When I write, I don't normally think about exactly what other people think about my work. I write because I love to do it. I write because it is my primal instinct to create stories. Even before I could read, I wanted to look at intricate illustrations in order to make a story out of them. Telling stories is just what I've always done.
Now, I have learned over time that writing is more difficult if it is based on reality. That is why, as in the case of She's Facing Me I chose to write my autobiography in poetry. It comes naturally for me to tell my story to others in this way. However, that leaves many things open for interpretation. You may think you get it, but do you really? Some poems are pretty straight forward, but some are more abstract. The images that you get may be steeped in mythology, but there's something there that connects with my own reality, some parallel that exists in order for me to get out what must be said.
Sometimes, especially when I put my soul out there for everyone to read, it can make me weak. Sometimes I want to burn everything I've ever written, move to another country and start over. Those times are rare, but they do exist. Other times I look at my work and am humbled to be the vessel through which forces work to create these things.
I had a moment the other day that made me want to burn all my books and never write again. Someone said something about one of the poems, and they had an interpretation that I had never imagined. It was terribly offensive to someone that I love and I never meant to offend anyone by writing it. After all, it is a book about my own life, not the lives of others. Therefore it is steeped in my own emotions and no others. However, what they said to me made me wish that I had never written the poem.
Things like this are bound to happen when you are a writer!
I didn't burn the books, though, because I remembered who that book was for. It was for me, it was for my mother, and it was for a little girl that I've never met. I know she's out there somewhere. A little girl like I used to be. She needs the hope that this book brings. She needs to know that forgiveness is possible and she needs to know that life gets better.
Despite getting my feelings hurt and being embarrassed, I know that I put it in there for a reason. And it doesn't matter what anyone else makes it out to be. I have to respect the opinions and interpretations of others. After all, that is the point of the kind of poetry that I write. Not only does it speak to your emotions, it speaks to your imagination. I want it to inspire. I want you to have your own interpretation. After all, not everyone can listen to the same song and get the same feelings or images in their head. It is the same with my poetry. I never meant any offense to anyone when I wrote the book. So I will not apologize. Apologies are for the guilty. If you are offended, then that is something that you have put upon yourself. I still love the person that said it, just like I still love my mother. If anything, I take what they said to me as a lesson for the future.
So, I will continue to sell my work and let it be what it is. Whether you like it or not, I will continue. For me. For my mother and for that little girl.
Little girl, wherever you are, it does get better. I promise!