I am known for my intense opinions as well as my tendency to voice those opinions. Loudly. It's taken me a lifetime to learn when to keep my big mouth shut, when to speak up, and more importantly, how to speak up in a diplomatic way that doesn't end up with those involved hating my guts.
Actually, I'm still trying to learn that one. I'm still caught far too often with my foot lodged securely in my mouth.
Which is why I'm in a dilemma today.
There is an aspiring writer I know. This person has been taken under the wing of another writer in a mentor-like situation. All well and good. But some of the advice flowing from teacher to pupil is, in my never-quiet opinion, waaaaaaaay off track.
I can argue the reasons with intensity and prove my point. I drafted a short, polite (I think!) e-mail to the pupil letting them know my concern. But I haven't sent it. Probably won't.
See, it's none of my business.
It's not. It's not. It's not. I have to keep telling myself that. I've been watching this for months now, and not saying something is killing me.
But if I speak up, I'll make the teacher person look bad. I'd likely get both people mad at me, which would be . . . uncomfortable for several very big reasons. I'd end up in a nasty situation of my own making.
And yet . . . I know full well that I'm watching a train wreck in the making. If this person follows the instructions they've been given, they'll end up wasting months (if not years) of time and work in their efforts to be published.
The two facts are tearing me in two directions.
I can either put my nose into someone else's business because they're heading into a ditch (and open a giant can of squishy, angry worms I could never close again) or stay out of it (and keep the peace, but know full well that I had a chance to prevent someone from failure).
Yikes. What to do? I want to hit "send" on that e-mail. Real bad. But I think I'd better delete it.
It's none of my business. It's none of my business. It's none of my business . . .
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