To be a writer one needs a thick skin….well if words are to leave one’s house and go to other people’s houses and other people’s computers that is.
Last night after an innocuous comment I made on social media –one where I remarked that perhaps it’s not a bad thing when outlying territories of Plumas County and not the county seat Quincy were given audience to political visits and interesting things was met with some sort of combination of social media rage from a local whom I suppose had too many glasses of cheap chardonnay. In effect she said that I was ‘full of bitterness’ and that my writing for the local news paper demonstrated a dislike of where I live. This is where I live:
Isn’t it beautiful? This valley. These mountains. I am overwhelmingly always happy that I have found a second home here. But I think what artists never fail to realize–and good journalists for that matter–is that for everything you see of beauty there is another side–the dark side, if you will. If I did not see the dark side it would be my failing. If I did not report on it, did not describe it, it would be dereliction of duty.
I’ve never understood the Disney happy ending pollyanna that seems indicatively American. Is this a state of mind that comes to those who do not read? Who have no knowledge of history? Of current events? Of a mountain lion devouring a raccoon outside one’s window (which happened to me a few months ago–always a weary jolt shot to wake up to).
To be a writer writing against the dominant culture is a whole other layer and level of thick skin. They just don’t believe you. It’s not in their culture to do so. We have to keep to it and not look up, not second guess. We have to go on and define our truths.
And we have to never read the comments.