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On dreams and stuff - Paul

Nov 10, 1997 06:39 PM
by kymsmith

Paul wrote:

> [Lorraine?] The message "Why do you care what
>we think?" provided a necessary jolt, since the answer was "for
>no good reason."


>Becoming an author creates major ego problems for anyone, I'd
>think, because suddenly all these strangers are reacting to
>their image of you, which really packs a wallop if it's a
>strongly negative image.  Which it is with readers whose belief
>systems are challenged by what you write.  But, as Lorraine
>says, we can free ourselves from the cycle of negative

I think the question "Why do you care what we think?" posed to an author is
a kind, but misguided, gesture.

When people write, especially those who write with the goal of publication,
they are trying to communicate. . .of course, they are going to care if
their message is heard, and, hopefully, understood.  When penning a book
with the purpose of "helping" a particular group, it is particularly
distressing if it is 'thrown back in your face' by that same group.  

The feeling is similiar to offering someone a blanket, one you had
laboriously sewn yourself, because you perceived them to be freezing in an
icy wind - yet, they turn around and hurl your beloved little blankie right
back in your face.  Feelings of confusion and hurt are a natural reaction.
Then, if that's not enough, the person then goes and tells someone else that
you tried to give them a blanket, and they joke about how ugly the blanket
was, and what a weirdo you were for doing it, and they tell someone else and
that person whoops it up with laughter and passes this perception of you on,
and so on and so on - and then you have an entire group of people jeering
and snorting at you simply for doing what you really believed would be seen
for what it was - a heartfelt contribution to society.  

So now, you find yourself trying to explain why you offered the blanket in
the first place, because who the hell wants to be misunderstood or mocked or
thought of as a dunderheaded dork, but some never seem to understand nor
stop the snorting - so YOU BLOW THEIR HEADS OFF! - oh, sorry, got carried
away. . .anyway, in order to cope with what seems a ridiculous state of
affairs, you begin to build a source of protection for yourself - be it
anger, withdrawal, bitterness, depression, etc. . ..  And then, you hear
from those who love you - "get over it."

Part of being creative seems to be having a very "thin skin."  Yet, it is
that "thin skin" that makes poets, writers, artists, (and looney folks) what
they are.  
Yes, Paul, I do think you need to learn to accept the "world of the author"
which includes people telling you that 'your very soul stinks.'  But for
people to wonder why you care "what people think" haven't, in my NEVER
humble opinion, given your plight enough thought.

Oh, and by the way, I talked to someone who knew about dreams and told them
about yours. . .apparently, dreaming about railroad crossings isn't real
good, Paul. . .I'd tell you more of what he said. . .but it was just too
horrible. . .just dastardly. . .but, hey now. . .you let me know how it
goes.  All righty?


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