I got this awesome message from my cousin Jesse the other day:
----------------- Original Message -----------------
(Jesse's the one on the left. Standing next to her is my other awesome cousin Sebastian which is her brother)
To: The Other Half of the Morning Star
Date: Jul 20, 2009 10:51 PM
Rachel,I read your recent blog. I love Snookms for his support. Tell him, that okay? :)
I want to share my own reaction to your autobiography.This is a quote from a journal entry I wrote the night after I finished your book:
“Today I read a book written by my cousin. It was a very raw, heartfelt and often gut-wrenching account of what it is like to be a bi-polar mother of three children - the oldest of which is autistic - and the wife of a true OCD sufferer. The autobiography is filled with imagery that made it difficult for me to continue reading it for any length of time. Instead, I had to digest it in short bursts, putting the book down between chapters, leaving it on the coffee table while I distanced myself from it. Not because it was too graphic or terrible to deal with, but because it was written in such a way that as a reader, you are pulled into the very fabric of her mind; the scattered chaos and disjointed nature of the telling transcended the very real leap between “tell me” or “show me.”
Rachel showed me.
Whether the writing style was intended or not, I will never know. What is important is that I love this cousin who I haven’t seen in over fifteen years, and who I barely knew as a child. I love her, and I love her all the more because through bearing the secret parts of who she is, and how she came to be, she made me feel that I know her.
I admire her, for her strengths and her weaknesses. I admire her struggles, her successes, and her failures. Mostly, I admire her for her honestly.”
My lovely cousin,Writers practice their art for a myriad of reasons. If you are lucky, you get a glimpse of the true reasons they put the morsels in their head down on paper for the rest of the world to consume. Most often, writers aren’t completely honest about that. They think they are, but in truth, they feel that the bleeding of their life-blood onto parchment is more than enough…why must everyone demand more?
So they lie.
Or they only tell a partial truth.
Everyone is a critic. :)
Rachel, it is true that any person can call themselves a writer. What you need to hold close is that there are reasons why you wrote the things that you did, in the style that you wrote it. You may not have started out knowing why it was important to give this snapshot into your very personal experiences. Indeed, you may not have known even after you hit the last key. That doesn’t matter here. What does matter is that you did many brave things at once, and if there is a critic out there, we both know that they can never be as harsh on you as you would be on yourself.
Fuck them. You did an amazing thing. And you did it with love. You did it with forgiveness. You did it with strength.
You shared a part of yourself. You went through the process of self-publishing. You dared to let people see these extremely personal facets of Rachel The Child/Rachel the Adult/Rachel the Parent/Rachel the Wife/Rachel the Daughter. You encouraged people to read it, all the while knowing that the potential for judgment and criticism was hovering like a fly at your picnic table, just waiting to land on your food and ruin your meal. Do NOT let it ruin your picnic.
It was Brave.
It was fabulous.
“It isn’t brave if you aren’t scared.”
I love you, Cousin! Keep writing!