The events of this week have reinforced that writing is an individual activity. Basking in the acceptance of my first article, I was eager to share my joy with family. I was greeted by waves of apathy. My wife was excited, but she’s always been tremendously supportive. The response of my family left me reeling. Actually, it got me to thinking about just how schizophrenic has been my writing career.
My grade 11 English class was divided between two teachers. One teacher loved my writing. I remember one assignment for Robertons Davies’ Fifth Business. It was a monologue given by a Mary Dempster reminiscing about Dunstan Ramsay. My teacher confessed to the class that it brought tears to her eyes. She asked if she could keep the monologue for her personal files.
In the opinion of the other teacher I could do no right. Every assignment was harshly criticized to the point of desperate frustration. My marks plummeted to the bottom of the class.
That seems to be the history of my writing. It’s loved or hated. But I’m not sure why. I often wonder if it’s worth the frustration.
Of course, it is. Writing helps me ask questions about life that have plagued me all my life. Writing fiction represents my desire to correct the perceived wrongs of the world. I’d love to have people value my writing. Whether or not I’m loved, hated, or treated with apathy, I’ll continue writing. But I’ll always be left wondering if it will ever be more.