“Well, it smacks of arrogance to me,” she said, when I explained to her what a blog was. “To assume you have something to say that anyone would want to read.”
After that, I admit I lost track a bit of what she was saying, distracted by the fact that the word ‘ARROGANT’ seemed to be written above our heads in flashing red neon capitals.
And then was somehow branded on my forehead.
This, from a long-time friend, someone I have known for many years through both ups and downs, hers and mine. I thought she knew how much my writing meant to me, I thought she understood,
Of course, it all comes from fear.
Fear that the world is changing, and she doesn’t understand it.
It is fear that makes a person, however intelligent, assume that because they don’t understand something, it has no value. The irony of this position is that it puts the fearful person in the centre of their universe, which is as good a definition of arrogance and egotism as I have seen.
Driving home, I realised my heart was hurting. I looked up at the sun piercing shafts of silvery light through the evening rainclouds (“God speaking”, as my mother says whenever she sees such a sky) but I couldn’t see the beauty of it. I was hurting too much. But it won’t stop me, her criticism. I will make lemonade.
Because I can’t not write.
Regardless of whether anyone thinks that what I have to say has merit (and I know some of you do because you kindly subscribe, favourite, like and comment, for which I am eternally grateful), I will go on writing because I am compelled to write.
Because its my job.
It’s my life’s work.
Its what I do.
I don’t get paid for it – not yet anyway, though I have hopes. Some friends still don’t get that, either. Their measure of success comes in pound notes. They can’t understand my ‘failure to monetize’. They don’t understand that to me, success means averaging 400 readers a day of my fanfiction, over 400 subscribers to this blog, or on some days, just managing to write two or three coherent sentences.
My critical friend doesn’t understand the compulsion to be creative, to have a voice. She doesn’t get that if I don’t write every day, I turn into the Evil Twisted Passive-Aggressive Psycho-Bitch from Hell. And she doesn’t understand that:
EVERYBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO SPEAK THEIR OWN TRUTH.
So if you take nothing else away from my work, and from my complaining about my thoughtless friend, or why money-oriented people don’t understand creativity as an end in itself, please take this:
SPEAK YOUR OWN TRUTH.
IT IS YOUR RIGHT.
This is my message to you, and whether it has merit or not, it is my life’s work to say it, over and over again.