As a creative, there is nothing quite as painful as being told what you’re putting out there is not very unique. When I was told this, it basically boiled down to, and I’m paraphrasing here, “People have gone through much worse…There are lots of stay-at-home parents…What you are doing isn’t special.”
These words struck me in a part of my heart that the world had not calloused over, a part that my own cynicism had not hardened. Their aim was true, but the words were not. Nevertheless, they hurt at the moment and they still hurt. They made me second guess. But they’re not going to stop me. I hope other creatives don’t let the people who don’t understand their art destroy their drive to make it.
My drive was fully realized the moment London arrived in my life, as I expressed to a dear friend in an email on March 24, 2014, nearly two months after London was born:
For a long time I’ve questioned whether I will ever write for a career, as I’ve dreamed of most of my life. Besides getting rejected from MFA programs four years ago, I’ve also had my doubts that I had anything worth writing about. Clearer than ever, I have an answer to that now. I’m not sure what form that might take, but I have a story to tell from this whole experience. This also dawned on me within the first day or two after London’s birth. And in a way, it felt like God was saying, “This is it. This is what you’ll write about.” That has rattled me, probably because it is the truth. Pure, distilled truth.
Years later, I don’t know exactly what form that might take and I recognize the story is just starting. But I hear the still, small voice…This is it. This is what you’ll write about.