Did my words hurt?

So I had my writer’s workshop class today, and my piece was critiqued. How the class works is that you submit a piece, roughly 10 pages, and then the class offers constructive criticism. The piece I submitted was a little dark. I was actually a little nervous submitting it because it dealt with depression, suicide and murder of children. (Yeah, pretty stuff I know. I actually almost cried when I wrote it. I really didn’t think it would be so hard) The piece is actual a chapter from a longer novella I’m currently working on, about hell and selling your soul (yupp it gets even darker) with the overlying theme of redemption and hope (yay! A little bit of light!)

So when the comments came back, some were very nice to hear, and then I received a comment that was a little shocking. Apparently I insulted someone with my piece. He was insulted that my chapter portrayed the idea that someone who commits suicide is doomed to hell. I didn’t get a chance to explain that this actually wasn’t my view, it’s an old Catholic Doctrine (actually not sure if it still applies) and that I too share his outrage, which was the point of me including this in the novella. The next chapter describes the soul’s salvation. But that’s not what I want to rant about today.

So I felt a little bad. I mean, I normally don’t like to upset people. Then another classmate put things into perspective for me: “A good writer is able to cause such feelings, to raise questions and emotions, to keep a person thinking about what they wrote.” I felt better after that. What he said was true. (Thank you classmate, who will remain unnamed in order to protect identities and all that. Also I think he would find it weird that I give him a shout-out since we’ve just met and all that)

A writer will refuse to conform in order to placate others. A writer challenges conventions and raises issues in order to spark debate, which will hopefully lead to enlightenment in regards to specific issues.

Therefore, although I think you’re a smart guy, classmate whom I insulted, I don’t regret upsetting you. That’s what writers do. We make noise. Also some of us write online blogs, which I’m really enjoying. So don’t worry dear audience! I will keep writing, despite the danger of stepping on toes or damaging sensitive opinions.

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