Hello, and welcome to the thirty-third essay in my ongoing series of essays on the art and craft of writing. All these essays are based around my original set of fifty thoughts on writing
, and are moving rapidly through a variety of aspects of the art, craft, and primary reason for insomnia that is the life of the writer. Many of these thoughts are not exclusive to the professional; if you write at all, they can apply to you. Here's our thought for the day:Thoughts on Writing #33: Not Making People Hit You.
I tend to enjoy the process of not being hit, but it might help to have a little context to go with that summation:Learn to be gracious to everyone who helps you. Thank your proofers. Thank your editors. Thank your agent. Thank your readers. They're doing you a favor. You're also doing them a favor—you're letting them play with your kids—so don't be servile, but do be gracious.
It may seem a little odd to you that I feel the need to say this, but honestly, after watching my own behavior under pressure, and the behavior of others, I feel that it's an important statement to make. Not just for writers, either. No matter who you are or what you do, you need
to be gracious, and appreciative of the things that people do for you when you don't need them to. Our culture tells us it's better to give than to receive. How do you react to the good things without seeming entitled, arrogant, or just plain snotty? Let's discuss graciousness, what it means, and how we all sometimes fall a little short. Ready? Good. Let's begin.( Collapse )