PDA

View Full Version : Chewing the fat



Murman
04-14-2005, 04:15 PM
People ask me about the kind of job that I want to do and my usual response is a deflated "I don't know." Over my shoulder I can see the look of surprise, or is it the lack of surprise, that makes them look so perplexed. You see, I can try to explain and say, "students these days must stick to what they're good at", in my case, writing for comfort and assurance that my emotions and literative skills are still intact.
I was teribly wound up today - going to see a GP: pleasant, mature and impossibly cynical. She gave me a total hosing down. "A secretarial job is what you need," she kept on saying. Tears, yes really, flowed easily from the corners of my eyes. I felt real embarassment. I couldn't believe it!
So how is it that a person can avoid criticism without looking like a fool?

"Hey-ho, hold up! I'm writing my first novel...a little trouble with encounters is all..."

aka eraser
04-14-2005, 07:34 PM
Hi Murman. Sounds like a rough day.

You simply can't avoid criticism and still be writer unless you're willing to write solely for your own pleasure and never risk showing it to anyone.

Perhaps the thing to work on is learning how to deal with criticism when it comes your way. One way is to try to separate the self from the work, which is darned tricky but doable. Allow legitmate, reasoned criticism of your work without letting that reflect badly on your sense of self. And there's always the "consider the source" school of thought. Ask yourself if this person's words are credible and worth reflection. If so, consider them. If not, dismiss them.

Life's a long, often hard road and we all collect scars and callouses along the way. It hurts but persevering makes us stronger.

Believe that things will get better and they will.

I'm going to move your post to the Rejection and Dejection board. You'll likely get more response there than here in Novel Writing.

Good luck.

SRHowen
04-14-2005, 09:17 PM
Until you are making money from your writing you will have to do something to support yourself--you may want to think on what that will be. Take classes that put you in a job where you get to write or edit.

And when asked what do you want to be or do say: "I want to be a published author but until then I think I'll work at----- fill in the blank." You are most likely getting the stares because people know you have to make money in some form to live. And writing a novel takes time, finding an agent takes time, finding a publisher takes time--sometimes years and even then it is not a get rich or even get enough to live on thing right off the bat or ever.

Ella
04-14-2005, 09:38 PM
I was teribly wound up today - going to see a GP: pleasant, mature and impossibly cynical. She gave me a total hosing down. "A secretarial job is what you need," she kept on saying. Tears, yes really, flowed easily from the corners of my eyes. I felt real embarassment. I couldn't believe it!
So how is it that a person can avoid criticism without looking like a fool?

"Hey-ho, hold up! I'm writing my first novel...a little trouble with encounters is all..."

What a rude thing for her to say!
Good for you for writing through this. Where is all this career/job flak coming from? Are you looking for work?

Celeste
04-15-2005, 12:59 AM
So how is it that a person can avoid criticism without looking like a fool?

"Hey-ho, hold up! I'm writing my first novel...a little trouble with encounters is all..."

Hold your head up high, believe in yourself, remember you can't please everybody, don't let anyone's negativity get in your way, stay strong and move on.

Take in what applies and throw the rest out.


Originally posted by aka eraser

...And there's always the "consider the source" school of thought. Ask yourself if this person's words are credible and worth reflection. If so, consider them. If not, dismiss them.


Exactly! Who is this woman anyway to tell you "A secretarial job is what you need"? What does she know about what you need, or are capable of?

celeste

Cabria
04-15-2005, 06:54 AM
Hi Murman,

It is difficult for students today to know exactly what they want to do. Let's face it, it's a difficult decision to make in view of the rest of your life. And you may change that course of your life a number of times.

I have a daughter graduating high school this year (her prom is this Sat) and although she is registered for university, she is still scared and unsure. She feels that she wants to pursue french in some capacity (as she has been a french immersion student through school) yet her decision is a struggle. Many of her friends have decided already what they want to do and that makes her feel even more conflicted with herself. My husband and I remain supportive and encouraging, so that this big step from school to university doesn't completely overwhelm her. I do tell her to tune in intuitively to what she feels motivates her and makes her feel happy. A good job and money is important, and so is happiness. Finding the balance is what can be the challenge.

Don't let people bother you with their opinions and judgements too much. Because at the end of the day, they go home to their own worlds and you go home to yours. And you have to be happy in the world that is yours.

Debbie :)

Murman
04-16-2005, 10:44 PM
Alright, the majority of you are absolutely right in your opinions. And the advice is very useful too, so I thank all who have replied to my message. Much appreciated.


Until you are making money from your writing you will have to do something to support yourself--you may want to think on what that will be. Take classes that put you in a job where you get to write or edit.


I'm not quite sure what to say. I have an interview on Tuesday for a course unrelated to writing. I'm not going to say, seeing I haven't been accepted yet, but it is one of those courses that I can slip into without much conflict. Although writing is my main time-consumer, I've decided to study for a different interest and see how that pans out, although realistically, this course can be equally as vague as writing!

I am going to see my cousin this Wednesday. I've been avoiding her successfully for a couple of months now. I just cannot endure the unconscious signals she emits from her cynical, doubting eyes.



And when asked what do you want to be or do say: "I want to be a published author but until then I think I'll work at----- fill in the blank." You are most likely getting the stares because people know you have to make money in some form to live.


I can't bring myself to tell her that I'm writing. She's incredibly career focused and will no doubt shoot me down. I'll try to deal with it. Not everyone can agree with the way my mind works. God, I'm so confused!

Jamesaritchie
04-17-2005, 05:53 PM
People ask me about the kind of job that I want to do and my usual response is a deflated "I don't know." Over my shoulder I can see the look of surprise, or is it the lack of surprise, that makes them look so perplexed. You see, I can try to explain and say, "students these days must stick to what they're good at", in my case, writing for comfort and assurance that my emotions and literative skills are still intact.
I was teribly wound up today - going to see a GP: pleasant, mature and impossibly cynical. She gave me a total hosing down. "A secretarial job is what you need," she kept on saying. Tears, yes really, flowed easily from the corners of my eyes. I felt real embarassment. I couldn't believe it!
So how is it that a person can avoid criticism without looking like a fool?

"Hey-ho, hold up! I'm writing my first novel...a little trouble with encounters is all..."

Well, what's wrong with being a secretary? Very few of us leave college and jump immediately into our chosen profession, especialy if that chosen profession is being a writer.

I think the thing to remember is that no matter what you do, it doesn't have to be permanent. I've read that the majority of new college graduates will have a total of seven separate careers before they retire.

Not very many people are capable of writing for a living, and most who are capable take a goodly number of years before they reach a skill level where it's possible. During those years you have to support yourself, and I can't see where it matters much how you do it.

Nor is there any rule that says you have to know what you want to do with your life by the time you graduate college. College is NOT the real world, and, in fact, bears very little resemblance to the real world. Sometimes you have to get away from college, work this job and that job and the other job before you can have a clue what it is you really want to do.

Be yourself, take your time, find a job that pays the bills, and stop worrying what anyone else thinks about it, including your cousin.