Where would we be if we weren’t willing to try new things? Think about something as “simple” as bread? What genius even thought to put those ingredients together, let alone EAT them?
“Hey, Smerg – I’m going to take this funny grass and pound it with this rock.”
“Still tastes like grass. Let’s try scraping some of that stuff off the tree bark and mix it in.”
“No, I’m not sure about tasting this. Let’s let Grogg taste it. Hey Grogg!”
“Grogg ate it, but he doesn’t like it.”
“Maybe if it was warmer?”
“What if we put it in that hole in the rock where Merda put that smokin’ hot piece of tree?”
“Hey look, it got all puffy. It looks good. I will try it… It IS good!”
It’s amazing what trying new things can do. Of course, sometimes…
“Hmm – Grogg is puffing up too. Hey Grogg, you don’t look so good.”
“Sorry Grogg. Maybe we shouldn’t eat it before it gets hot…”
“I don’t think he can hear you.”
Once you have something that’s working pretty well for you, it should take more than a whim to abandon it. It can seem progressive or revolutionary to follow the mantra of
“Out with the old, in with the new!”
But it would be best to know if the new is an actual improvement before you throw out the old. Sometimes, traditions are formed with nothing behind them other than “because that’s the way we’ve always done it”, but quite often they became traditions because they had a legitimate, positive impact on life.
As we all know, in life, there is no shortage of people who think that they know better how you should live. But it’s your life, not theirs.
Of course, in matters as important as life – and death (like your writing) it’s good to hear the advice of others. But after you’ve weighed and measured it, you should do what feels right to you. Others can be helpful and have interesting ideas, but don’t compromise your own sensibilities and taste for their advice – think it through, first.
And remember where it got Grogg when he didn’t.
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William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
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