because to be a writer means to always improve

i’m thinking a LOT about men in my major (which is creative writing bc i hate money and food) lately because like….i realized in every writing workshop ive ever taken here, there’s been at least one (1) horrible horrible male writer who never does the reading or like, anything, but holds himself with BOOOOUNDLESS confidence. we spend forever on critiquing his 6th-grade-level prose with kindergarten teacher voices on because he’s always defensive as shit and like. he just can’t even wrap his head around being Not Great, he never improves. 

and i mean there’s bad girl writers, bad writers of all genders in the department, but it’s only the dudes who are absolutely abysmal writers but think they’re fucking F. Scott Fitzgerald giving Bukowski a rimjob

Based on Twitter, I take it that TPTB at @cw_spn are trotting out the “story goes where it goes” excuse again. 

As a writer this bullshit infuriates me, because a good writer, like improv comedians or jazz musicians, always maintains structural control over their material. Dropping control means you’re not doing your job.

And yes, sometimes a new and interesting turn appears. Things change, characters evolve, contracts aren’t renewed, etc etc.  But you then make the minute and constant adjustments so that the new direction maintains internal consistency (ex: a smart character isn’t suddenly suicidally stupid without cause), and the end result is the destination you planned.  

And then you own it, you don’t blame it on some vague “story wanted” as though it has more power over your words than you do.

Because no, that’s not how it works.  Not if you’re a professional.