Thursday, March 11, 2010

Get Off Your High Horse Before Someone Kicks You Off It

Today I was going to talk about Flight of Dragons and how it has possibly forever shaped my psyche, but that is going to have to wait because a dormant, red-eyed monster is stirring in the back of my brain. And that monster is directly related to people, authors/writers in particular, who like to tell others "how it's going to be."

I don't know what it is about us writers, but it seems like we really like to tell those that are even one rung below us on the progression ladder just how their writing career will pan out. In particular, the people who like to talk about how they slave over their work, they suffer for it, it took them hours upon hours just to write this tiny article, and how you'll not amount to much if you don't realize that it's going to go the same way for you.

This, quite frankly, is so damnably arrogant that it really makes me mad. How can anyone know what it's going to be like for someone else? How do you know that they won't take to writing like a fish to water and burn us all up like a supernova hurtling through space? The truth is that some things just come easier or harder to different people. Some will pound out a poem and dash it off to the editors, others might spend years slaving over it. Why is one more valid than the other? Quite frankly, it isn't.

And yes, sometimes I resent that people who I feel don't write as well as me somehow are widely published and popular. But you know what? Good for them. They found their niche and they filled it and I'm not somehow more of an artist than they are because it has taken me more time or more effort. This life is not evenly stacked-- there are plenty of people who have had life experiences that just make writing awesome stories easier for them, there are others who just have insane talent, and then there are still others who happen to be doinking the editor. SO WHAT?!

Your path is particular to you. Talk about it all you want. Wax eloquent if you so desire, but don't start telling others that just because it took you years to finish and publish your first book that it will go the same way for them. Sure, warn them that it wasn't easy for you, but don't even start with the whole "maybe if you put in 100 more hours on this project it might be worthwhile" path. They're not you, they don't have to approach it the way you do, they don't have to use your method, just because it works for you doesn't mean it works for them. This isn't math people, where do we get off proscribing formulas for everyone else?

If you work for it, if you work really really really hard, be proud of yourself. If it comes easy to you. If you just throw it out there and the editors clamor over it, well then count your blessings because you have a gift. Just don't go tell someone else how it's going to be.

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