“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.” ~Stephen King
Most writers have long memories. Some of us may wish we didn’t. But the fact remains that if you cross us, hurt us, humiliate us, or do any multitude of things that make us feel less than, you can pretty much bet that you will, at some undetermined point in the future, show up in a story and not in a pleasant way.
You may not recognize yourself. You may be a character with a penis the size of my pinky finger. You may show up as a character in a mental institution. Or a character with hygiene issues, massive amounts of back hair, no social skills whatsoever. Or my personal favorite, a character who gets killed off in the most gruesome way possible. You get the gist, right?
We don’t need to admit this to you. In fact, in most cases, we probably won’t ever admit it. But we’ll know, and that’s what matters. We’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that we hold the power and that you, the people who shamed or disgraced or angered us, are helpless to do anything but let the scene play out on the page. We’ll also have the pleasure of knowing that our audience may chuckle and point fingers and be glad they aren’t you.
AND MY POINT IS . . .
Here’s a little warning from me to you: You should be careful, you should think twice, before being mean to anyone . . . but especially to a writer.
Are you afraid of writers? Please feel free to share your thoughts & experiences in the comment box below.
Here’s a shout-out to a lovely lady named Ann Best, who became my personal hero one day last month. On the same day I received a comment on my blog that ripped me as a person apart, Ann wrote this comment for me on a guest post I had written:
I’m so glad I subscribe to Story Dam or I wouldn’t have discovered you, Shelli. I read a sample of your book yesterday morning, got to the end of it, and thought, The writing is stunning! The best writing I’ve ever read in a self-published book. A breath of fresh air. The writing is up there with Hemingway and Carver, and other such great writers. It is JUST excellent. I would have read it all the way through yesterday, but my disabled daughter’s aide left and then I was on duty. It is an absolute page-turner. And you are amazingly skilled at using sensory descriptions to heighten your great skill with dialogue!
I’m SO glad I found you. And I intend to write a review of your novel when I finish it!
She had no idea when she was writing it that I desperately needed to hear something positive, that my life felt like it was crushing down on me, that I felt like I’d been hit by a sledgehammer by everything else (that nasty comment, sick husband, sick child, anniversary of my father’s death, car problems, deadlines) that was going on around me. I choked up as I read it, part of it was a release of all the stress and part of it was that this woman, who was a total stranger to me, went out of her way to do something kind with no expectation of anything in return.
I wrote her an email, telling her how much her comment meant to me, giving her a dose of kindness back. Lo and behold, it turns out that she needed a kind word also. Here was her reply:
I’m so glad my comment lifted you. We all need positive comments, some days more than others. I had a very bad day today, when the aide for my disabled daughter didn’t show up, again. So it made me feel very good to know I had helped you. And you are very welcome to use my comment in a blog post. I consider it an honor.
Are we responsible for other people’s happiness? No. But that doesn’t mean we can’t offer a kind and supportive word, that we can’t do something to make their day a little brighter.
When was the last time you said something positive to a stranger? Please feel free to share your thoughts & experiences in the comment box below.
Grand Prize Winner, Grant Winner, & Silver Medal Winner