Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Emma emailed me today to say that she’d read my blog about Marion Zimmer Bradley, and that I’d never mentioned this to her before. Up until now, I’ve only told a couple of people. Not because I’m embarrassed…I’m sure being trashed by MZB and that Woman’s World editor means I’m in good company! These things hurt, but you have to get past it. I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity for the last few months though because of my book, and all sorts of things have surfaced. To me, talent is more about persistence than anything else. However, when something negative happens, it does make it harder to “carry on” (to quote Tim Gunn).
Emma went on to say: “That makes me wonder if, when people like Marion criticize others that are aspiring to pursue artistic careers, they aren't dealing with more personal issues - e.g. a sense of personal failure despite external "success," or perhaps a subjective sense of being "all-knowing" or "above" other creative people. Really, those people's actions have nothing to do with you and your creative talent.”
After reading this, I started thinking about why some people are hard on others. Is it a power trip, a sense of superiority or simply a cruel streak? (Not that the repercussions of a cruel streak are ever simple). One thing experience has taught me is that people who are nasty usually have do have issues. You can spend a lot of time trying to analyze their actions and justifying your own, but the bottom line is: if someone is cruel to you, step out of the line of fire and regroup.
I’ve been reading this book called The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, which is about the mythic basis of storytelling. He mentions Threshold Guardians that bar the gateway to the hero’s journey. They test the hero’s fitness for the trip ahead. To me, MZB played that kind of role for someone like me. You have to pursue your vision, whatever it is, and just get past them. On a personal level, I’ve been an editor and I would never treat a fellow writer or artist that way. People continually surprise you, so it’s always best to relate to the best self in others and see them as they really are: full of promise and potential.

No comments: