Recently I read a hard-hitting quote from the model, Iman. “It’s not the outside world, it’s your interior life, that critic within you that you have to silence. Find something to like about yourself and hold on to that. It’s a constant battle whether you are 16 or 5o.” I’ve heard a lot of creative people talk about this so I’m sure it’s a real problem. It just doesn’t happen to be my problem. Not on a regular basis anyway.
The criticism I get is frequently external and based on the topics that I choose. Try writing a book on puke. Yes, puke. Run it through critique and at least one person is going to wrinkle her nose. “I don’t think you should call it puke. That’s offensive.” I describe vampire bats sharing partially digested blood. Is that actually less yuck than the word puke?
Critiquers have complained about my prayer book. FOX and its followers had a fit about Black Lives Matter.
I don’t get so much internal criticism as the inner introvert. “Is it a good idea to write about this? People will fuss. Maybe you should just change that word. People will complain.” That’s the inner introvert, sitting on one shoulder.
The devil sitting on my other shoulder also has something to say. “Wow. This would make a great story! Grab their attention with this.”
Grab a young reader with something a little gross and they’ll learn some science too.
Set people free with talk about race and they will complain. A lot. But they also get the attention of other people, people who aren’t annoyed. Lady Calen let me know that Black Lives Matter was the topic of conversation at Bed, Bath and Beyond where her son works. Black employees want to see what the book has to say. They were surprised that her son already knew about the book and in a positive way. Stir people up and some of the talk may bridge gaps.
Thank you to Lady Calen for making my day! Of course, my inner introvert is shaking her head while the other little character is doing a truly embarrassing happy dance.