I'll be candid. This week's blog prompt confuses me: "How getting the call (or acceptance) changes lives."
Call for what? Acceptance for what? By whom? "Getting the call" could apply to so many things: a call to religious or civil service, a call to a job opportunity, or something else. Acceptance always helps. It took a long time for my family to accept that, yes, I hear voices; yes, I need to write them down; yes, I want to make my living as a writer; no, it's not a crazy concept. Acceptance, however, isn't always necessary when it doesn't apply to everyone.
And it never applies to everyone.
You cannot please everyone. Even J. K. Rowling's breakthrough novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which made her and her title character household names, has haters. Of 29,160 reviews, 479 reviewers posted their loathing for the story in 1-star reviews. Jane Austen's iconic romance Pride and Prejudice has 8,365 reviews, of which 351 express their extreme displeasure. Award winning children's book The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister has 1,072 reviews, but 202 reviewers posted 1-star reviews. (For what it's worth, I happen to agree with those who find that book's message distasteful.)
Nope, acceptance is nice and validating, but it ain't necessary.
How much poorer would the world be if Vincent van Gogh had occupied his life with respectable, practical employment rather than his art? Without Jane Austen's contribution, an entire sub-genre of romantic literature might not exist--or certainly in its current and enduring state of popularity. She wrote her stories in an age when respectable ladies' names were published three times in their lives: upon their birth, upon their marriage, upon their death. Anything more frequent earned criticism.
I can't say I've "gotten the call," so, therefore, I cannot say that getting "the call" has changed my life. As long as I can remember, I have told stories. Since I could write, I have written them. There was never a moment that I could pinpoint and say, "This is what I was meant to do!" What am I without a story? Nothing. Or at least much reduced and dwindled.
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