I have to admit that I get a bit impatient with all the advice, particularly writing advice on the blogs. Why is it we can’t help telling others what to do?
I heard some profound writerly advice in a movie I watched a few weeks ago. The movie ~ Midnight in Paris ~ written and directed by Woody Allen. While there are many things I take exception about with Mr. Allen and his life choices, I do enjoy his movie making and think that on many occasions he has proved his brilliance. Just my humble opinion.
Anyway…in this movie he portrays a famous author giving some advice to an aspiring one.
Aspiring Author – Will you read my WIP?
Famous Author – Ok, I hate it.
AA – But, you haven’t even read it.
FA – I hate it anyway.
AA – How can you say that?
FA – Well, if it’s poorly written I’ll hate if because I hate bad writing. If it’s well written I’ll hate it because it might be better than my writing. Here comes the profound advice – wait for it – wait for it – Never ask another writer to read your work!
There you have it. Sage advice by none other than Woody Allen, feel free to consider that advice worth exactly what you paid for it.
NEXT, up some sage advice from none other than ME. I promise it will not be writerly advice. I value integrity and try diligently to act with it at all times, but most particularly when dealing with my friends. I have recently promised a friend I would never hurt them and I would always be honest. Therein lay the dilemma. There was something between us that I felt a need to tell the truth about, but I knew it would hurt this friend. If I told the truth, my integrity would remain intact and I would hope my friend might respect that, but I had the potential to hurt my friend’s feelings. If I lied, I would have to live with the fact that my integrity was not intact and I was not exactly who I thought I was. So what do you do?
What did I do? I told the truth, and I wish with everything that I am and will ever be that I had not. This friend didn’t say a word, but I know I hurt them. I’m lucky like that, I have the ability to make connections with people that I care about and feel their pain. Today there isn’t a dark enough place in hell for my soul.
My advice, if you ever face this particular situation. Lie through your teeth. My integrity will never be the same and neither will my heart for what I have done.