Nope, I’m not singing in the choir. Mainly because I can’t sing well and I know it. I’m under no illusions that I should go on national television and belt out any rendition of any song.
A few years ago, my DD asked me: Mommy do I sing well?
Now, I love my dearest daughter and weighed my choices carefully before answering. “Honey, I love when you sing. I’m glad you’re in choir and do well in it. Now should you go on American Idol? I don’t know about that, because I think God gave you other talents.”
We both laughed and jumped into a conversation about her acting abilities. She’s amazing on stage.
If other parents were so truthful, their kids would not go on national television and become the butt of America’s jokes. Simon would not have to grimace so much and far fewer people would walk away hurt and angry because everything they had been told was a lie.
Before the inception of AI, I might have lied to my DD. “Yes, honey. You are amazing.” I hope my honesty saved her from pain while still giving her hope.
I would kind of like that honesty with my writing. I would love to find someone willing to tell me if I was on the right track or if my God-given talents were waiting for me somewhere besides the written word.
My mom is good for the requisite back pat. DH doesn’t read much beyond golf and health magazines and my kids are my kids. My critique buddies are awesome, but I know I would never crush anyone’s dreams by saying “you stink” so assume they feel the same way. To date, their kind words haven’t felt anything close to brutal and have not deterred me from dreaming the dream.
So far Simon limits himself to ripping apart singers and has not debuted in the writing arena. The minute he does, I will join the ranks and put my hopes into his hands. Unless someone can be honest with me and say from the bottom of their hearts, “How great thou art? Not very. Honey, God gave you other talents and now would be a good time to find them.”
Would you like an honest assessment of your writing ability to know if you should continue to pursue publication? If you heard it, would you believe it and quit writing or would it strengthen you for those times you’re ready to throw in the towel? Would you use an unfavorable assessment as a challenge to overcome? Or, would you rather plug away at your dream and die trying even though the editors and agents laugh and cringe every time your ms comes across their desks?
I know this is a lot to chew on and I’m not really sure myself where I fit in. However, I’d like to hear what you think and how you would react if you are ever (un)lucky enough to find out that your dreams and your talents don’t jive. Or conversely, that you may be the next superstar…in ten years.