[ 3 min read ]
It doesn’t matter what your “brilliant” sister-in-law, or your ultra “successful” brother-in-law, or your niece’s high school friend whose mother is a member of a book club, or your son’s girlfriend whose father is an art dealer, or your auntie’s dog who is … a dog, or your teacher’s parrot who is … a parrot, or your neighbor who once worked for a literary agency (or didn‘t, but knows someone who did, or read a book about someone who did), or your other neighbor who received outstanding education, or your mother or father-in-law, or your ex-wife or husband, or even your own mother or father, or son, or daughter, or wife, or husband, thinks about your writing or art.
It really doesn’t matter.
Let them diagnoze you.
Let them judge your efforts.
Let them conclude that you’re delusional.
Let them conclude that you lack skills.
Let them conclude that with those skills you’ll never have results.
Let them ask (with pity in their voices) Who will want to read / come and see it? or Who normal will want to read / come and see it?
Let them conclude that you’ve lost it.
Let them tell you that you don’t know what real life is.
Let them tell you that what you do is not a job and that you don’t work.
Let them conclude that you are not OK and probably need psychological help or therapy.
Let them conclude that the competition is better.
Let them laugh at you.
Let them tell you it isn’t worth your effort.
Let them have doubts.
Let them look at you condescendingly.
Let them think that you will never make any money off it.
Let them ridicule your efforts when they talk about you with their coworkers or best friends.
Let them talk about you with pity in their voices.
Let them tell you that you could be really good at something else (that you’ve got it all as far as this other thing is concerned).
Let them tell you that you should have stuck to what you did before, or what you studied in college.
Let them do all the above and even more.
Let them do whatever the fuck they want.
And you also do whatever the fuck you want.
By the way, I experienced a lot of the above (or maybe I’m too sensitive and because of that I made it all, or some portion of it, up, told myself that it happened when actually it didn’t — I guess that would be the opinion of most of those people), and I still don’t give a shit about their opinions. Why? Because I know that they’re only a tiny bunch of people among nearly 8 billion. They’re the ones who know me and thus have certain preconceived notions about me and these preconceived notions always make it difficult to believe that someone they know could actually win by being different. Somehow (oddly) it’s always easier to believe in someone we don’t know.
Luckily, there are almost 8 billion people (even without those 10 or 20 people belonging to this tiny bunch) who don’t know me and thus have no preconceived notions about me. And, believe it or not, among this mass there are already more people (more than the tiny bunch of naysayers, Debbie Downers, doubters who know me) who tell me that they love what I do and tell me that I should never stop. And if I’ll keep on doing it there will be more such people. Just as there will always be those who will tell me that I’m the worst, that what I do is crap, that I should be silenced, that I’m screwed-up and should seek help, and (third group) those who will never pay attention to me or my art, or read any of my essays, posts, or books.