First Brush With Literary Fame

The response to one of my posts here, which was republished on asiapundits, was obscenely, overwhelmingly negative, although at the same time the owner of asiapundits has informed me that the article has gotten over a thousand views, which means that far more people than ever before are being exposed to my writing—even if that writing definitely isn’t my best.

The response to the post on this blog was either positive or silent, but I think a lot of my critics are basically on the right track—the post was too long and too whiny, for sure. People also got the impression that I hate Korea, which is definitely not true. Still, the numerous vicious attackers on facebook all quieted down almost the moment I began demanding examples of their work, so I could get a good look at their literary genius. One of the commenters on expathell says it’s ridiculous to refuse to listen to critics unless they themselves are also writers, but I don’t think it’s ridiculous at all. Imagine this situation:

Da Vinci completes a painting. Another painter tells him it sucks. Then some guy out on the street tells him it sucks. Who is Da Vinci going to listen to? The answer is, probably, neither, because I doubt Da Vinci gave a damn about anyone who criticized his work.

If you go to a restaurant, and you think the food sucks, and you go and talk to the chef back in the kitchen and tell him so, he’ll probably tell you to go fuck yourself, and really, he has every right to. My post has its problems, but I really don’t see any point in giving too much credence to the haters so long as they continue to hide behind their keyboards and computer screens. At the same time, I’m no Da Vinci—a number of my critics seemed to belief that I view myself as the second coming of Malcolm X—and I noticed a pattern to all these criticisms, and I believe a lot of them are valid.

I will continue to write, I will continue to make mistakes—but the book is coming, and it’s going to reach a far wider audience than anything I’ve written before. Plenty of people will hate it, and some of them for good reasons, but none of them are going to stop me, because writing is something I do despite myself. Even if I knew for sure, thanks to a time traveler or an actual fortuneteller, that I would never succeed, that I would always be reviled, and that I really do have no talent, I would still write to the very last, because that’s just how I am, and how I’ve always been.

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4 thoughts on “First Brush With Literary Fame

  1. Nancy says:

    The one important thing to remember is that it is good to have critics. It means that people ARE reading your stuff and having a reaction to it, and doing something about it–in this case, posting. It means you struck a nerve and said something that they cannot just brush off and leave alone. I used to work as a journalist for a period of time, and we always knew it was better to have many complaint letters than the overwhelming cricket sound of silence. It means you are creating energy and a dialog–and that is always good.

  2. hiddenconnections says:

    Hey, thanks Nancy =)

  3. Hey man – don’t let the haters get you down. You are obviously really smart and articulate, and care about a lot of things that most English-speakers in Korea don’t. Nancy (the above poster) is right. Generating that kind of response means you hit a nerve, and brought up something important. That’s a good thing, and a form of success as a writer.

    To put it bluntly, there is no shortage of morons in South Korea or its blogosphere. People who identify with Korea tend to be fiercely loyal, and to freak out in ugly ways when anyone criticizes the country or its culture. That pretty much precludes any intellectual discussion. Also there are a lot of excessively naive white kids here that really want to pat themselves on the back for being heavily invested in cultural relativism. The brownie points they want to earn for respecting another culture are so important to them that they remain actively in denial of the glaring issues within Korean society. That world-record suicide rate didn’t just magically appear. (These are the kids that leave after a year, and don’t see much of what’s going on below the surface.)

    I really enjoyed your post on asiapundits, and I look forward to more of your work. Keep writing!

  4. hiddenconnections says:

    Thanks for the support, durham!

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