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Dear Dish-It: I'm A Better Writer Than My BFF

Everyone Can Write

Dear Dish-It,

I’ve been writing since I was three so now I am in the highest level in English. I have finished two books I have been writing so far, with one still on the go, which is about a renegade who doesn't know who his sister or father is and when he finds out his dad dies. My problem is that my BFF says I should write about happy things instead of broken families. Plus she says I shouldn't brag about being in the highest level, even though I don’t! The closest thing I’ve ever done to that is try and give her tips on how to make it up to the same level, but that didn’t go over too well. What should I do?

Free Spirit


Dear Free,


In terms of your best friend telling you what you should and shouldn’t write about, that’s an easy problem to solve. You can:

  • stop discussing your writing with her;
  • tell her you appreciate her opinion (and then do what you want with her advice); or
  • take her advice to heart and try writing something different than you normally do.

  • My personal vote is for the third option. You see, I happen to be a writer, too. My love for reading and writing when I was young has led me to my dream job. So when I give you this advice you have to understand that I really know what I’m talking about, as a professional writer. It’s great that you’re in the advanced English class, but in order to become a truly versatile and multifaceted writer, you’re going to have to start stepping out of your comfort zone once in a while. Trust me, trying to write about a topic or theme you normally would never consider is a good exercise and can really help you to advance your skills and grow as a writer. So your BFF is actually helping you become better at what you do, whether she meant it in a mean way or not.


    Now on to your second issue. If your friend doesn’t like getting help, simply stop helping her. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know how you offered your advice to her, but my feeling is she either took it the wrong way or you used a tone of voice or said it in a way that made her feel like you thought you were superior to her in your writing ability. I’m not saying you meant to be mean, but the fact is she took it badly. So, like I said, you may just want to back off in the advice department when it comes to writing. Or, try approaching her as an equal rather than someone who just happens to be at a lower skill level than you. Besides, you seem smart. Writing is totally arbitrary. I could read a published novel and love it, and you could read the same book and think it’s a piece of trash. Does that make the writer good or bad? Everyone writes differently and, in my opinion, most people write decently. Sure, there are rules of spelling, grammar, voice, syntax, consistency, etc. that may have to be learned or acquired, but everyone’s got a unique and active imagination that, when written down on paper or a computer, can become a pretty good tale for some readers.


    Finally, I’ll say this. If you truly want to help your friend, you should be conscious enough to know that giving advice only works when you’re willing to take it from other people, too. When she offers you her opinion on how you can evolve in your own ability as a writer (i.e. taking a shot at trying to writer a happier story), take it and thank her for being such a caring friend. Maybe that way she’ll be more open to taking advice from you.


    If you've got a burning question, need some love advice or find yourself thinking about things like sex, depression, self-esteem, boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends, bullying or peer pressure, don't hesitate to Dish-It here. Send your questions to deardish@kidzworld.com. And if you hang out in the chat rooms with other Kidzworld members who know you by your username, just send in your secret question using a different nickname if you want to stay anonymous – we promise that no one will ever know it's you. Remember: Dish-It gets a load of letters every day so it may take a while to reply to yours. Keep checking back for her reply, or watch for answered Dish-It questions that are similar to your own.


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    Comments

    ChubbyMoira

    ChubbyMoira wrote:

    Amen. I know how it feels to be a smarty pants life can be very hard. :angel
    commented: Fri Nov 25, 2011

    coolcharlie101
    love writing soo cool me 2 free
    commented: Thu Jun 16, 2011

    gleefunkybear

    gleefunkybear wrote:

    I know how you feel. I am at a high level in my writing. I don't mean to brag or anythi...
    commented: Mon May 09, 2011

    there are 4 more comments

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    "FloraTheWolf" wrote:One thing that I have noticed is that a lot of people seem to think they should have a boyfriend or a girlfriend as soon as possible, but they don't need to until its the right time just for them. You don't have to be forced to fall in love with someone if you don't want to. Let love come in its own time.And to keep away from any problems with her if she may become mean, try just forgetting about what happened and treat her like a normal person you know, and try to avoid any arguments. If she becomes mean, maybe just walk away for a bit. And if she is still being mean, maybe confront her asking what you have ever done to make her this way towards you. If you have done nothing, then she will have no reason to be mad at you so its not your problem she is being mean so you don't have to be stressed about it.I hope this helps! :) Thanks for the advice. This takes a burden off of my head. "Bloody Wings" wrote:ignore her be the cool kind of guy dont talk to her even if she comes and talk with you.well thats my opinion Thanks for the advice. Now I know the appropriate reaction. "Dear Dish-It" wrote: Hi there! My most important advice would be to be yourself! live your life! do the things you want to do. If you've moved past what happened with your feelings for one another, just go and enjoy your time. If things are weird, it'll be because of her, not you. Stay positive and calm and I'm sure you'll have fun!   Hope you have a good time! Thanks for helping me out Dish-It. You did not only help me out, but also wished me well. You are more like a care-taker, and you made me feel good. Thank you. Moderators can now lock the topic please. 
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    Dear Dish-It posted in Friends:
    Hi there! My most important advice would be to be yourself! live your life! do the things you want to do. If you've moved past what happened with your feelings for one another, just go and enjoy your time. If things are weird, it'll be because of her, not you. Stay positive and calm and I'm sure you'll have fun!   Hope you have a good time!
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    Wow! This sounds so frustrating! Maybe talk to your mom about what's going on. Ask her why she's doing it. She might just be worried about your safety online. More and more there are unsafe people talking to kids on the internet. I'm sure your mom just has your best interest at heart. See if you two can agree on how to keep you safe online!   Good luck!
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