Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Can A Science/Tech Guy Help Creative Writers?


The science/tech guy I’m talking about is David DiSalvo and the article I think can help creative writers is on the business site Forbes.

Even better, the article is called 10 Smart Things I’ve Learned from People Who Never Went to College

David sets the scene with these words:

“I grew up in an extended family of folks who for the most part didn’t attend college. Many of them were working full time before they left high school, and a few (like my father) went to night school after they’d already been working for a long time.  From an early age my perspective was steeped in wisdom from those who never went to college, but managed to live fulfilling lives just the same. “

As usual, hoping you’ll take the link and read the whole article, I’ll give you only the descriptive titles of David’s 10 things I feel can help creative writers, with my brief comments:

1.  You can learn something useful from anyone.

For creative writers, this can certainly refer to Beta readers—expand your criteria for selecting them—you could get a pleasant surprise

2. If quality slips, it really doesn’t matter how good your ideas were.

Yep. The writer gets a Brilliant idea and fails to follow-through with the intense work it takes to turn it into a finished work

3. Don’t ever let a bully intimidate you – not even once.

Especially if that bully is in your own mind :-)

4. Reciprocity is the name of the relationship game and always will be.

Especially if you decide to self-publish and take on all the promotion work.

5. Learning is good; Doing is better.

Perhaps you should stop reading books about writing and take more time to write?

6. Kindness isn’t optional.

So broad, this advice—be kind in your judgements of your own writing, be kind to people who ask you how you write, be kind to those who don’t understand your dedication to a profession that seems to them like a waste of time………

7. You can survive anything (assuming it doesn’t physically kill you).

Why, perchance, this even means you can survive negative criticism and reviews :-)

8. Get a dog.

Or a cat, or a lizard, or a monkey, or get on deep and intimate terms with your Muse

9. Money is important, but experience is invaluable.

Very personal take on this one—accept a low-income position that doesn’t tax you so you can write, write, write.

10. Just be ready.

And, how do you get “ready”? Write, write, write :-)

O.K., now I’m hoping you’ll go read David’s article and come back here and share in the comments which of his bits of advice meant the most to you
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7 responses to “Can A Science/Tech Guy Help Creative Writers?

  1. martinaseveckepohlen August 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Different interests make differnent views of the world. Writers are hoarders, just like teachers, therefore they profit from other ways of thinking. I know I learned a lot from my adult students who came from other countries and whose occupations varied from field labourer to professor of music.

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai August 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

      What a Wonderful Resource to have had, Martina :-)

      Like this

  2. Selena Wolff (@SelenaWolff) August 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Excellent advice! I’m so glad you are still imparting your wonderful wisdom.

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai August 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Great hearing from you again, Selena :-)

      Like this

      • Tim Kavi August 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm

        Thank you for sharing this article. I read your posts regularly. I get the notices in my email. I have tried to leave comments before but sometimes my connection is er, strange. (there are a lot of people on the net here in China). I think this article is great it reminds us that there are many resources we can learn from but we must also do something with that knowledge. I liked number 2, the issue about quality. It seems I am never totally happy with something I write. I think it is just me, but I always don’t like finishing things, because they always seem to be lacking in my mind. (Maybe because they are not the best I can do I think). After the polishing, editing, cutting, it is better but it does take a lot of time, The old saying familiarity breeds contempt perhaps rings true, but there must come a point when we bravely finish something and submit it. Bullying reviews afterwards never help either. Heheheh a whining session. My point is: what do we do about quality? And when is it truly ready? Do test readers help, and if so, any resources to get them if they are not family or friends?

        Like this

        • Alexander M Zoltai August 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm

          My feeling is that a work is “truly ready” when you and your beta-readers and editor(s) all feel it’s ready; though, there are times the writer’s feelings can definitely outweigh readers and editors

          You could try engaging with folks on writing critique sites and discover potential beta-readers that way

          Hope this helps :-)

          Like this

  3. Pingback: Can A Science/Tech Guy Help Creative Writers? « Notes from An Alien | Creative writing 2 | Scoop.it

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