Trust Your Instincts

I’m having one of those near-miss moments, where you look at the bullet hole in your hat, and breath a sigh of relief. Maybe look at the dead guy next to you, and think, At least it wasn’t me.

I just got out of a forum conversation about showing creative work to the people around us. To close family. And what–if anything–we’ve gotten out of it, and what the cost is, when we do.

And I thought about the people I’ve thought about showing work to, and the people I have shown work to, and honestly… there were a couple of real stinkers. Particularly early-on in my creative development, when I was most insecure, and showing my work to the fewest people.

Funny how that works.

I have one of those relatives. You know the kind. English teacher. Keeps a journal. Maybe she wants to write books, and maybe, she just wants to know that she’s smart enough to be around the kind of people who write books.


When I was isolated and desperate, I might have gone to her for advice. And yes, I know the kind of advice I would have gotten. Why are you writing science fiction? You’re smart enough to write real literature. You know what you should do? Something like Gravity’s Rainbow.

And she would have pointed me in the direction of the only literary agent she knew. Who was–at least–wildly inappropriate, and at worst… well, I never heard the name, but there are a few alarms going off in my head, right now.

Sometimes, it pays to trust your instincts and keep looking for better options. The closest option isn’t always the best. It’s not even necessarily good.

I guess that’s  the whole, entire moral of the post, unless it’s trust your instincts and get out there, and get to know your creative community. Go find good options. People who know what they’re doing and who are doing the same thing you are.

Maybe something along the line of “You always have a better choice than to let toxic people into your creative space.”

I don’t know.

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