I'm Not an Expert, But I Play One On the Internet


I write about writing. That's what this blog is about. That's not what the plan was for this site, but this is what it has evolved into. And you lovely people that take the time to read my posts and comment seem to approve of the direction I've gone. (Thanks for that, btw.)


However, there is also this opinion out there that I hear on blogs over and over again that the person doesn't want to blog about writing because it would feel hypocritical or fake--"I'm no expert. So what right do I have to tell you about writing?"

Okay, that's cool. If writing about writing isn't your thing, then definitely don't do it. However, sometimes the statement makes me feel a bit defensive because I'm like--dude, I'm not an expert either and I spend three days a week telling people about writing. And I've been doing that since way before I ever had an agent or a book deal or any stamp of this-chick-has-some-semblance-of-writing-ability legitimacy.

So do people think I'm some newbie who believes she knows-it all?

Well, lord I hope not.

Here's my approach to this blog. I'm naturally an advice-giver (my former career was as a social worker/therapist) and I'm a research-oriented person. When I decide I'm going to do something I want to know AS MUCH AS I POSSIBLY CAN about said topic. In this case, writing.

I'm addicted to learning, always have been. So I'm constantly reading books on craft, looking at other websites, going to conferences, attending writer's meetings, etc. I know I don't know it all, but that doesn't stop me from trying to learn it all. And then when I get this information, I pass it along via this blog. Not as---Hi, I'm the all-powerful writing craft goddess and want to bestow my epic-ness upon you--but as...Hey, look what I found out. Isn't this so cool and helpful?

So no, I'm not an expert. All I do is find out what the real experts are saying, distill it, and pass it along in (hopefully) tasty little sips for everyone.

So if you want to write about writing on your blog but don't feel "legitimate", I say screw that. As long as you're passing along solid information that you found helpful, then I don't see anything wrong with it. And if you have no desire to write about writing, then don't feel obligated to do so.

If you write about what moves/excites you, it'll work. I intended for this blog to be a book review site originally--hence the title Fiction Groupie--and it evolved instead into this because it was what kept filling my head.

Apparently being a bossy, know-it-all comes naturally to me. ;)

Hmm, I am an only child...

So what's your opinion? Does it bother you when people who aren't published or don't have an MFA or some other stamp of legitimacy spout writing advice on their blog? Do you feel weird writing craft posts because you don't feel you're "expert" enough to do so?