Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is it Just Me???

If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves. ~ Lillian Helman

I came across this quote the other day and felt compelled to blog about it. I can see how someone might worry about a student's personal style or voice being influenced, but is that necessarily a bad thing? I think of the authors I've heard speak, as a child and as an adult. For me, that is the stuff dreams are made of - the excitement and motivation and awe that keep us going.

Just recently, I heard Chris Crutcher speak. I laughed, I cried, and I left there determined to work harder and to write better. Two years ago I met Brandon Mull, and I watched as the line at our local Borders wrapped its way through the store like the world's longest snake. While waiting 30 minutes in line (so my son could have his moment to drool) I thought to myself, Look at how many kids he has touched. That's what it's all about.

Isn't blogging exactly the kind of thing she warns against? What are we all doing if not seeking out other writers - "listening" to what they say about writing and themselves, about individual process, successes and failures? Young writers are no different. Like all of us, they crave motivation, encouragement, stories of success that reassure them dreams really CAN come true.

Maybe it's just me, having some kind of allergic reaction to this particular quote. What do you think?

6 comments:

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

I hope this quote isn't the case because then no one will ever want to visit my blog because all i talk about is writing, lol.

Pam Calvert said...

I think they meant so it doesn't discourage you. Your road is different and always will be. Rules are meant to be broken, etc...I don't think it has anything to do with voice.

But for me, writer's stories have always encouraged me. I absolutely love stories from the trenches because that's real. The journey is a journey. There is a path to get there and it's usually filled with many potholes along the way. I love to see how people get through the potholes and it encourages me that I'm not alone.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I love reading all sorts of writer's stories. Some of them are inspiring and others are just fun, but regardless, it makes me feel like I'm not all alone on this journey. The more I read about writing and writers the better!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Roni, Pam, and Stephanie,

Thanks for your comments. We are all in agreement - gotta love that! :)

Candice said...

I love my contact with other writers. I feel like I grow so much by reading blogs and beta reading for my friends. Maybe she just means that we shouldn't be afraid to do something, even if it's never been done before.

Shelli said...

i agree with you :)

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