I was recently asked by someone about how to go about writing and publishing. I gave him my usual advice of balancing creativity and business, running yourself as a business, and my writing techniques. I said it was simpler that you think, and that he didn’t need a big publisher to get started. In terms of writing, when I tried to share how I put together ideas, overcome writer’s block etc, he got agitated, telling me to stop making it sound so easy and that I was holding back the “good stuff” from him. He implied that the only way to become a “writer” was to take classes and form sentence structures correctly and take proper grammar lessons and that was the only way and he had to do all that before he even out a sentence to paper.
I tried to tell him that the process was not that complicated. Instead of listening, he became even more angry at me because he was convinced the process was very difficult and that I was hiding the “Secret Formula” and that I was refusing to share it with him (What “Secret Formula”? Really? There is one? Then I must be going about this all wrong!). He said that nothing I said or did worked and that I was not giving him the “real” ways to write and publish. As he rambled on, I kept thinking to myself that if nothing I did “worked”, then how was I able to publish my novels and comic books? (And I’m on my 5th published issue of my comic books now). He called me selfish for refusing to divulge “secrets”. He was completely convinced that there was some sort of magic writing formula that he was supposed to follow, that there was only one “correct” way to write and that I was “cutting corners” and “making things up”, and to “deviate” from that was “not real writing”. He also kept insisting that the only way to be a writer was through a big publisher and that whatever I did was “not legit”. (Never mind the fact that I’m on amazon).
He finally ended his rant by saying he was too “skeptical” and scared of trying my methods and that I couldn’t help him and that he would find someone else who could, who would help him do it "the right way". Well, I wish you al the luck in the world. In the meantime, I will keep doing what I’m doing. I really don’t feel I should waste my time again with negative people who ask for advice and then put you down for it. When I asked if he planned to get started and take his classes and go about things his way, he scoffed and said “Nah, it’s too complicated. And I don’t have the time.” Well, there you have it.
I'm not sure what advice to give for this, but I guess I can sum it up this way: Don't be this guy. If you ask for advice, listen to what someone has to say, especially when they ARE a published author. Don't be negative. I guess that is sort of a secret formula: Don't put something down and give up before you try it because of some preconceived notion of what a published author should be. You've failed before you even tried. The only thing stopping this person was himself.