From Jeremy, and My Response

www.inkthinkerblog.com — On his blog, Jeremy David said this (among other things, but you can just go there to read that stuff):

Consider this a polite retraction of my original request.

Ironically, launching the Great Writing Challenge was a very educational process in itself. The stark yet honest comments I received clearly established that this is an adventure I am going to have to embark on my own. Blankly soliciting assistance from random people without engaging them first (or putting much thought into it beforehand) was silly. I completely agree that it would be unreasonable to expect someone to hold my hand through the entire process, and upon further reflection, I do not think it would be nearly as effective. You’ve already taught me a lot. Be clear, be honest, and stick with it. Being wishy washy accomplishes nothing, and makes me look like a fool.

Am I going to give up on my goal to become a more talented writer? Absolutely not. I am even more committed to this project than I was when I whimsically challenged the blogosphere to “spoon feed me the answers.” I am smiling right now because I had a tiny epiphany, and I think my challenge worked. I know I am going to become a better writer. I have a considerable amount of work ahead of me, and I am happy to do it. And I sincerely thank everyone – even those who called me selfish and delusional – for their comments. I think it was necessary to come to this realization through this process. I am on the right track now, and excited about it.

Dear Kristen,

I really want to become a talented writer. You see, I’m gradating from
University soon and have not had the opportunity to challenge myself in regards
to my writing abilities. To accomplish my goal I know that I have a lot of work
ahead of me and a lot of catching up to do, but I am committed to doing it. This
journey is one I am going to have to lead myself, but I would really appreciate
it if you took some time out of your incredibly busy schedule and pointed me in
the direction of some fantastic resources. I am confident I have the ability to
improve, I just need some assistance creating a plan. An added benefit to this
initiative is that I plan on doing it with a public medium that other people can
use to improve their writing as well. It would be great if the process I follow
eventually becomes an educational tool for people everywhere. I wish I could
offer you all sorts of rewards – promises that you’ll become super famous, or
mentioning you in a future acceptance speech at the Academy Awards – but I
cannot. I can, however, assure you that your efforts will be greatly appreciated
by me and possibly help other people along the way.

If you have time I would welcome your involvement in this process, but
please do not feel any pressure. Honestly. I’ll still heart you regardless of
your decision, and I will never boycott your blog. I have over 100 books to read
and that in itself will greatly improve my writing, and consume several years of
my life.

I hope to talk to you soon,
Jeremy

 

Now this is what I was talking about. Be honest, say what you mean, and get behind it — so I can. Kiddo, you deserve some serious props for taking the constructive (and in some cases less-than-constructive) comments you’ve received both publicly and privately and USE THEM TO MOVE FORWARD. You’re not being all cranky and immature about it (which a lot of writers tend to do when they receive rejection letters, for instance) — you’re being productive. This is a good thing. It makes me heart you even more.

So, challenge yourself. You’re so doing it! And I’m tempted to join you in your 100-best reading, but I don’t know if I can handle that many books. Where do I start? And how do I keep myself from spending entire days reading instead of working? Is that even possible? I don’t know…

Keep in touch, keep me posted, keep me in the loop, etc. etc. etc. about what you need. I want to help. And I want to help because I want to help, not because of well-intentioned but empty promises. Raw honesty will get you places. At least, it will with me.

__________________________________________
www.kristenkingfreelancing.com
Finalist in 2006 Writer’s Digest Best Writer’s Website Contest

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