Ok, let's start at the beginning. Anyone is allowed to think they can write; it's a free country. But can these kind, gentle folks exercise their fundamental rights a little less vehemently?
Still don't get it? Let me explain.
Fine. So you think you can write. Congratulations. But can you not keep harping on and on about it, and try and keep it personal? So if you're still as thick in the head as I think you are, you can do the following and let me move on with my life:
1) Don't refer to your writing as if you're carrying Shakespeare's legacy forward. Which means you're not allowed to say things like, "I'm not inspired enough to update my blog" or "Like William Golding says, my writing is
2) Don't write idiotic, pseudo intellectual "poetry". It does nothing for your writing, except maybe make you sound batty in addition to demented. Also, don't try camouflaging utter rubbish under 'modern verse'. Doesn't fool anyone. Examples of said "poems" are:
I walked through the maze.
Looking for him.
Will he come? Will he go?
I laughed to myself and came out of the blinding light.
Sorry. But what are you even talking about? If this is poetry, then even I can come up with some:
I looked at the ice-cream shop, wistfully.
Ice-cream beckons, said the voices in my head,
I stared hard at the hamburger in my hand.
Who took a bite of it when I was wasting my time thinking of ice-creams?
Boy, I must really be stupid.
A blinding flash of light, sudden silence.
I had been standing in the middle of the highway.
See? It's that easy. One and a half minute is all it took, to come up with modern verse. And if I can do it, it's not art. Wake up from your reverie and get a job, please.
3) Don't ask for feedback as far as possible. Unless, you really are prepared to hear someone (me) say "I don't think this is making any sense." If you still do come and ask for an impartial critique of your piece, I will not criticise your work in a way that makes you think about your life. I will cite exact reasons as to why your piece of literature isn't working for me. Trust me, I take feedback in the same spirit (if I've asked for it, of course). But since most people begin to mouth the word 'bitch' in their heads the moment I say something like "I think you could have worked on this in another way", I refrain from giving feedback. You can shove your lovely little pieces of writing where the sun don't shine.
4) Don't pretend you have read the entire collection at The British Council twice over, when your "Books I've read" list consists solely of Chetan Bhagat, Dan Brown, Sidney Sheldon, The Godfather, Paulo Coelho and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. It's all ok to have read them on the side, but if those are your list, you are in serious trouble. Don't even bother writing.
5) If your punctuation is terrible, you need to go to school. There are no two ways about that. Frequent use of '.......' isn't cool either. It displays a clear lack of vocabulary or an inability to connect two sentences together. If both, punctuation and vocabulary, are a problem, kindly don't venture near pen and paper. And while we're on the subject, if you think blogging or writing in SMS language is cool, please go and write SMSes. ONLY.
6) It would help if it ever crossed your mind, that even the best pieces of writing may not be as amazing as you think they are. Your first draft cannot be your final draft (in 99% of the cases). Don't go about thinking that whatever you throw up on paper is going to be perfumed. Be open to the idea that it may stink and you can only do something about it, if you accept the possibility of it stinking. Also, edit and re-edit. Too many typos are extremely uncool.
7) Don't ask for advice from friends who don't read. Quite often, they will bloat your ego to the size of a spaceship by repeatedly using the word 'SUPERFAB!' in connection with your writing. This causes you to think that you know it all and there's no room for improvement. It is never the case.
And before I'm done with the bombardment of DONT'S and hence, the post, one word of advice for the person doling the feedback. It's very easy to sit there and poke holes with the piece under consideration, but difficult to produce it. So, be gentle. Don't just discard something as worthless without having the patience to impart constructive criticism (if the person is willing to listen to you, of course). If you can't do the latter, you've no right to do the former.
P.S. Nowhere do I claim to be the best writer there is. Heck, I don't even think I'm good. So, if you look really carefully, nowhere have I implied to be the Tolkein of our times. If anything, the post is to have aspiring writers (or people who believe they're already there) to stop making me feel like a bitch, simply because I think you write badly. So if I get any comments questioning my integrity to dole out advice, I will impale you. I promise.