But where do we draw the line?
Honestly. Of course, I don’t mean a physical line. I actually mean, how can we create a balance between these two things?
Excellence and Encouragement.
Being a writers’ coach that caters to not-so-experienced writers or young-in-the-field writers, I have had to figure out where to draw the line between making sure that those I coach are encouraged, even in their ‘inexperiencedness’ and also making sure that they churn out their best. I tell them that their emotions and their own stories are important because no one can tell a story from their unique perspective.
‘Your work is SHIT’. If that is what they have told you, you had the wrong teachers. Imagine being told as a child that your drawings were ‘shit’, you would crumble.
Instead, there is such a thing as spurring people to be better. I do not believe in being harsh and critical so as to help someone grow. Why? Because every single human being can testify to this. Even now, you wish your parents, elder ones or your teachers had been more patient with you back then and not so rough.
Right now, even as I type this, I am critiquing my writing, but I am not so unnecessarily hard on myself that I would throw this whole article out. You think that is how the great writers learnt. By ‘gra-gra’.
You are too wrong.
They believed so much in their trash that they kept on going. And they had people that took great pains to encourage them and show them a better way.
Even the Almighty God doesn’t work that way. God is not critical of us, but chastises us; spurring us on but yet helping us work on our weak points.
Finally, I say to every writer. Believe in your trash and develop it as well. I will always believe in you.
Because your work is never SHIT. Or what do you think, writers?