Sunday, June 3, 2012

Learning From The Past: Earning the Right To Give Advice

I make a lot of novice mistakes in my previous blog which I am going to correct.  The biggest one that I made was giving writing advice prematurely.  I want to make it clear that I am an excellent writer and am proud of what I have accomplished so far.  However, there is one thing that I must do before I give advice to others: I need to get a book published.  Having a B.A. in English Literature and publishing short stories are all admirable achievements.  That being said, I know that I will only be taken seriously on the web when I have a book that people are paying to read.  I consider it the equivalent of getting a black belt in karate.  Sure, you can give pointers when you're at a lower rank and certainly win a lot of fights.  However, you won't have the discipline and maturity to truly teach others until you are a black belt.  Master Clark made me wait a couple of extra years before he would test me for that rank.  Even though I could beat most of the other students at American Karate Academy, I lacked discipline.  I skipped classes frequently, to the point where I was chided by a fellow student named Laura for it when I saw her at the grocery store.  In a not-so-subtle way, she told me that, while I was really good, I needed to attend class more.  That was a big wakeup call, especially since she was one of the better black belts in the school.  Why should I get promoted if I couldn't even be bothered to show up?  I wised up and started coming more frequently.  Sure enough, Master Clark tested me within a few months when I showed that I had learned my lesson.  Likewise, to teach others about writing, I can't just coast on natural talent and skill.  I need to prove that I have the focus, maturity, and discipline to teach others.  In karate, that involved getting my black belt.  In the writing world, that translates into getting a book published. 

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