Cat Valente on writers and haters

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17 Responses to “Cat Valente on writers and haters”

  1. amnyc says:

    “I have personally had verse and chorus of “Nothing” from A Chorus Line spewed at me from numerous teachers. For those of you not musically inclined, it goes something like: you’re bad at this, you’ll never amount to anything, give up and work at a gas station and leave this to the real artists.”

    If the teachers are actually spewing both verse and chorus or “Nothing” as an example to learn from, then either they or you missed the point. “Nothing” is a talented actress’s retort to bad teachers who tell her that she’s not good because she’s not expressing herself using their predefined “method” techniques. The message of “Nothing” is self-affirming- it is that you can succeed despite their bad teaching methods. (“I felt nothing except the feeling that this bullshit was absurd…If you want something, go find a better class.”)

  2. Guest says:

    “You’re just going to do whatever you want no mater[sic] what I say so there’s no point in even trying to teach you about good writing.”

    Well, that is what writers do. Writers with principles anyway.

    ObHatersGonnaHate: You’re right that everything is going to have haters. I personally cannot stand rage-face and the rest of the crap that Redditors defecate all over the web. I don’t know why, but it makes me want to punch people.

  3. digi_owl says:

    Could not find a better illustration than the tired 4chan meme?

    • What is the origin of that face? Been seeing variations of it popping up all over.

      • Cowicide says:

        4chan/anon probably.

        • digi_owl says:

           Yea, there seems to be a collection of doodles floating around that likely originated at 4chan. Then it most likely got picked up by Reddit  and similar, and has “exploded” onto the web from there. They have long since reached my saturation point.

          • robuluz says:

            Wait… have you really stopped by and read this article and decided you wanted to comment on how much you dislike the illustration? Because that’s a 2lb juicy irony steak right there. Nom nom nom.

  4. seandavid010 says:

    Now wait a damn minute, here…

    It pisses me off when creative people pigeonhole every teacher they’ve ever had as dream-killers and inspirational black holes.  There are good ones out there too!  Good teachers that inspire and foster creativity!  Yes, there will be teachers who denigrate your work, but what about that one teacher who lifts you up?  What of them?

    • jimh says:

      Aww, don’t get pissed off.

      The author never states that all teachers are dream-killers. I believe the spirit of that part of her post is that any writer should expect and be prepared for harsh and even very personal criticism of their work, and take it with a grain of salt. Or, haters gonna hate.

      She also doesn’t confine this indictment to teachers, noting that many classic works were rejected (and not very nicely) before finally receiving the acclaim that they now enjoy.

    • robuluz says:

      Yes, there will be teachers who denigrate your work, but what about that one teacher who lifts you up? What of them?

      They’ll be played by Robin Williams in your upcoming screenplay, and they’ll think he’s perfect for the role!

  5. UniAce says:

    Just because someone tells you that your writing needs improvement doesn’t mean s/he’s wrong.  Writing is a skill to be developed, and can hardly be improved without feedback and guidance.  Of course, ad hominem attacks are stupid and unhelpful; but all negative feedback shouldn’t be disregarded.

  6. Cowicide says:

    Whenever your hater ratio gets too low, you’re doing something wrong.

    You can’t please all the people all the time unless you crawl into a corner and die… and somebody still might kick you in the groin while you’re in the corner dying.

    That said:

    1st person call you ass.  Ignore them.
    2nd person call you ass.  Ignore them.
    3rd person call you ass.  Check for tail.

  7. glaborous_immolate says:

    Apparently you can be legally accused of being worthless based on what you write

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/02/13/student-suspended-after-he-writes-affection-professor 

  8. Dicrel Seijin says:

    As a writer and a teacher of creative writing, I found quite a bit to agree with in regards to my writing and teaching methods, and even some new ways in which to reach students. I’m definitely going to follow this for now (and check Stross’s one as well).

  9. Pedantic Douchebag says:

    People who disagree with you ≠ haters

  10. dbolton says:

    The article would benefit from examples of recognisably talented writers/artists also receiving the level of hate you describe; otherwise it just sounds like maybe you’re not as good as you think you are.

  11. P.F. Bruns says:

    I find her commentary very interesting, considering that when “Tangled” came out, she got upset about the hair colors of the villainess and heroine, asked if she was alone in her opinion, and then repeatedly harangued me and eventually banned me from her Livejournal for refusing to roll over and validate her. Based on other commentary I have read before and since, I suspect she believes that any opinion counter to hers is “hate.”

    I admit I haven’t tried to read Palimpsest, but my dear wife, who devours 500-page novels the way I devour sammiches, called it a hot mess.

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