Why I Don’t Know Anything (ruminative rant)

First, I’m a 22-year old chick, unemployed and living with her parents. I’ve got very little life experience worth mentioning, and the stuff that might be worth mentioning is just plain boring. Who else can’t tell you what it’s like to grow up as the oldest child in a family of three, or what it’s like to come to America (and not even from somewhere exotic, but from the UK)? Sure, I can spout my wisdom from all of my lofty years, but good god, what’s it worth to anyone?  At best, everyone smiles politely and moves on; at worst, I look like a faux-know-it-all teenager (and given that I look like one, it’s really not an image I’m keen to foster).

Sure, I could talk about the stuff I think I know about writing, but really? Do I actually know all that much? As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never read a book on how to write and anything I’ve written since I learned what the alphabet was has been me trying to figure out what does and doesn’t work. I’ve heard a few favorable comments about stuff I’ve written, and I won that contest up there, but that does that make me an authority to talk about anything? I’m not published, I’m not agented. Even if that day does come, who’s to say that my what-works is going to work for anyone else? Hell, I’m not sure what works for me.

I even feel a little bad about writing the book reviews. Sure, I know what I like, and I can occasionally articulate what I mean, but is my opinion worth anything? I mean, yes. As a consumer, my opinion is worth something. But as a book-lover, can I adequately express myself to other book-lovers in a way that will either make them want to or not want to buy the book that I’m going on about?

The only time I really felt comfortable doing this blog, was during NaNoWriMo. I was doing something interesting, I was doing something on the stupid side of extreme, and it was fun to talk about it and to be part of a community. Since then, the main reason that my blog has been sporadic is a) there’s not even been anything interesting to talk about in my personal life and b) all the above reasons about me putting out writing advice.

Since I started trying to do this three times a week, it’s forcing me to think more about the process of writing. I don’t like talking about things that I’m not 100% sure about, even if it’s just to internet strangers who have never and probably won’t ever meet me in person. It’s not because I don’t like criticism, it’s that I hate being shown how I’m categorically wrong about something (thus proving that I should never have tried to talk about it in the first place). Maybe this is just me exposing my insecurities to the world.

In any case, I’ll close this little self-indulgent blog with an excellent link that’s fairly relevant. It’s also about how to write!

Everything There Is To Know About Writing

Peace out, lurkers.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Why I Don’t Know Anything (ruminative rant)

  1. I write a lot about things of which I have no idea. I’d venture to guess most authors don’t have first hand experience in what they’re writing about. If we did, research would not be as important as it is.

    Never fear. I frequently feel like I don’t know ****. And that’s okay. At least I’m not a cocky knowitall?

  2. OldFashionedGirl

    I get lots of things wrong. Everyone does. It’s okay. I read your blog because I thing *you*, yourself, are an interesting person.

  3. I read your contest-winning story, and I liked it! Let’s be blog friends.

  4. Jay

    From one unemployed chick living with her parents to another: I’ve given out a lot of book recommendations to a lot of people and I can say that a lot of them were flops. Books were returned with the shake of a head or a nervous laugh when I asked how it was going. But it’s never stopped people from continuing to ask me for recommendations. I know I haven’t loved all the books you recommend but so what? I still keep coming back for more because even hit and miss advice can be better than none. And for the record I do read your blog for more than the book reviews.

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