Sunday, October 13, 2013
The serendipity of life
"The brain is wider than the sky."
Less than a month ago I wrote a post to express how much I appreciate and enjoy Alice Munro's writing, and I reviewed her latest book, "Dear Life." Three weeks later, she won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
I've heard many times that short stories are not popular. Alice Munro is a short story writer.
I've heard many times that people don't care for poetry. I recently wrote a post called "For Poetry Lovers... and those who don't care about poetry." In less than two weeks it had more than 400 views... and it continues to be a very popular post.
A month ago politicians were planning to close one of the libraries in the town where I live. We spoke up to protect our public library. Then politicians decided that it would not be a good idea to close the library.
Let's talk about literary rejections.
The editor of Boston's Atlantic magazine told Louisa May Alcott's father that "she should stick to teaching because she would never succeed as a writer."
Yesterday I went to the theater to watch Little Women. Interestingly, the play started with Jo reading a rejection letter.
It was a delightful experience to revisit this novel, a book that must have shaped me in many ways. Watching this play awakened memories from my childhood. I must have read it when I was 12. I remember how "Little Women" ignited my passion for writing. (I felt identified with Jo's personality).
Rudyard Kipling was told that he did not know how to use the English Language.
Richard Bach was told that nobody would care about the life of a seagull. After 18 rejections, his book was accepted for publication and sold one million copies.
Gertrude Stein spent 22 years submitting before getting a single poem accepted.
Emily Dickinson was told that her poems were "devoid of true poetical qualities."
Stephen King received dozens of rejections for "Carrie" before it was published and made into a movie.
Don't pay too much attention to the naysayers. Keep doing what your heart tells you to do. I believe it is worthwhile.
Don't let the naysayers shatter your enthusiasm and silence the voice of your heart. Don't allow their contempt to distort your views and motivations.
The light of your dreams is the light that matters, the one that casts hope on the uncertainty of your life. Mistakes are inevitable. We all make them, but we don't need to let them hinder our actions.
Naysayers don't always criticize us. They just make us feel that what we are doing is worthless or irrelevant. It is important to remember that their disdain is none of our business.
My grandmother used to say that white butterflies presage good news. I'm not superstitious, but every time I see butterflies drawing silhouettes in the air I feel happy.
Butterflies brighten my day, no matter what color they are...