Okay, here we go, I'm irked ;) Doesn't happen often, but I am. First, though, let me explain how blessed I've been in this writing business:
1) I had a wonderful group of ladies in a group called Artistic License (Faye*, Marilyn, June, Julie, Sharon, Connie) that met at Writer's Village University who helped me immensely on my journey.
2) My mother was instrumental in helping me along the way--editing my first novel, reading just about everything I write to offer me her wisdom and advice, I owe her a lot ;)
3) I had wonderful help from a man named Paul who has now passed away. While he was a bit cutthroat and his criticisms were harsh, he hung in there with me and answered all my questions--most importantly though, he did it respectfully.
4) I've been the recipient of so much "free" help from terrific authors and industry professionals (from editors to agents) that I consider myself one lucky puppy!
There's so much more--but this is a blog, not a biography, so I'll cut it short:)What I gained from SO very many people teaching me was a well grounded understanding of the craft that not only helped me get published, but also afforded me the experience to open my own critique service, of which I've had nothing but satisfied customers.
So...when I see new authors, just beginning this process, told that their work is unworthy of success and that the odds of them getting published are so abysmal they might as well just give up and go home--I get irked. :(
Had all those great people above done that to me, I'm positive I wouldn't be where I am today. I don't truly understand the reason for treating new authors like their five years old and clueless. I prefer to treat them like adults beginning a wonderful adventure.
Sure, there are those who most likely won't reach the level of Nora Roberts or Stephen King--but that's pretty much true of everyone, including most authors already published today. So what's the big hairy deal here? Why can't we writers offer a little more respect and kindness to those just starting out?
It would be like Michael Jordan refusing to play with a group of kids in love with basketball because he didn't think they could reach his level of fame. Even worse though, is that most writers who are being such negative naybobs haven't reached the literary equivelant of Michael Jordan.
Maybe that whole "pay it forward" thing is sentimental and trite--but I happen to believe there's real value in doing just that. So, I say, forget those naysayers and follow your dreams! Most of the time, those dreams are pretty awesome! :)
*My dearest friend Faye has two adorable daughters, Sydney and Georgia--who was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. The link I gave above is to help little Georgia's family pay for the medical attention she needs.