Saturday, September 4, 2010

You Don't

Obey.
No.
Don't rock the boat.
Do it this way.
Stop.
You won't make it.
You're doing it wrong.

We've been taught all along
To conform
That if we don't do
What everybody else in the entire world is doing
We'll be ostracized
Left out
Laughed at
Exposed on YouTube in one scathing
FAIL.

So we hide ourselves.
Our "immature" paintings
Gather dust and spiders in the dark garage
Our manuscripts lurk in convoluted files
On our laptop
Never printed off
Unread by any but our own eyes.
We wear big t-shirts to cover up the bulges
At aerobics class.
We worry
What if we suck?
What if we really don't have what it takes?
("What it takes to what?" I ask you.)
What if we hold out our little self-made bouquet
And someone slaps it down?
What if everyone thinks we're lame?
Or weird?
Or stupid?

Better to be weird
Better to be stupid, crazy, ugly, silly, ridiculous
Than bland.
Than forgettable.
Don't hide your paintings behind your dresser
Set them up on the lawn
With spotlights and big signs
Like a garage sale
Embrace yourself in one humongous hug
Wear tight clothing
Wear bright pink leggings
To emphasize the cellulite!
Show off!
Be happy!

Stop apologizing for your manuscript
And send out those queries
Or, better yet
Pass your manuscript out to strangers on the street
Tell them it's you, in paper form
And they'll love it
And if they don't, you just don't care
And smile all the way
Knowing that no matter many reject you
No matter how they judge you
Hate you
Find you annoying--

You don't.

9 comments:

  1. I can't even begin to describe how much I like this. :) Well done. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  2. I think reading this just made my day, thanks.

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  3. I wish I were that brave, but I'm not there yet...

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  4. Great job! It felt like an ocean wave starting small then increasing in size and velocity until it crashed on the beach...very nice!

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  5. When I finally die I will be more than pleased when my footprints are wiped away and no remembrances exist that I once this way passed through. Freely have I walked barefoot on the shore and just as freely the wind can wipe the trail of my being here away. Neither my walking nor the winds wiping makes any difference to anyone or anything I wish to be accepted by.

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  6. who wants to conform in a world that's as cazy as this one anyway? Excellent

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  7. Thanks, Jeff, Angela, and kangaroobee. I was hoping it resonated with more than myself. If you see some stranger passing out manuscripts, it might be me.

    Neenee, I'm not that brave yet, either. But I am working on it... and every day it gets easier.

    Sharon, the wave was intentional--but it washed over me so well, I wrote about 30 pages on my novel yesterday.

    Walking Man, the fact that you don't care if your footprints disappear is the reason they won't. You may not recognize the effect you have on people...

    Crafty Green Poet, I could not agree more. (Love the name, BTW)

    Thanks, The Mother! That's exactly what I was thinking about your post yesterday!

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