Saturday, January 29, 2011

Better By Association and Long Term Goal Setting

I must confess I don't understand the thinking of some people when it comes to how they interact with others. We all know that not every experience we may have will be positive, some will be very uncomfortable, and while we go through the discomfort of these experiences, those of us who have lived through many uncomfortable experiences have learnt, to look for the lesson in our discomfort.
My first experience with internet forums was quite pleasant.I was a complete nobody from a little Caribbean island that none of them had heard about until I joined their hallowed group.But there was always some bitchy, yacky, unhappy person who tried to impose their negative 'I know all about it' attitude and opinions on the group; and being me, meant  the bitchy yack wasn't going to get away with it.

I have kinda kept away from forums and focussed on building my Corporate Communications, Public Service and Government Relations consultancy and writing my novels. In the process I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to Nobel Laureates, living icons and best selling authors, always loving that none of these people have this yacky bitchy 'I know it all attitude'.

My first novel was released in the last quarter of 2009. I purposely left it alone to see how it would sell. I continue to be blown away by the figures. However recently I decided to use a different avenue to encourage interest and sales of my other titles. I relaunched the novel on Facebook and just for the heck of it, I joined a forum there, not necessarily to promote my novel, but to get a general idea of  how other writers think through the process of writing.

That forum has been education on so many levels and I cannot pay for the lessons I'm learning there.
There is one member in particular who made the most startling revelation, theorizing that 
1) by 'friending' high profiled writers (on Facebook of all places) she ups her standard of writing, 
2) by belonging to a large community of writers (9,000 on Yahoo)  gives her the authority to pontificate about the process of writing and publishing.

The first thought that came to my mind when I read that post was, "You can put Daffy Duck on a team with Garfield Sobers, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Don Bradman, Vivian Richards, Ian Botham and six more of the greatest cricketers (if you aren't familar with those names try your best baseball players) to ever grace the game, but Daffy can't bat for shit and he can train 'till Shiloh comes', if he is NOT of their caliber no amount of association will put him in that grouping. But he can certainly try and also dream about it.

Yes, better by association works, if you are a member of a team; but when you are involved in a  creative enterprise 'better by association' only goes so far and cannot be wholly applied  because somewhere in that process you will loose your individualism, and in the case of writing, the unique ability that makes your readers read your work. 

Even if  you say to me 'I'm being mentored by XYZ best selling novelist', I can understand to some extent that the Best selling author is helping you improve YOUR writing. Harold Robbins was an excellent and prolific writer, yet persons whom he mentored or who associated with him could not make the grade; neither could Rosamunde Pilcher's offspring! If we apply the rationale expressed, they should be superb writers by association, but  none have transcended to NYT list elite.

It will be better if we all post as colleagues and not as 'I know it and you don't', then no one will be forced to challenge blanket statements posted as fact. We know there are people who have issues full-filling long term goals and therefore don't commit to anything like that; no problem they are not  alone in that arena. 

But DO NOT presume to express your opinion as generalized statement. Neither your years of experience nor your membership to large forums, gives you any authority to so do. There are  millions of books published which are silent testimony to long term planning and accomplished achievable goals by millions of authors. I make long term goals and I have NO problem achieving them.

Finally, it's a forum and we all have a contribution to make (including you), but I'm not going to pretend that I can't read, don't see or I misinterpreted your comment; especially if you continue to spout this load a crap and get your knickers or tongs suck in your ass because we disagree. 

I haven't factored in your threatened departure (posted on the forum, of course, like some 1950's drama queen) because we 'offended' you. How dare we challenge your opinions? In any society behaviour like that is indicative of a serious personality problem, and in governance we have a word for it!

Just wondering  is James Frey on your Facebook friends list?


PC Wheeler (cillaclare) said...

Cecly - had to comment, not least because I love your cricket analogy.

I agree that no good can come of imposing your beliefs of 'how things are' on others. Hopefully this will all die down and people can learn to be more tolerant of opposing view points. If not, then *shrugs*

Anonymous said...

Yes, really.

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LE NOIREAU- Prologue

There was chaos in Scotland Bay Village. Everywhere, everyone was busy; packing, unpacking, leaving burnt bare lands for the Americans.

Away from the noises and confusion the aquamarine Caribbean waves played a soft calypso rhythm, strumming, rippling, kissing bare toes, feet and ankles dug deep into the cold, clammy sand.

The air was laden, ready, thick with the rancid scent of seaweed, salt and smoke carried in the spray; pushed by angry, crashing, foaming waves against a stony coastline up and around the Bay’s end.

She was misted; creating an eerie appearance as she sat back hunched on a fallen tree trunk embedded in the sand; knees tucked under the wide folds of her skirt. Damp grainy sand and the sea waters rushed up; bubbling in between her fingers and feet. Gently she rested her chin on her knees and looked out at the fading horizon, watching the day in its brilliance and splendor of death at sunset. The fiery gold of the sun’s rays; fingering, shimmering on the aquamarine canopy of the sea, dazzling blinding and ever so slowly, churning to taunting, tangerine orange and saffron reds; cascading into purple, violets and royal blue of evening time with ballet like precision. And later as stars peeping first play hide and seek with the naked eye, streaks of charcoal gray strut into midnight black, shadowing the earth into illusions of peace-fullness, as twinkling jewels finally sparkle in the phosphorescent gleam of a splendid Caribbean moonlight.

The gulf steamer disregarding war time surveillance orders; tugged by, alerting Astral Le Noireau to the lateness of the hour. She sighed lifted tiny hands from the sand and stared as the grains quietly trickled back into their places on the seemingly un-rumpled shore. The signal light of the streamer as it passed by and answering flashed from the lighthouse, momentarily blinded her as she turned huge tear filled almond shaped golden eyes up and then out, taking in the silver-ness of the long familiar Scotland Bay coastline, now bathed in the beauty of a full Caribbean moonlight. The gentle breeze blew her blue black hair into her eyes and face, as one hand rose gracefully to whip the unruly strands back into place. Silently a figure standing in the shadows of a coconut palm tree observed her.

Astral stood crying silently, watching the village she so love fade into the night shadows as the steamer padded laboriously out into the first Boca. Every inch further way from Scotland Bay felt like a fist clenching around her lung, stifling her, killing her. She stood rooted until Chateau le Noireau was no longer visible as they rounded the bend at Delgada Point. Until tears of frustration overwhelmed her and she crumbled to the seat on the almost empty steamer. Astral Le Noireau and her precious possession were some of the last things to evacuate from her village.

The Marines had put her on the ferry.

(c) 2006 Cecly Ann Mitchell

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