Yesterday I was immersed in writing, I wrote on three blogs that I own and had been invited to join another blog. In all seven pieces were written and it felt good. The imagination, heart and mind working in unison to create work that people then read and commented on.
People were reading my stuff, for so long I hid my writing, I hid my everything, not just under a bushel but under an entire landslide. The worst thing imaginable would be someone reading it. Now I welcome peoples’ comments, I encourage people to feedback, I anticipate bad reviews, I suppose I expect bad reviews because that is my normal. People don’t “get” me so why would they get my writing. It is an extension of me.
The great projector in my life was given a poem to read. “I don’t understand random lists like this” was the feedback. The poem was my baby I began to defend its honour, my honour. Within seconds of beginning this defence, I folded. “Well you may not “get” it.” was my eventual response. I left it with them, I don’t need to defend my writing. It is what it is. Some people will see a random list or a few bug-eyed sentences and the great projector, of course, her poetry, her freaking everything is better than mine. If we were men, she’d p**s better than me. There is something very freeing in knowing this. You cannot win a p**sing contest with someone who doesn’t enter the race. I gracefully retire.
There’s a guy in the States hates my writing, comments freely on my abuse of scripture, my position of a female writing does his head in. I should be at home (I am) caring for my family (I am) and not doing man’s job. It is the man who should write about scripture. That’s the guy’s position, he wholeheartedly believes to the very core that I am wrong and he is right. I spent time looking at things from his perspective and then I asked another American guy’s opinion. I am certain the original guy did not attempt to look at things from my perspective or ask another female from Ireland their opinion. I would not enter into a discussion with him as I have seen bigger and better humans (men) chewed up and spat out by the rhetoric of similar guys to this. I don’t defend.
There’s a woman in the world who loves my non-fiction and hates my fiction. She “gets” my point of view on scripture and she says it adds to her own understanding. She doesn’t “get” my fiction, she doesn’t believe people live like that in rural Ireland. She has her opinion and I don’t defend.
As I write more and more, the “voice” I am writing is becoming clearer. It is distinct in the fiction, the non-fiction is most definitely, without reservation, me, but the fiction is no longer the cathartic needy unhealthy me, I am able more clearly to delve into the character as a separate entity to me, to give them emotions and feelings that I have never had, to give them motivations I would never have and to give them differing levels of faith depending on their circumstances.
There are a few people who offer genuine critique, for example, story great but the ending is fanciful. This is great feedback. The bare-bones, the skeleton of the story is good but the ending needs work on. This is good feedback. I have discovered since I started reviewing other peoples’ work that to start with a positive before moving on to any negatives is likely to be accepted by the author. Works for me.
Tomorrow I head in for critique of my recently delivered sermon, as I have had positive feedback all week I guess it is time for the negatives. I know some of them already, I totally said the wrong word at one point and had to try and catch it before it fell and failed miserably. I was visibly and audibly nervous which did not go away so the entire thing was done with a shaky voice. My hands, that I had trained in the week to move at certain times stuck together in front of me. I am no orator as I am now and where I would have to put myself to be that person, to harden myself, or steel myself, I lived for many years with immense barriers around me, an entire castle and moat were surrounding me and my hardened heart. My heart is now soft and I will not backtrack just so I give a performance. Does that mean I am defending my delivery? Not at all, I know it wasn’t great. I don’t defend, I am open to criticism.