One drawback of being in literary forums is that criticism and critiques come from unexpected corners, from unexpected people, whom you trusted thinking, well, um, huh, so-and-so is a fellow word warriors in the fight for literary recognition. But some of them are motivated; some of them are just plain weird. And, some blurt things without even thinking of the consequences, they just want their shrill and complaining voices heard above the general hubbub of voices. I speaketh the truth!
Recently I was hauled up for writing as if I was a youngster, a young adult, rather. Write about someone who is older, you know, act your age, the criticism alleged. So, haven’t I been through all that, earlier in my mis-spent youth? Don’t I understand what my colleagues (most whom are younger than me) are going through in their lives? What got my goat was something I perceived as being personal comment about my age and my writing. If the aim was to discourage me, I am made of sterner stuff, let me warn them.
And if those comments came from extremely talented writers – you know the Arundhati Roy types – I would have been obviously worried. But the comments are coming from people who haven’t attempted a single short story (at least, what I would call a short story, not some hazy situation or character sketches), and so-called writers whose attention span isn’t long enough to listen to a short story or poem without scratching their heads. I wonder if they have the patience to finish a novel. Or, they may be reading the first few pages just to claim they have read the book! It take all kinds, hmm!