I got a message today from an angry author who criticized my writing after I critiqued his. Sure, my comment was probably a bit too blunt, but this author branded himself as blunt, so what made him react so harshly to my words? Did I hit his sensitive spot? Was his ego damaged by my – free and uncompromising – opinion? How could he not take my words and simply ignore them if he didn’t like them?
This is what my childhood dreams have come to. I sit by my computer and I type relentlessly. I try to find the right prose, the right sentence that will make the reader laugh or cry, shiver or squirm, and I wonder, what talent do I have? How can I be so pretentious and believe I can be better than others at this? How can I know people will read my stories and actually like them and understand the message hidden behind them? So many questions. So many doubts. So much fear and hesitation.
Do I really want to put myself out there and receive praise? Do I really want to put myself out there and be the target of despising comments? Do I really want to experience the good and the bad, mostly the bad…? Will I handle it well? Will I be able to react rationally to every remark? I promise I’ll let my pride go… My ego will shut itself down and I’ll listen to everybody, without discrimination.
I’m no better than this writer I insulted a few days ago. I deserve the same passion. I stand on the edge of a cliff overlooking a steep ravine and at the bottom I see a little river. If I jump, I’ll die. But if I don’t jump, I’ll be stuck on the edge of the cliff forever, and I’ll never know what my dreams were really made of. I taste the sweat, I taste the blood, I taste the fury of a crowd who really hates my guts. I also experience true bliss. I fly like a bird and I feel the air supporting my wings. I am invincible.
So what will it be? I know what I’m capable of and I want the world to see it. Bring it on. I’m ready. I look down and I close my eyes. Then I spread my arms, and I take the biggest leap of my life.