Sunday, December 11, 2011

NOLA Thoughts: Following the Beat of Your Own Drum

I recently survived 5 days in the French Quarter. I say survived because I thought I would burst at some point from the rich food, the tasty drinks, and the just plain fun of the whole experience.  I was overloaded with lots of music, and quite a bit of history, too, since my friends and I took in a few museum tours. 

This was my fourth trip to the area, and when I am there, I am just bombarded with evidence of creativity that’s all around us, but especially in places like this. I attempted to tweet some of what was going on around me, but I found the multi-tasking a little too difficult. I just wanted to experience the moments. And by the time I made it back to the Inn, I was exhausted.

I am not discouraged though. Just because I couldn’t get all the thoughts and ideas running through my head down right then doesn’t mean they haven’t set up camp somewhere in a corner of my mind, biding their time until they’re needed.

So, while I am still recuperating, here’s just a little of what has made its way to the front of my mind:

“Not for us” doesn’t always mean “not good” and “people want this” doesn’t always mean “this is good stuff!”  Some of the best music, meaning, the most unique and interesting (at least to my ears), was being performed in the less crowded venues on Bourbon and the rest of the Quarter.  It may have been because of the football games that were happening at the same time (LSU one day, Saints the next), but we didn’t have to struggle for seats or crane our necks at a few places.  At The Funky Pirate, we were swept back in time listening to Jazz of the 30s and 40s. At the Tropical Isle Bayou Club, we heard Cajun and Zydeco, and even had a little history lesson from Bruce Daigrepont and Kevin Aucoin of the Cajun Drifters when they came and sat with us between sets.

We could have went with the crowds and found ourselves singing along to the 80s and 90s cover bands, but I can do that at home (especially since my husband performs in one).  Besides, just because it is familiar and I know what to expect doesn’t mean it is always good (kind of like a predictable plot line…).

So, when your unique work is rejected, remember, it may just be that particular reader hasn’t developed a taste for it. Don't sell yourself short and follow the crowd if you truly believe your work has potential. There's someone who will light up from your work; you just haven’t found them.  Rejection doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad. Do you enjoy the process? Does it enhance your life?  Good.

Keep writing like nobody’s critiquing. 


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