To my fellow writers; a piece of advice

May 29, 2009 at 8:50 pm (Just a thought ...) ()

This Blog is for writers who take writing seriously and want to learn from other’s experience to enhance their style. I have written this as an advice for my fellow writers and who can see my objective of writing this.

Recently I have learnt so much about writing. As someone who wants to be a writer I try to learn from each opportunity that comes in my way. Not all of those opportunities are pleasant. But each event or incident has something to offer; something I can learn from. Two things have happened recently; an unpleasant small event and an amazingly big event which I have enjoyed so much. In this Blog, I will only speak of the first one and will speak about the other pleasant event in another time.  

 A while ago I have commented on a friend’s blog about an issue that many seem to believe is sensitive. In my comment, I have told my story and my opinion about the topic. I was honest and straight forward in my response. I have also said things that are seen as unorthodox or daring. Some have thought that it was disrespectful even though what I said related to myself only. I didn’t understand why some people felt insulted and attacked me in person rather than attacking my response.  It was a brutal attack that have made me think about what i said and how i said it.

I have been disagreeing and agreeing with people on more important and more sensitive subjects but never received such harsh response. I realized that some people do not know how to communicate with others who disagree with them. They don’t even know how to disagree. Having a different opinion than someone does not mean that this person is horrible. But sometimes, people stone those who dare express their minds over something different.

 

When I told what happened to a friend, she said “Every person who brought about change in history has had difficulties, there are always backward people who fight it, in fact it is my personal belief that the ones that fight it hardest are the ones that find a similar battle inside them. They envy the person has moved forward, they convince themselves that they are right even though there is a voice deep down that tell them they aren’t .. we have a great religion that has lasted centuries, why are we so afraid of being challenged. In fact we should invite people to question and challenge us because in the end truth prevails … The only way a person can reach true belief and conviction  is by asking questions and raising doubt until those doubts are cleared then they are depending on blind faith which is the weakest faith to have. But it is unfortunate in out society people who raise questions in the hope of finding better answers are condemned and crucified. Why?    … don’t engage yourself with narrow minded people who live in denial and are so forceful with their opinion“. Then she added a quote by Winstone Chirchill where he defines a fantastic as “someone who wont change his mind and cant change the subject”  

 

Anyways, back to my story. I am glad that I was attacked; I learnt few things from this incident.

 

 First, I regretted replying to the attack as soon as I read it. I was emotional in my reply and so it was not strong and coherent. So the first lesson is that I should not get emotional about the attack, and if I do, I should not take action while I am still emotional. I need to control my feelings, calm down and think logically.

Second, I learnt that getting attacked is something I will always face if I ever want to be writer; if I want to be a genuine unique writer. People have different ideas and different ways of expressing their ideas; so I shouldn’t be surprised or affected if someone attacked me in the most uncivilized disgusting way.

Third, I learnt that not everyone is worth replying to. Some people are just not with the time or effort; and others just try to provoke the writer and giving them attention feeds their ego.

Fourth, I realized what I have erred; my style or way of expressing my ideas were wrong. I know that my ideas are provocative and different. But my intentions are not to provoke people; my goal is to reach out for them and let them see a different prospective on things. Thus, I should work on my own style because I am discovering flaws along the way.

 And finally, I should know my audience; writing what ever I want could work for a French audience for example because they do not care about the same things we as Qataris do. It is more difficult to reach out for a Qatari audience because they seem to be sensitive about many issues; especially the ones that touches traditions, identity and religion.

 

I hope you found this experience helpful.

4 Comments

  1. mmk080 said,

    Thanks maryam. I just wanted to say that I am thoroughly enjoying your blog, it is very entertaining and at times quite informative too.

    I also enjoyed your Kabsa yesterday…

  2. Saad said,

    Dear Mimiz,

    Thank you for this insightful experience. what comes to my mind now is a french proverb that was Said by Voltaire. One of my teacher used to say it all the time in Arabic:
    “قد اختلف معك في الرأي ولكن مستعد أن أضحي بعمري لكي تعبر عن رأيك”
    I believe that we won’t develop unless we start respect one another, respect not only them as a fellow human being, but also respect their way of thinking. What happened to you proves one thing to me, which’s that the person could not respond to the ideas so he/she started to attack who said it. And this in my opinion is the weakest way of arguing.
    One of my belief Mimiz is that every thing happen for a reason. And I think that this incident gave you new awareness about your self and your priorities.
    I advise you to use other’s criticism to you as an opportunity to discover new aspects in your self, and if their criticism was about a religion or a tradition go by you self and study their argument at least to know how they think. And believe me if your ideas weren’t worth it, they would not bother them selves and attacked you.

    • Linda said,

      Dear Mimiz, “My George I think youv’ve got it. I definitely have to agree with your words when you write… about people becoming more sensitive when you touch a reflection of their own personal battles… When you reflect something that exsists in them you will get an extremely positive or negative response.. If you did not get a reaction it does not exsist in their conciousness so you will recieve no emotional reaction.. A good writer should cause emotion in his readers, good, bad or ugly…..
      Let us not forget what may be good for you may not be good for me… and you know what that is OK! It’s ok to disagree but never lose respect or judge other because they chose to live their lives differently. Where would we be today if we all lived the same thoughts… No progress …
      Values, morals and religion are a personal path….One that is between you and God, if someone is judging how much of the religion do they really understand?
      “thou shall not judge”. May I suggest just loving one another and celebrate the individuality of each of us.

  3. mimizwords said,

    MMK … machboooooos

    saad .. thank you for your advice, i will certainly consider at.

    My dear Linda .. i miss you already, i like what you said and agree with you. of course this is not something new hahahaha

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