When I first came out of hiding about my writing, I was amazed to find the most supportive group of people in a local writer’s group. They were willing to share. Everything. Their knowledge. Their feedback. Their advice. Their advance numbers and sell-throughs and successes and rejections. Everything. These were incredible writers, and what was really mind-boggling to me as a newbie was they wanted us to be amazing as well.
Fast forward to today. Every day on social media…yeah…I bet you can guess what comes next. There’s someone (writer or not) saying what someone else (mostly writers) should or should not be doing as a writer, or this way is better than that way, or no serious writer uses that in this way.
Adjectives? Yes on Monday but absolutely not on Thursday. First person? Horror!! Third person? Horror!! One POV? Horror!! Two POVs? Horror!! Real writers use (insert a myriad of answers here).
If I step back and look at the big picture, these are minor blips. The vast majority of people are supportive. But it’s like a single drop of food coloring in a gallon of water….it stains every molecule. These blips start the avalanche. Everyone jumps on with their opinion. Yes. No. It depends… Only if…
If it were a discussion, a sharing of the minds, a comparison of methods (plotting vs pantsing) then GREAT! I love a good debate. Share your opinion. Learn from someone else’s method. Mix a little of this with a little of that and create a delicious cocktail that works just for you. You can mix your own if you don’t like another one. See how that works?
I don’t get the my-way-or-the-highway mentality. I’ve had bosses like that in the past. Everyone hated them. I’ve always been a meet-in-the-middle person and I know that’s not always good in a manager or traffic but I think it’s a strength in most situations. And if you don’t want to meet in the middle, stand on your side. Just stop yelling at others who chose a different track.