Yesterday I was mucking horse shit. For those of ya’ll out there unfamiliar with this practice, it basically means I was shoveling poop out of a corral. It’s an odd job I do about once a week for a nice woman I met through a house sitting gig. As I was working I had a couple thoughts I wanted to share up on my blog here today.
First off, I was marinating over a couple responses towards my last blog post, a book review, which you can see below. On Saturday I received a most pleasant email from a woman who works at Mountaineers Books, the publisher of the book I reviewed. She expressed thanks for the review, and even noted that it was one of the best she’d read all year. I was beaming from the email, and even forwarded it to my Mom and Dad.
The second response was a random comment from an anonymous reader, who said my review was decent, but my grammar sucked and I needed to hire an editor. Immediately I was pissed off, and wished I knew who made the comment. I’ve had a few people hate on my writing online before though, and I brushed it off and continued my session in the coffee shop that afternoon. There are quite a few internet haters out there these days, and as I become more and more successful I’m likely to only get hated on more and more. A reality of this world we’re living in. If the person who made the comment is reading this, I’d like to invite you to find something else to read, this one is for the dreamers and the lovers.
So there I was all up in some horse shit. The activity isn’t the best form of making a buck, but it isn’t the worst either; it allows my brain to think and process. I’ve been a dishwasher in restaurants for 17 years now, and one thing I’ve learned is that while doing a simple mundane job the mind floats and a higher level of consciousness can be obtained.
I thought about something a professor of mine, Tyler Sage, said a while back in an Extended Studies English course at Western State, in Gunnison. He said (in different words of course) that the personal computer has highly influenced the modern writer in a profound way; so much that we really don’t know how deep it has affected the psyche of today’s writers. I personally can’t imagine not having a computer to write; I do 98 % of my writing on this laptop I’m typing away my thoughts this winter morning.
Then I thought about the internet hater who left the anonymous comment, where does this person get the nerve to say something negative about my writing when they are a user reading something at no charge to them? Quickly I switched my thoughts up to the kind email I received the day before, and realized a friendly email from a credible source is much more valuable than an anonymous comment from a hater. Focusing on positivity over negativity is a key attribute to a successful artist.
And this is where I’m at a crossroads, finding success in my writing. I believe it will happen someday, and in some regards I have found success. I’ve been published in some major magazines, and I’m so close to having my book finished that I can taste it. Financial success has alluded me though, hence the mucking of horse shit, and dishwashing.
However this is where an artist builds character, (that’s what I’m telling myself anyways) committing to the path, and doing whatever it takes to achieve the dream. The lovers and supporters over the years have instilled me with the confidence that I will be able to do this, and the haters give me the fuel. So with that said, happy holidays to all, and if you’re a dreamer, an artist, like yours truly, I encourage you to stay on the path. There’s something great just down the road, even if there’s some horse shit (or haters) to shovel out of the way.
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