As this is The Lighthearted Dragonfly blog, not The Depressed and Down-trodden Dragonfly, I try to keep my musings (hopefully) a little more positive. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not naive’ enough to believe that the world is full of lollipops and rainbows, but I try on my blog and in my daily life not to focus on all that’s wrong with the world.
Recently I read an article about the craft of writing Personal Essays. After I read it, I felt like I should just quit writing all together because if the author was to be believed, you have to be dark, brooding and borderline suicidal to ever be published out there. Luckily, I read this just before my weekly Writing/Therapy meeting with Kim, my writing buddy, who was able to make some valid counter arguments. I disagree with the point the article made that essays that don’t probe the depths of human despair are not worthy for submission. Yes, most people love to read about others’ struggles, including me. Whether it’s because it makes us feel better about our own problems or because we like having others to identify with, it’s just plain old interesting when someone bares their soul and allows us into their head.
But I feel like there’s also a place for humor in the midst of the mundane. A place for observation of everyday life. Even a place where gratitude is expressed for people who make our lives worth living. Do essays always have to be joyful? Definitely not. That would be so boring. But sometimes I get tired of all the negative, deep thoughts and just want a little fluff or a good laugh. The darkness in the world needs to be balanced with redemption.
I’m glad I read the article, despite the initial discouragement I felt after reading it, because it opened my eyes to the idea that the type of writing I do on this blog only appeals to a small niche of people. It also made me realize that my other writing projects (family history one aside) may need to be a little edgier with meaner characters than what I tend to write. Lesson learned. But in real life, I really do hold out hope for those lollipops and rainbows.