Of Three-Legged Monsters

Last night, My friend Therese sent us this photo via Viber, and said (not verbatim), “I’m about to make one of those three-legged creatures soon. I don’t know which is better: for it to be ignored, or ripped apart.”

Hit me right in the feels.

For someone who considers writing a part of my not-so-secret lifestyle (I say not-so-secret because there are people who know, and there are people who are clueless), it’s always a concern whether the piece I am writing–no matter how enthusiastic I am about it, or how convinced I am that it’s something good–will be met by either blank stares or over-scrutiny. Yes, there is no in-between. You have to condition yourself for worst-case scenarios like that, heh.

And yet to my friend I replied (again, not in verbatim): “Better ripped apart than ignored. Getting it ripped apart means someone actually noticed enough to do it, and you can put the pieces back together anyway, make it better. If it gets ignored, it’ll stay that way forever, stagnant, not growing or developing to something else.”

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Easier said than done, right? Because even as I typed those words out on our chat window, I thought back on all the times I went back and forth about hitting the PUBLISH button every time I wanted to share a story with the world, hoping someone reads it. There’s always that moment of hesitation, a moment of doubt, even in just writing the first word to a chapter, to a blank page. Sometimes it can get kind of crippling, and I honestly think overcoming each of those moments every time a writer encounters them is something commendable in itself.

#SparkNA is coming up very very soon, and I’m pretty sure I, along with many other participants, will be faced with the same hurdle of staring at a blank page and trying to start something we’d like to think would be worth a reader’s while. In a way, it’s kind of comforting to know that I am not alone, and there would be nothing better than to help encourage a fellow writer to vanquish their inner doubts and get them to bleed through their piece of work.

So would you rather that your work be ignored, or ripped apart?

Artwork lifted from Jim K Benton’s Facebook page. Jim K Benton is an artist writer, and you may see more of his work here.

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