One fact writers must face is that opinions vary. What one reader/editor loves, another might find weak or offensive.
You might say I learned this lesson early.
In grade school, I used to write plays. I wrote them because I enjoyed it, and nobody ever read most of them. One evening I settled down at Dad’s Underwood manual typewriter waiting for the Muse to visit, when my little brother (Let’s call him Mikey) asked what I was doing.
“Writing a play.”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Can you write it about me?”
And so I did. I wrote a play about my 9-year-old brother and his classmates—and his teacher. He watched me type and read over my shoulder as I tapped out each word. He laughed in all the right places.
I had an audience, a reader, someone who enjoyed my work. I admit I let him egg me on to make jokes at his teacher’s expense. Give them what they want, right?
Today, I don’t remember the jokes or the plot or anything about the play, except I know I referred to Mikey’s teacher as The Head Cheese. There may have been jokes about smell.
The next day, I left class after school to go to the Girls' Room to change for softball tryouts. The principal stopped me in the hall, my play in her hand. She was not a fan of my work.
It turned out Mikey liked my play so much, he took it to school to share with his friends. And his teacher caught them, confiscated the script in question, and asked who wrote it. The teacher took it to the principal, who told me I had to go to the teacher & apologize for being disrespectful.
Did I mention that the softball coach who was in charge of tryouts that day was none other than my brother’s teacher? I didn’t make the team.
Kathy Cannon Wiechman