Thursday, October 25, 2012

Writing Thoughts: Mocking Aspiring Authors

Sorry I haven't posted in other 2 weeks. School got out of hand for a bit and I got sick, but now I'm back and ready with some new content. Which brings me to today's post. I was browsing the internet this morning before school when I stumbled across this post about aspiring authors and the mocking and ridicule that often goes along with declaring to the world that you want to write for a living. Basically, the author of this post states that writers are not as valued as they once were since education and literacy are not as rare as they were in past centuries (or even decades). Yet, while I agree that mocking aspiring authors is not the kindest or even the most justified thing to do, I don't see such criticism being necessarily a complete bad thing.


I hate being ridiculed as much as the next person, but I also can be quite competitive. So most times when I hear people say, "Oh, you want to be a writer? That's nice, but what are you really going to do for a living?", I get the urge to do everything I can to prove their assumptions wrong. All writers need encouragement, just like all people do, but I think every once in a while, the occasional bit of negativity is essential to rekindle the fire within and make us want to show the world that we can indeed be writers and be successful.

I have been very lucky that I receive a lot of support from many people. My mum, my sister,and  my friends just to name a few really believe I can and want me to be a successful writer. But while I love all this support, after you hear it for a long time, the positive feedback turns into background noise. You hear it so often, it losses its meaning. That's why I think it is not necessarily bad when someone tells you that your writing sucks or that wanting to be an author is a terrible idea and you'll end up hunger on the streets. That negativity makes us value the support that much more; in a way it renews its worth.

So while no one wants to hear that they are terrible at something or that their ideas will never pan out like they want them to, it is essential that we hear that feedback so that we can prove them wrong. By proving them wrong, we also banish any last doubts about ourselves from our minds – at least for a while longer.

What do you guys think? Is negativity essential? Or can we function just as well with purely positive feedback?


  1. in my humble opinion in regards to what emotions may drive writers and, to take it one step further, artists in general towards new heights of determination and success I believe that is dependent on the temperament of the artist.

    After all as the saying goes, "Madness and Genius are two sides of the same coin." On any given day an artist may fall more on the side of madness or genius, and that will color how they receive criticism. Along with many other factors such as mood, genetics, whether or not they've had a meal that day, etc.

    Though on a more personal note I would fall in the camp of people who take negative criticism of writing (as an aspiring writer/editor myself) as a challenge. And even if the comments against both the skill with which I practice my craft and the viability of my chosen profession didn't galvanize me to action, at times criticism is necessary to help writers grow, so long as it is specific as to what needs to be changed.

    tl;dr People can survive on positive feedback alone, but constructive criticism helps one grow, both as a writer and a person.


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