I was shocked one day in a graduate class when a friend told me he almost never wrote. He was a wonderful poet and I was always moved by his art.
Why did he say this? Because he thought it was selfish to write.
This was the first time I had heard of this stigma. Later, I was then asked if blogging or publishing my own blog was a vanity project. That surprised me too.
Writing a blog will never make anyone money. Writing is a very difficult field to make money in. It doesn’t really amount to much fame or recognition. That is all temporary anyway.
There are moments when kindness must supercede social norms. Are these moments that define us?
I remember driving to work, stuck in the slow slog of morning traffic. It was raining, heavy, and the cars were almost at a complete stop. A girl around my age was standing in the rain. A hood over her head, she was staring out into traffic. Her car was flashing, stuck, and her face searching out into the distance.
It was as if she was waiting for someone to rescue her. She could not get out. She was just waiting in the rain.
I felt the urge to pull over and get out. I wanted to hand her my umbrella, to stand next to her with it while she waited. I could see this so clearly, us standing together under the umbrella, but traffic jerked forward and it was time to move on.
I did not want to be late for work. The umbrella still sat in my passenger seat.
Do you go one of two directions? Interject or carry on?
At the very first Entre-SLAM storytelling event, eight entrepreneurs came to share their stories. Four had shared presentations instead. The night was taking a slow and painful turn for the worst.
Then one entrepreneur got in front of the crowd to share what she called a “trifecta shitstorm.” Everything in her business that could go wrong, did. She had started a business with 9 people, 8 she had to fire, and one who went off to start a competing business.
The entrepreneur had started her business at the bottom of the recession. She was determined to see it through. In the end, she sold her first house and profited fifty bucks. It didn’t matter that it was a low profit. She made it through and made her first sale.
“The most beautiful moment of her story was sharing how she ran around the house with her bare feet - and this moment of euphoria that she only made 500 dollars but she build this,” said Christa. “She realized that moment she became an entrepreneur.”
Christa started Entre-SLAM to bring entrepreneurs together and help them learn how to tell better stories. The group received national media attention for the new type of storyslam that takes place in Ann Arbor and Detroit.
The last time I received rejection for my work, I took a shower. I cried for a few minutes, but not very long. I realized I had nothing to cry about.
Writers face rejection more so than other career paths. It takes a champion to fight for your work and to find a home for it. Even now that we have more choices than ever with digital publishing, the ultimate choice to believe and find a way to publish is yours.
You are not chained by traditional publishing, you are only chained by your choices to limit yourself.