Awesome post. I have been very lucky to have a supportive family, but I know others aren’t as lucky. And no matter what a writer’s situation, what he said about Shelley and Shakespeare is so important to keep in mind. “They will read your words and pronounce you No Hemingway, no Jackson, no McCarthy. They will probably be correct in this latter judgment. It doesn’t matter. Hemingway was no Faulkner, Jackson was no Shelley, McCarthy is no Steinbeck. None of them were Shakespeare.”
Thank you, Laird Barron, for such a great post.
To new writers, and especially to young writers: expect resistance. I am forty-three. I’ve written since I was five. I know one thing if I know anything.
They will try to stop you.
Resistance to artistic aspiration is typical. In general, people aren’t going to leap onboard your dream train. It’s cute for a teenager to talk of becoming a novelist, or a poet. The gloss is tarnished once you travel beyond the solar system of middling youth and into young adulthood. If it has not already begun, it will begin. If it has begun, it will now begin in earnest. People will gently, or not so gently, undermine your artistic endeavors. How will you pay off your loans? How will you pay off a mortgage? How will you afford a family? What will become of you?
Grow up. Get real. It’s for your own good. We love you. Stop, just stop.
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