So I mentioned in my post from last week that someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business. That’s something I learned from Rachel Hollis’ Girl, wash your face (which by the way, I read in 5 days and I haven’t finished a book since about 2008). So that should tell you something about the way this book spoke to me.
Anyway, there is a particular chapter where Rachel talks about the lie she told herself about not being a good writer after she got her first bad review of her first fiction book. She then goes on to talk about why this was indeed a lie she was telling herself and this inspired me to share part of this chapter with you. I started a blog because I wanted to.
I felt like I had experiences to share and I felt like I could relate to people, but I started it for me. As sort of an outlet and over 20 posts later and I love doing it. This passage that I’m about to share with you is all about Rachel telling her readers to be justified and proud of their creative works, regardless of any one person’s negative opinion on it.
“Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business. Those words are so powerful for anyone who tends to hold other people’s opinions ahead of their own; and they are never more profound than when we’re creating something. Maybe it’s a book, a blog, a company, a piece of art, or your fashion sense. When you’re creating something from your heart, you do it because you can’t not do it. You produce it because you believe your creation deserves to be out in the world. You work and work and then you close your eyes and cross your fingers and hope it finds recognition. But here’s the thing about that magical, mystical thing you’re making: You create because you have a God-given ability to do so. You create as a gift to yourself and to the higher power who blessed you with those abilities. But you can’t make people like or understand it.
You have to be willing to put it out there even if they don’t like it. Even if they hate it. Even if they give it two stars or none at all. You have to understand that every person on earth has an opinion, and their opinion-even if they’re the most widely recognized expert on the subject-only has bearing on your work if you let it. A mean review cannot make me a bad writer. Can I write terribly?
Oh heck yes!
The first (second and third) draft of everything I write is basically garbage. If I refuse to take constructive criticism from an editor I trust, if I don’t push myself to grow as a writer, if I regurgitate the same story over and over, or worse, if I try to impersonate someone else’s style-then yes, there’s a good chance my work is going to suck. But deciding that something is bad simply because other people don’t like or understand it is not a theory I can co-sign.
Art and creativity are so subjective, and dang it, it’s hard to find the courage and drive to complete anything. So, sister, if you’re going to work that hard on a project, do you really want to allow it to be blown apart by something as flimsy as an opinion?
I would rather put my work out there no matter what the response will be. I would rather create in celebration of the fact that I have the ability to do so.
For me the answer is to create. That is always the answer. My personal form of creation is writing-especially writing words I hope other people will enjoy.
So I have two choices: I can write down words and send them out into the world and hope they find a home. Or I can hide my light under a bushel because I’m too afraid someone won’t like the glare.
I choose this.
I choose to sit in coffee shops and on airplanes and at my kitchen counter writing. I choose to squeeze in minutes between soccer practice or before sunrise or long after everyone else in the house is asleep to type and type until I stream enough sentences together to make a book
I have no idea if you’ll love it or hate it.” (Hollis, pg. 147-149).
So. Whether you love or hate my blog, care or don’t care about what I have to say, I will continue to write even if only one person enjoys it. If you want to create something, start a blog or something similar, go for it! I wanted to share this passage to inspire others as I was inspired by it. Start that blog! Write until your heart is content! You just have to make sure you’re doing it for you.
Until next time,