Films, Literature, Vampy times!, Writing

Anonymity

Dear Vinepire,

Do you remember watching the make out scenes in your favourite movies as a teenager, or reading steamy dialogue in a piece of erotica and secretly wondering : “How could they do this, knowing that their friends, siblings, spouses, their kids will get to see this?”. Sometimes, I feel the same way about blogging, and I know, there are no kissing scenes on this blog.

But back to the artists : how can they reveal so much about themselves, and I don´t mean nude scenes, but core beliefs, painful memories, dreams, while throwing their work into the public eye? As everyday people, we are bound to social conventions (to a point where we use preconceived opinions about the most mundane things) and to a sense of privacy. We instinctively keep things secret, just for the sake of secrecy. What would that stranger do with information that has only meaning to me, because it is mine? I would still never tell anyone except trusted friends about the day I stood up in front of my literature class and read, without noticing the slightest of sous entendres, a poem by Baudelaire featuring a woman dancing like a snake at the end of a stick… Just to end up listening to a long and elaborate praise from our teacher about the beautiful erotic imagery… I felt like the biggest creep in the universe, and did not look my professor in the eye for at least half of the school year… so yeah, embarrassing would be the word. And yet… I tell it to you, Vinepires… because I am anonymous. But most writers don´t use a pen name, just look at authors of erotica, like 50 Shades of Grey or the Sleeping Beauty series (although Anne Rice started publishing this one under another name, she soon revealed her real identity as author of the work). And there does not seem to be much embarrassment involved…

I admire them for doing it, but just don´t understand the mechanics of that process, and so I turn to you, dear reader, for an explanation for this phenomenon. Why is there no place for blushing, once something is brought into the spotlight?

Thank you so much for reading,

Your Vine Vampire

PS : And don´t hesitate to share some embarrassing stories of yours, I´m feeling left alone here!

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Literature, Writing

Should writers seek criticism?

“Protect your voice and your vision. If going on the Internet and reading Internet reviews is bad for you, don’t do it. … Do what gets you to write and not what blocks you. … Don’t take any guff off anybody.”
–Anne Rice

Dear Vinepire,

I have never kept my admiration for Anne Rice, the legend behind  The Vampire Chronicles a secret, and would write a trilogy for her to set the eyes that saw Lestat clearer than anyone else ever will, upon my writing. But back in reality, I stumbled over her curious piece of advice : ignoring criticism protection of the creative flow. I will just assume that it sounds equally strange to you.

Having done a little research on her first, most famous novel, Interview with the Vampire, I felt like her categorical rejection of dismissing comments was grounded : Her hit novel earned, according to Rice, about a year´s worth of rejections from publishers. So my admiration for her just grew, as despite this blow, she had never given it up. But really, can the average published-writer-to-be compare him/herself to that author?

I´ve believed, until now, that writers are somehow different people, in the sense of keeping always the will to improve each other´s performance, while in ruthless competition on a selective market. The criticism, even if holding barely on the shaky legs of opinion, seemed food for the muse, not poison. After all, as close as the bond between us and our freshly spilled ink might indeed be, don´t we all secretly enjoy the satisfaction inspired by unjustified criticism? I can often barely decide wether I like it less or more that the thankfulness for real constructive advice.

So, being quite frankly lost, I would like to ask you, dear reader, what your take on the dilemma is. And in the meanwhile, please, feel free to criticize anything you like…

Thank you so much for reading,

Your Vine Vampire

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