Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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The other week I heard a radio interview with Darcy Bussell (ballerina with the Royal Ballet). She started ballet late, at the age of 13, and was desperate to go to ballet school even though her mother didn't want her to because she had been to ballet school and absolutely hated it. Anyway, Darcy Bussell was tall and gawky and the teacher told her that she was useless and would never make a ballerina and suggested that she give up right away. She didn't. Instead the criticism galvanised her into working much harder because she realised that she was useless back then. And so, eventually, she became internationally successful.

One of the things currently driving me is the fact that I was accepted as a tutor on a fiction writing course not because of the 3 short stories I've sold to pro magazines but despite such a feeble publishing record. I want to sell a novel because you can't dismiss a novel so easily.

Some people seem to find strong motivation in a, "I'll show the bastards!" attitude. Others of course would wither like a delicate seedling in a drought if faced with harsh criticism, even if justified.

So it's rather difficult for a writing tutor to know what to do. I tend to err on the supportive side when giving feedback and would never say that a person should give up all hope of ever being a writer. But perhaps for some people I should? (Only joking! *g*)

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