One of the more surprising things to me about being a poet is how many people try to stop you. From parents to teachers, spouses, friends, and rivals, it seems the one thing everyone agrees on is: you should be doing something else.
Anything else. Just, please, don't write poems. Not in class. Not when you should be working. Not when the lawn needs mowed. Not when actually talented people can already do it better than you. Not when you don't have a degree. Not when you're too young. Not when you're too old. Not when this, not when that...
Everyone, probably even your cat, has a sneaky reason for why you shouldn't write poetry. Some are not so sneaky. My mother, for example, literally took her contempt for my art to her deathbed. People will tell you things like: "nobody reads poetry" or "these days poetry is hip-hop" or "my favorite poet is Dr. Seuss" but what they're really trying to say is: you can't make any money with poems, so why bother?
But that's their love talking. People who try to stop you because they think you're being irresponsible are just being conscientious hall monitors and stating the blatantly obvious. No point in telling them you think there might just be things as important, or even more important, than money because they won't believe you.
Just know in your bones that nobody's opinion matters except your own. Creative people are, by nature, unbound and free of the constraints that others accept as obligatory and routine. As soon as your feet leave the ground, somebody's going to say: "You're going to fall. Gravity's real."
But think of this. If a tightrope walker (without a net) walks the rope and nobody watching predicts her death, what's the point?
You can't bring off your full creative effects without doubters. That's what the "peanut gallery" is all about. In fact, you need them to be pushed to greater heights.
The people who stand around and criticize or try to undermine your efforts will help you soar and --- if you learn to leverage their gloom ---- gasp in awe as you dance the tightrope and jump through hoops of fire.
Poems Written: 300
Rejections: 17 (10 tiered)
Poem written today: "Poet's Place"