Now You’re Cooking…er, writing!

Eldest just got home from a twelve day trek with two of his closest buddies. I barely heard from him the entire time he was gone–I guess it’s hard to call your mom when you’re cliff jumping and deep-sea fishing. Next year when he goes to college, I’ll probably hear from him even less.

“Oh, he’ll be home to eat his favorite meals,” many parents have claimed.

Yeah, right.

The only time he called and actually talked to me versus texting me a picture and a quick quip was to say, “Hey, mom, I’m making my favorite hot dish and wanted to make sure I had all the ingredients.”

He named them all except garlic. Not bad for a seventeen-year-old boy. And since he did the lion’s share of the cooking, I doubt very much he’ll be home for me to feed him. He’s way ahead of many young men who have never lifted a spoon before embarking on the next leg of their journey.

To this end, there are two kinds of critiquers. Ones who give advice in hopes of teaching and ones who rewrite entire passages.

There are also two types of writers. Ones who want someone else to rewrite and ones who want to learn how to do it themselves.

I’m a firm believer in teaching, not providing. In doing, not letting someone else do it all for you.

There are no shortcuts in writing–nor in life.

 Are you a teacher or a provider?What are the benefits of both? How do you hold back and teach when you’d really like to give? Vice versa? When is it okay to provide?

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4 responses to “Now You’re Cooking…er, writing!

  1. I’m more of a provider, I suspect, but I’m trying to tone that down and be more of a teacher. I agree, that’s the better route. It’s just not what I do naturally. Sigh.

    • It’s definitely a hard one to balance, I think. Sometimes I want to redline everything but a sentence or two and start over because the idea is so fabulous, but…then I realize it’s my voice that I want to hear that fabulous story in and I have to take a step back. Not my idea. Not my story. Not my characters, nor my voice. If we all sounded the same, the bookshelves would get very small, indeed.

  2. When you are a parent you have to be both and sometimes it can be hard trying to figure out when to be what. Sometimes we feel guilty making the kids do it themselves, but in the long run they will benefit. You have to keep reminding yourself that you won’t always be there to clean up their messes and when they know how to deal with it because you taught them, your purpose is achieved. And they will finally get why you were such a ‘meanie’ all those years ago.

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