Note: this is a rewrite, since the original accidentally got swallowed up two hours earlier.
Writing's in my blood. I've been making up stories, and putting them down on paper ever since I've learned how to construct sentences. I've always thought I'd end up using the pen in some way when I grew up. True to form, I'm studying journalism now. Yet there's still the dream of becoming an author, of publishing a novel or even a collection of short stories. Then why, do you ask, did I not enrol in a creative writing course? Or why don't I join a writers' organization?
The answer to the first is my favorite writers didn't take cw either. Before they published their books, they were doctors, soldiers, and yes, even journalists. As a media practitioner, I would get a more informed view of the world, and probably get to travel, too.
Why didn't I join a writers' organization, then? To be honest, I was leery of them. Based on what I heard about them from students from the colleges that housed them and friends, there were two types of writers in those clubs: those that gave flowery praises not worth a damn, and those with the egos the size of small countries. The former would laud your stories without giving any real insight, then snicker once your back was turned. The latter would bully you with their supposed literary, theoretical existential clout, utterly convinced in their superiority.
Those organizations also have a crab mentality, in that they drag a writer down if he or she shows real talent. I didn't want any of that poisonous environment.
But, if that was the case, how was I going to improve my literary craft, without receiveing any feedback from my fellow writers? I turned to the Net, published this blog in hopes of getting insights. A few weeks later a friend (Will, I emailed my problem to you) directed me to a site where writers freely interacted and supported each other. So I joined that site, fell in love with it immediately. It seemed to fulfill that promise. We could focus on the writers' work, and not the superiority complexes that came attached to them.
I'm less upset now, but awhile ago I was extremely distraught. A drunk writer immediately lashed out at what he perceived to be an offensive and insulting review from me. Normally I'd apologize if indeed I lambasted someone, but this...this response was vitriolic and plain nasty. I'm certain I didn't leave an arrogant review; I COMPLIMENTED him, in fact, and the suggestions I gave were his to disregard as he will.
His response, as I see it now, wasn't really the thing that upset me. After all, he could be drunk; he could be one of those writer-megalomaniacs. What distressed me was the realization I've strayed into another toxic environment.
What should I do?
This is where I put all my creative-but-anonymous writing. I like comments, so if you have any (constructive) ones, drop me a line.
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