Friday Focus: Don't trim yourself to suit everyone

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away. ~Raymond Hull

Rejection is at every turn of the writing journey. Sometimes it's hard to stay true to ourselves and write from our hearts when we're given advice, rules and suggestions all the time.

Sometimes those little offerings are good, and sometimes they're bad. Once in a while they may even be great - the idea is perfect, and you think, now why didn't I think of that? Except there's one small problem: It just doesn't work, personally, for you.

That's why I like this quote. If we try to make everyone happy, try not to offend anyone, to follow each and every rule, we'll end up being nothing. And nothing can't write, now can it?




8 comments:

Susie said...

It sure can't...nothing is just nothing. If you can live by that quote, with charity, you will BE!!

Lila Swann said...

My creative writing teacher is huge on this. He actually refuses to share any little tidbits about his current project because he doesn't want to lose energy for it (retelling a plot over and over to interested people sort of makes it lose its luster) and he doesn't want other people to give input towards a plot that he hasn't figured out for himself yet.

I stared at him like he was crazy, because I'm a planner so my plot's been complete and finished for years, and then I realized that he's one of those spiffy pantsers and that's why he'd be writing without knowing the ending of his own plot.

Interesting! By the way, I love your new profile picture! Very sophisticated. :)

Craig Hart said...

Good post and a great quote, too. Thanks for sharing and reminding us of this!

Lydia Kang said...

Ooh, this is a good quote. Because I tend to whittle a lot to please everyone.
Have a great weekend!

Kasie West said...

So true. It's important to seek advice in this industry, and hopefully the advice turns out good, but in the end we have to go with our instinct.

Robyn Bavati said...

I love this quote 'cos the truth is, you CAN'T please everyone. People have different tastes and it's all oh-so-subjective. By all means, seek feedback from one or two people whose opinions you value, after you've done the best you can, but in the end you must please yourself.

DL Hammons said...

I'm struggling with this right now as I prepare my manuscript for querying. I'm resisting advice from several of my CP's to cut and I've decided to stick to my guns and leave it as is. Hard choices indeed!

coffeelvnmom said...

Good Luck DL! I hope it goes well. Bottom line, you know what's best for your MS!