To The Critics

Man, let me tell you: I’ve been sitting here for hours trying to fix this short story I wrote but it turned into a complete mess. I’d originally written a story about a pervert who had drinking problems and liked to chase after little girls and was in love with his cousin…

But then I decided to change all that and started writing about a little church boy instead…

Why? Because I’m a realist. And as any good realist will tell you, the first story would never make it out of my writing room – unlike the second version which would instantly get published and probably go on to sell millions and millions of copies. And that’s all fine by me – I’ve never had a problem with fame and fortune, hell, I’d even welcome them with open arms – but there’s just one problem: that second story isn’t mine. Nor will it ever be. Because you see, that story is fine-tuned to fit the standards of my society and adhere to its beliefs. It’s the kind of story people expect you to write and expect to hear from you: the quiet, innocent tales about triumphant pure-hearted heroes who lead perfect and unblemished lives. In a way, that’s the people’s story. That’s the country’s story. But it’s not MY story.

Whatever happened to speaking our minds? To clearing our conscience? Out there people are getting murdered and robbed every day, some of them fall victims to natural disasters, while other are born plain unlucky and have nothing to their name from day one. And here we are, writing fancy and colorful stories to entertain the few who still believe there is hope for this world.

No, these are the stories that hurt us. These are the stories that conceal truths and keep us in the dark. Most of us are sick and twisted freaks, cunning and devious bastards, crazy bums who roam the streets searching for a place to fit in. We keep searching and searching…until there comes a time when we stop. We stop searching and hold our heads up and accept that we will never fit into this world. We will never be part of its mold.

And that’s why we write these stories. These horrific, perverted, sick, insane tales about miserable and broken people, sinners, maniacs, sociopaths. We write them to stand up for ourselves and the people that are like us. We write them for the kids that were never able to fit in, the outcasts who chose solitude over company. That’s what we should think of before we write, before we risk desecrating that holy art that is presented to us.

Every piece of writing will have its critics. And to my critics I say, to hell with you, I’ll keep writing anyway. Whether it’s good or bad, I’ll keep writing. As long as it speaks my mind and my darkest thoughts, I’ll put it on paper.

Never be fazed by criticism. It’s just another way to slow you down, another obstacle that holds you back. If you live in fear of being criticized, then you’re not living at all.

Be brave. Be bold. Be gutsy. That’s what writing requires: guts. Of course, a bit of talent wouldn’t hurt either but, hey, not all of us are that fortunate.

But guts – guts above anything else. That’s what’ll get you to stop worrying and holding back and start writing the things you want to write. You’ll be surprised at the difference in your output once you do. Forget the country you live in, your society, your family, your friends….forget everyone else’s opinion. Forget all the unnecessary restrictions. Just write. Write about taboo subjects, sex, drugs, alcohol, murder, blood, diseases, mass killings, orgies. Write about madmen. Write about the end of the world. Write about the flames of hell. Because if you don’t write about these things – if you don’t take the first step – then no one else will. After all, these are the things that make up life, and these are the things that people will remember. They won’t talk about the boy who went to college, graduated and got an office job and started a family. They’ll talk about the rapist who spent his life hiding in the shadows, waiting for little girls to pass through a dark alley to rape them and kill them afterwards. They’ll talk about the boy who had sex with his three cousins – all of them sisters. They’ll talk about the high school dropout who spent his entire life in bars, living on nothing but bad booze and nuts. They’ll talk about the man who turned his back on everything to become a writer and failed, only to realize he had nothing left before taking his own life.

These are the stories that will be remembered – the atrocities that plague our otherwise dull lives. Without them, how can we truly tell people apart? How can we identify the madman among a thousand men? How can we comprehend acts of greatness unless we see them fail in epic proportions? How can we understand passion unless we witness the insanity it can drive people toward?

Remember this next time you pick yourself up and try to write. Forget the critics – they’ll always be around to trash somebody else’s work. You’re not an interesting target for them, and they’ve never been interesting minds to you anyway.

Oh, and one last note before I finish off: don’t worry too much about what they say about your work – be grateful they’re not tearing down a masterpiece in the making. The more they find it revolting and outrageous, the more powerful you know it is. Fear is your only intimidation.

Happy Writing.

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