Greetings Dear Fiends,
Welcome to my Haibun of Encouragement.
This is not the best Haibun I ever wrote.
It is not the best anything I ever wrote.
But unless you are far more self-assured than I am, it may be what you need to hear.
Perhaps you are surrounded by people who tell you that The Thing You Do is nothing more than self-indulgent vanity. These people are quick to point out that only a vanishingly small number of Very Special Anomalies ever make a living from the arts, let alone achieve any sort of renown. They will then list the many reasons why you are Not Very Special.
I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard that I’m Not Pretty Enough or that I’m Too Fat.
Yes, for writing.
I can’t imagine why I’d need to be thin or pretty to write, but that’s what I’ve been told.
There are others who focus on the writing, telling me everything that’s wrong with it.
I have too many subplots.
My work is too dark.
It’s too depressing.
It’s too weird.
It addresses too many uncomfortable subjects.
It’s too raw.
It’s too me, and nobody wants me.
You may know where this is going next.
The naysayers tell you that you need to give up this Artsy-Fartsy Nonsense and focus on having a Real Career that will make you oodles of money.
Learning a trade is a good plan. But choose something that you’ll enjoy. Don’t select something that you think will make other people happy, because it will make you unhappy.
Then continue pursuing your artistic or literary dreams.
“But everything I write gets rejected,” you lament.
Back in January of this year, I submitted a selection of ten poems and a short story for consideration in an anthology. Eight of the poems were rejected in quick succession. Then just today, the short story and one of the poems was accepted! One poem is still under consideration.
I also had a poem that I submitted to another publication rejected today.
More of your work will be rejected than accepted. That’s just how it is.
Improving the quality of your writing, art, or whatever your chosen form of expression should be a lifelong goal. However, most of the time publishers are looking for pieces that check off certain boxes. They are looking for work that has a high probability of being commercially viable. I don’t like to check boxes, and I can’t write according to a formula.
My work will never be accepted by the mainstream. I’m hoping for a cult following.
My advice is to keep creating and keep looking for ways to gain exposure. Realize that you will never be able to explain your love of your craft to the Naysayers. You are called to do That Thing You Do for reasons they don’t understand.
You don’t need their approval.
Keep on doing That Thing You Do for you.
granted a reprieve
now, go up and never stop
strive no matter what
~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~
Today’s prompt—use the words for reasons they don’t understand in a piece of poetry
I cannot tell you how happy I am that some of your work has been accepted. And hooray for being yourself and NOT giving up, despite the very real temptation.ReplyDelete
I love this. We are all special in our own way.ReplyDelete