Know what this is? Neither do I. But I’m hoping it’s the door of opportunity opening (I’m also hoping I don’t trip over something in the dark in my rush to get to the door, but that’s another set of issues altogether).
I’ve been asking for an opportunity and the answer up till now has felt like standing in a dark room. I haven’t known what the hell to do to get where I want to be so I stood still. Not the smartest move I can make. Now the light is peeking in and it’s time for me to move toward it. So here’s hoping the old theatre adage to “break a leg” isn’t figurative. Wish me luck.
I’ve been reading the comments sections of posts. Perhaps a bit too much:
The black cloud of negativity, who says things like:
“George R.R. Martin is the most overrated writer in the history of fantasy/sci-fi. His books read like a contract and substitute shock value for originality and talented story telling.”
“You want fluff, read a Dragonlance novel or that shite Gabaldon series.”
And I won’t even go into the comments on the #AskELJames fiasco on Twitter.
For the most part, those in many professions don’t get critiqued by total strangers online. Artists have become, for some unfathomable reason, the target for a kind of criticism that goes beyond taste. It isn’t enough these days to say a particular work isn’t the type you enjoy. It must be slammed into the ground, the artist portrayed as stupid, untalented, etc.
“I don’t like it” isn’t acceptable anymore. The very fact of dislike now impugns not only that work but everything an artist does and even who they are.
I wonder if those who do this have ever considered that wiping out the confidence and the desire of those who make art may leave them without anyone to criticize at all. How many artists give up under the weight of uninformed and untrue insults their work receives? And how many careers are damaged by the platforms so easily available to those whose only talent is to criticize?
I am reminded of an old adage: those who can, do. The twist these days comes in the second part of the saying: those who can’t, criticize.
I get a lot of polite smiles when I tell people I have a BA in History. Even my dad shook his head and told me how much he hated history classes, how boring they were. I get it, I really do. The feeling isn’t the same for me, but I understand why people’s eyes glaze over sometimes when they read history books. Too many of them are written by people who act as if they’re still doing it for a grade.
My story is pretty simple. I have a degree in History because of Math. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a passion for history. What I have is much less passion for Math. In fact, I don’t have any passion for Math. Nor any real aptitude for it. It’s a truly loveless relationship.
It isn’t that I didn’t try. I made it a week and a half in the math class I took at the local community college (the remedial one that failing the automated test puts you into so you can learn enough to take the lowest level of real math). I understood more of what was going on in the French class I took.
When I left to complete my BA at a university, I worried about the obstacle of another math class. Then I perused the requirements of the History department. The classes sounded great and there wasn’t a single math class listed. It was made for me.
I studied medieval and reformation Europe, the history of Africa and Germany along with a class on the fall of the Soviet Union. It was awesome. Don’t ever let anyone tell you college doesn’t have a place for everyone. Even History geeks can survive.
(A rainbow-colored, glittery one at that)
I love parades. Apparently so do lots of others. Like the folks here watching the parade I went to on Saturday. I like to get out from behind my computer every once in a while, to see the “real” world so I can create realistic, “normal” characters. Just a good writing skill I’ve learned.
(This is me, trying to have it all)
Writing is an obsession. Writing is a chore. It’s the strangest dichotomy I know of to love something that makes you want to pull your hair out. Stories never stop meandering their way through my head. The problem is they don’t meander onto the paper, or the computer screen, at least not with anything resembling ease.
A second level of frustration, for me at least, is the vast difference in those stories. I love to write humor, to know that people are laughing at the words I put together. But I also love to write gut-wrenching emotion. I like mayhem and destruction. I write dark and sometimes morbid plays, humorous romance novels, contemporary murder mysteries and fantasy short stories. Perhaps I need mood management more than lessons on my craft.
And a bit of shameless promotion:
The latest review for my novel, Ghost of a Clue, from The Wild Rose Press can be found here: http://www.drcpromotions.com/2015/05/review-a-ghost-of-a-clue-by-debra-doggett/
You know how writers like to talk about their writing space? Well, for the moment, this is mine. I did something I’ve done far too many times in my life yet again. I moved. If you want to get an idea of how often I’ve done that, I have three children, each born in a different state. You would think I’d be better at it than this. I have, however, got much less stuff to move these days. It’s still a pain though. But, back to writing.