Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which makes it ISWG time.Until you become I writer, I don’t think you realize how close a story really is to the person who wrote it.
It kind of reminds me of a patient I once had. He had a knack for getting under people’s skin; it was something he really worked hard at. He was better with some of us than others, but for some reason, his insults never hit that close to home for me. Until he hit a weak spot in a totally unexpected place.
Here’s how the conversation went:
“Your clothes suck- I bet it only cost you like fifty dollars for the whole outfit.”
Actually, the shirt was a hand-me-down from my friend and the pants I got from Salvation Army, so the number’s probably closer to $2.50. “What I wear is not what is important here,” I answer, totally unaffected. I wear what I like, not what’s expensive.
“And I bet your car sucks, too. Probably still has stock everything.”
“Stock?” I ask.
An eye roll. “You know- from the factory.”
I shrug, not really getting it. Let’s just say my car at the time was several years “from the factory”. Another miss on his part.
Finally he looks at my feet, shaking his head. “Man, those are the ugliest feet I’ve ever seen.”
“Hey!” I yell out before I realize the word is out of my mouth. Until that moment I didn’t realize how sensitive I must be about my feet.
He smiles. Bull’s eye.
Now if he’d started off right away with “I hear you wrote something, it sucks,” he probably would’ve gotten a much more heated reaction much earlier on. I’m so close to what I write, it’s hard to hear stuff like that. I know I have to get over it. As a writer, lots of people will think my work sucks, but right now I have to admit, it still gets to me. It’s my ultimate Bull’s eye.