Saturday, April 2, 2011

"Never Listen to Nobody."

I’ve never been one of those people who endured constant ridicule regarding his desire to express himself creatively. I guess I was fortunate. My parents never tried talking me out of writing, although my father seemed perplexed by some of my material. Sadly, he didn’t live long enough to see what it would eventually become.

My friends never thought I was untalented or silly, although some may have found my chosen genres unappealing. In fact, the only time I remember anyone in my life pooh-poohing me as a writer was a friend who told me it was a waste of time until the day he needed my help writing a term paper. When that term paper was so well-received it placed in the top three of a state-wide competition, he sheepishly conceded I might just have something after all. Bastard.

Anyway, none of this means I haven’t faced my moments of ridicule. As I’ve written before, I once endured a room of nineteen potential writers slamming one of my stories. That sort of made up for the lack of ridicule in my earlier years, I guess. Recently, I have been engaging in a veritable submission frenzy which has, for the most part, paid off rather well. Because of this, I became more confident in stories that were not as readily accessible as the tale of a man who committed cannibalism being haunted by his meals in zombie form.

A few of these stories were viewed by some who had read them in their early stages as un-gettable, too personal or just plain out there. All but one of them has been accepted by editors. The most recent, one I was assured would never appeal to anyone except me, received the following response: “Wow, Christopher...I love it. By all means, I'm accepting it for publication...”

The title of this post is not meant to be taken literally, however. Sometimes the opinions of others are vital to the creative process. But if it’s content the person is objecting to, stick to your guns and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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