More on my allergy to Robert Boice and the Boiceans

It is the condescending tone, the supposition that one has no experience writing, and the assumption that one does not like to write; most of all it is the insistence that all you need is discipline. Nicole and Maggie claim that if you do not need the basic advice Boice gives, you should be able to simply say you already know those things. They do not realize that if you say that the Boiceans will hit you over the head, because only Boice can know those things. They will say you are arrogant to think you could know those things, and infantile to imagine your difficulty could lie elsewhere.

This is why I so dislike Boice and the Boiceans. I see them as violent and dangerous people, and I have quite violent feelings about them in return. Were I truly Mictlantecuhtli I would hunt them down and sacrifice them on a pyramid.

What irritates me the most about the Boiceans I have known is how they dared to go on at me in this vein. I am interested in different writing problems — content, analysis, style. They are stuck on the question of whether one can start writing at all.

Being a captive audience who is preached at and condescended to, and whose actually more advanced ideas are misidentified as immature or naïve. I dislike the Boiceans the way I dislike the Reeducators and as I say, I would sacrifice them on a pyramid if I could. Being a captive audience who is preached at and condescended to, and whose actually more advanced ideas are misidentified as immature or naïve appears to be one of my root traumas.


3 thoughts on “More on my allergy to Robert Boice and the Boiceans

  1. I so agree! Maybe the Boicean approach works for some, but the assumption that most writers have a deep psychological problem that needs to be fixed–like it’s an addiction (either to writing or not-writing)–is not what I want to read when I’m thinking about my writing. In addition, his book isn’t well written. That might be shallow of me to say….

    1. Like it’s an addiction … yes … or like you are a dog being trained. Perhaps I am unusual since I have studied so many foreign languages and comparatively speaking, a lot of math; you just have to work regularly on those and I have tended to extend this to writing as well.

      I just realized something else: my parents both overeat and then diet, and one of the great things about being a grownup is not having the alienation from food and the body they seem to experience. The Boice book reminds me of diet books and this may be one of the reasons I react against it so viscerally. It’s like reading instructions on how not to be eating disordered by someone who still is, or on how not to drink too much by someone who barely resists major drinking.

      1. Also — I am just allergic to self help talk as opposed to actual professional discussions. That is the other important distinction: self help vs. real psychology, self help vs. real discussions of one’s work and workplace, self help instead of whatever the real thing would be for a given context. (I don’t know why I make an exception for Neil Fiore, but I do. Maybe it is just that I knew his ideas and I knew the Compleat Academic and I had my ideas and my training, and more basics seemed excessive when I wanted more advanced advice.)

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