isn’t going to read it either way, then what the hell does he care if I write about cops and robbers or vampires and demons?

1 comment:

  1. Had to comment, I've gone through something similar.
    Don't sweat it. Armchair critics are everywhere. It only holds water if you let it. Your friend doesn't understand the creative process. You can't just turn it off and on like a light switch. It takes a little time to change gears. Protect your art and have a healthy dose of ego. =)