First post of the year! (No, we're not going to mention the fact that my good intentions turned into an unintended leave of absence.) And good intentions are abounding, considering that it's that time of year for, well, good intentions, which means that I have plans to post often and regularly on this blog. :) (My pessimistic side laughs at this, but we're ignoring that for the moment...)
And I actually have a topic. It's not all fleshed-out yet, and there will probably be further posts on the subject, but what I want to detail yet another real-life facet I have found in my writing:
Help someone become better than you.
It's a good thought. A common one, in many motivational/sales trainings. And yet only recently have I discovered what it means in the writing sense. I've recently begun to unofficially yet officially yet unofficially mentor a young girl (10? 11?) who is a writer. (Brilliant, too, and so far ahead of me when I was that age.)
It's a bit scary how easy it is to be jealous. There were times when reading that I wanted to just say, "Good job, have fun, keep writing," like the few readers I'd had. I don't remember anyone ever giving me any helpful critique on my writing until the past year or so. (This may or may not have had anything to do with the fact that very few people saw my writing - and they weren't writers.)
But then I started wondering: what would I have wanted to know? What would I have wanted corrected? What errors would I have wanted to have pointed out? Would I have wanted, "Good job, have fun, keep writing"? No. That always irked me, and I felt patronized.
But if I give her all this advice, she'll surpass me!
But isn't that the point? If you can not give away the gifts you have, how shall you ever be trusted with more? We all disdain people who are greedy with money, but it is the same to be greedy with advice. Our 'writing smarts' were something given to us, given to us to give to others. If we get something (a piece of art, fame, money), then great. But if we can give them to others, we have truly succeeded.
Maybe I'm the only one who ever felt jealous of what I know, of what I've learned over the years. In that case, you may sigh and shake your head at that girl who hasn't yet 'got it'. But I am getting it. I now want this lovely young authoress to be better than me. I want her to be a NYT bestselling author, and before she's 18 (which was my unfulfilled goal), too.
It's a much happier place to be than clenching hard-earned (and some freely-given...okay, a lot freely-given) advice in my firsts.
Be generous, Melody. You'll be happier. :) You are happier.
Call it what you want - Karma, the Golden Rule, Kingdom principles - it's good. Here's to generosity in the New Year!