Sometimes we run into the things we need to hear the most when we least expect it.
This evening, I went to a happy hour for the younger crowd of my corporate job. I knew almost no one from the group and quietly observed and listened for most of the evening. As the group got smaller, I did get to hear some pretty awesome stories about how some of them got to the current point of their career, but when it was my turn, I was definitely the odd one out: a writer from a struggling Latino household who has had to sacrifice so much for survival and is barely able to pursue her dreams as she should, working in the insurance industry because they were hiring - not because she planned on being there like most of the people that surrounded her at the moment.
While I made new acquaintances, I felt lonelier than I did before I went. Everyone parted ways and before I knew it, I was at home (one of my homes - I switch between my parents depending on who needs me around at the moment while I make some decisions). I went on Facebook like the good ol' social media junkie that I am when I noticed a link that my friend Annette shared.
It was the link to the online premiere of a short film called Stereotypically Me. I trust Annette's Facebook shares so I decided to check it.
"Stereotypically Me" is a film written, directed, and produced by Linda Nieves Powell. According to the event page, which was brought to audiences by Sofrito Media Group: Lydia, a struggling screenwriter, is pressured to get rid of her stereotypical muse Marisol in order to become a more successful writer. Marisol, a sassy, urban Latina, refuses to change. Lydia must decide whether to embrace her duality or kill the muse. Go ahead and check it out before you read the rest of what I have to say.
As I fine tune myself as a writer, I find myself contemplating the same sacrifices or break ups. This is something that I relate to not only through ethnic culture, but through genre, age, sex, and medium.
We write about what we know, but "successful writers" must go beyond that and write about things that make others feel comfortable in order to get their foot in the door. We have to decompose and detach what is natural to us, even if the story is not true to ourselves to maybe achieve greater success.
I have received many rejections. If only they were as blunt as the one in the film because I am constantly wondering what I need to change in order to be successful. Do I move away from what I typically write poems about? Do I change my writing style to match more closely with well-known poets? Do I change my niche for blogging or even my medium for art? Do I disassociate myself from experiences we don't see on paper often? What do I cut out? Who should I be?
I am still trying to figure out what to embrace and what to change or if I should change anything at all. Do I get rid of all of my Marisols or do I let my Lydia and Marisol fight the good fight together so I can become a successful writer on my terms and leave the rat race (and avoid disheartening happy hours)?
I have a lot to think about.
Sigh...you know something is good when it creates a dialogue not only with yourself but with the community at large. Share this video, share your thoughts. Let's tell the world our stories because one day the color of the world will be US!
Definitely a Write Recommendation!
The event page will be up for the next 90 days here.