“Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored.” –Patricia A. McKillip
I think everyone who has ever written a line, be it poetry or story of some kind, knows the truth of this statement. I cannot count how many times I have hit a block in the road where frustration gets the better of me and I say to myself, “Maybe I’ll just quit.” Writing, that is. Because it is hard, and all too often those who devour books don’t appreciate the sheer amount of blood, sweat and tears we authors, published or indie, go through to put our creative minds to work and produce something amid the chaos of life that continues to speed by at an increasingly alarming rate.
It takes vast amounts of courage to put yourself out there, to subject yourself and your brain child/children to criticism and the harsh words that inevitably come to all of us, because everything is relative. What one loves, another hates. I have been the subject of much criticism, and yeah, some of it hurts, but I try to treat all of it as a learning opportunity. Look at it as a lesson in character development. This is an opportunity to find out what you’re made of. Can you take the heat? Do you have what it takes to bounce back and come in harder and stronger next time? Do you have the willpower to withstand the next blow, or will you crumble under the pressure.
Every time I feel that nagging self-doubt niggling at the base of my brain, I stomp it down brutally, because I know better than anyone that I am not going to quit. I love writing. It is hard work. Sometimes I get tired and I want to quit, but then I get hit with another idea or one of my characters pleads with me that it will be better next time, just give it another chance, and so I do, because I love them. I love my brain children. I love that they take me places I have never been, scary, dark places, fun and humorous places, and most of all, loving and warm places that transport me into their world. Just as they cannot live without me, I cannot live without them. They give my thoughts and emotions a voice they might not have otherwise. Through them I feel more complete. That is what self-expression is all about—being able to share a piece of your innermost self with the world. Damn the criticism. The world is more colorful for both the world we live in and the world we create.
Forge ahead my fellow creators, and don’t let anyone stop you!