Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Who’s an Expert?



“I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of."                               
Clarence Darrow

A writing colleague confessed she does not give writing/publishing advice, because she does not feel she has the expertise.

 I, on the other hand, don’t have much expertise, but never shy away from giving advice. I began my career as the Opinionator at the age of five, when I explained to my mother at some length why her bachelor work-friend Bob will never get married. Bob didn’t listen to me, and married the love of his life, Edith, only a few months later. But my mother said I expressed myself well, and could have a future in this sort of business. The opinion business, that is.



Is it lack of humility, or simple delusion? I think in my case both are contributing factors, but the main driving force is a sense that there’s not enough knowledge in the world, no matter how much I studied, that would make me infallible. In the meanwhile, why not share what I think I know?



This is my excuse for this blog, for my books, and for continuing to give and take advice with gusto. I hope to always be gaining expertise, but never become an expert.

12 comments:

  1. Good point. The minute we become an "expert" we've just shut off any future learning.

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  2. I love the Clarence Darrow quote, Mirka! I am by no means an "expert" at writing-related stuff, but I help other writers where I can. Every critique I give is accompanied by a "here are my thoughts--take them or leave them" clause, and I eagerly await critiques of my writing from those same writer friends. We may not always agree with all of the ideas and suggestions we exchange, but it makes us think! = )

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  3. Clarence Darrow is a very distant relative, but I never knew he said that. Love the quote, though!
    I think advice is great, as long as I'm not clobbered over the head with it. :)

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  4. Ah, the world would be poorer if we all waited to be experts. Opine away!

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  5. I'm always happy to share my experiences and what I've learned, but I don't think I'm an expert.

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  6. How many experts are there really? I think we are all works (masterpieces) in progress.

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  7. I'm always happy to offer help and my opinion(nicely), but as far as hard-core writing advice, I tend to shy away from that. I still feel to new to the game to do that! And no one wants my help in the grammar department, believe you me. ;)

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  8. Yeah, expert is a bit intimidating. Someone I was talking to about a topic I wrote on called me an "expert" on the topic, and I was a bit taken aback. The thing is, because there wasn't a great deal of info out there on the topic, I probably HAD found basically all of it. It was a weird moment.

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  9. Retain your gusto in giving and taking advice, Mirka. I'm not an expert in anything but am happy to share what I've learned.

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  10. Seems you always have spot-on thoughtful advice, keep sharing.

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