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Getting Over the "Being Accepted" Hump - Joe Flach's Blog

About Joe Flach
(Show Details...)
Bloggers Photo


First I was me,

Selfish as can be,

Wanting everything from A to Z

And wanting it all for me.

Then I became we,

A part of an us.

I learned to share, give and take

I learned how to trust.

Next I was you,

Believe me it's true.

I would rather give than receive,

It was you I wanted to please.

Now I am them,

A family man.

Giving my children,

All that I can.

If you look real close,

It is easy to see,

I am older and wiser,

And no longer a me.

Come join my FaceBook Page, "Poems, Lyrics and Stuff by An Average Joe" - http://www.facebook.com/poemsbyjoe

Getting Over the "Being Accepted" Hump

Blog Posted:7/25/2013 2:06:00 PM
I have read a few blogs about people being somewhat tormented by the response and feedback they sometimes get about their poems. This issue does not deal with what is said here on the soup but what close friends and family have to say about their poetry. This can sometimes act as a suppressant to many would-be poets.

I was a “closet poet” for about 40 years. Writing poetry was a part of me that did not fit the outer shell I had portrayed to the world. I am somewhat athletic; like to consider myself masculine; am a serious business man; am not otherwise creative or artistic; and just do not fit the stereotype for a poet. So, my poems were kept to myself. I feared my peers, my business contacts and my family would not understand or appreciate this, dare I say, poetic ability I had.

Finally, and I do not know exactly what the impetus was, at 50 years of age I came out of the poetry closet and went public with my poetry. Unfortunately, many of my poems from younger years were lost over time, but, some I still had and many more started pouring out of me.

And guess what? My fears were actually realized! My peers, my friends and many in my family ridiculed, and still do, this passion of mine. Some think they do so good naturedly, but it still hurts, though I try to hide that fact. It’s funny how some of those closest to me, that I thought would at least fake an interest in this hobby of mine, can be the cruelest or the least interested in what I do. And, some, that I thought would be the last people on earth to take an interest, have become my biggest fans.

I simply post this blog to suggest that you need to get over that hump of worrying what others think. Realize that not everyone you love and hope love you will understand or empathize or appreciate your need to write and share your poetry. Poetrysoup is great because it is a collection of others that have this same passion, interest and talent – but your circle of friends, family and cohorts may not. And, so be it.

I now get my poetry fix and openly share what I do. For those who don’t like it – fine, we can still connect on other levels. For those who have changed their opinions of me for the worst, I can live with that. For those who have changed their opinion about me for the better, I am glad.

I am not going to go cliché and say, I write for me, because, I do have an innate desire to share my poems and have others appreciate and enjoy them. I do write for others – but, I cannot always control who those others are.

So, proudly step out of that poetry closet and let your creativity flow. Even if it is only us here who really appreciate your talent, let that be enough for now. Others will either eventually understand or are not worth worrying about.

Nuff said. Thanks for reading.


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Date: 7/27/2013 3:19:00 AM
A familiar artistic tale Joe, take consolation in C.R.Leslie's (the Anglo/American artist) words about the renown English artist Turner '..his entire reliance on a guide within himself, always a characteristic of genius'. We press onwards with our art and/ or poetrybecause we must.Rgds Brian
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Date: 7/26/2013 2:47:00 PM
My Hubby appreciates my work and encourages it... But my sons and other family won't read it... The kids at McDonalds hamburgers love it tho and the people who do my hair love it... Not everyone is happy. But I do it for those who want to read it... It's silly and not classical poetry so many won't see it's value here... but that's OK... it's for fun. And there's always some one to enjoy it... some where...
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/26/2013 2:52:00 PM
That's terrific Carol. It is for those who enjoy and those moments that we become aware someone has found enjoyment from our work that makes at all worth while. Like I said, it may not be those we necessarily wanted to like our poetry, but we cannot control that. We should only worry about what we can control; and, what we can control is whether or not we write poems. So we should make our choice to write or not without worrying about whether or not so-and-so likes it. Or, at least, that's the way I look at it.
Date: 7/26/2013 2:06:00 PM
aww that's a shame that they don't appreciate your creative work, but alas this seems to be a common thing; people who don't write themselves, well, I just think they think we're crackers! lol
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/26/2013 2:47:00 PM
And, Charlotte, they may be right, but, love me; love my crackers. ;-)
Date: 7/26/2013 11:45:00 AM
Wow. Can I just say- you couldn't have posted this blog with better timing- you have NO IDEA how badly I needed to hear these words! I am among the people who have posted blogs about family and friends judging me for my poetry. I removed a very good chunk of my poetry here on the Soup for that very reason- poems that had won contests, had received positive feedback and recognition, all because of the comments and questions my family and friends kept throwing at me. But recently, I decided to repost them regardless because the Soup is full of so many uplifting souls; this blog alone just made me add you to my list of favorite poets. Thank you for posting this! Many, many hugs.
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/26/2013 2:46:00 PM
I am glad this blog and this site is a source of hope for you Anne. Keep on writing those poems and being the poet that you are.
Date: 7/26/2013 2:59:00 AM
- Many have struggled and received much negative criticism "artists / poets" from old time. - ..... But was recognized and famous after their death. To all: Write from your heart! - It's your words and thoughts!!
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/26/2013 8:12:00 AM
In that case, Anne Lise, I am in no hurry to become recognized and famous :-). This could be a case of "be careful what you wish for". Thanks for your comment on the blog.
Goff Avatar
James Marshall Goff
Date: 7/26/2013 4:43:00 AM
nice, AnneLise....
Date: 7/25/2013 11:55:00 PM
Thanks Joe...and everyone....geez....we bled a bit here....thanks for helping...
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Date: 7/25/2013 10:41:00 PM
i don't know about them, joe, but i love your poems... isn't this an empowering thing?..:) huggs
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 10:46:00 PM
Thanks nette. I have appreciated and been humbled by your support all along. Compliments from a really, really gifted poet goes a long way in making everything else all right. Thanks!!
Date: 7/25/2013 8:29:00 PM
BTW....LOVED your I was Me poem...Awesome!
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 8:51:00 PM
Date: 7/25/2013 8:24:00 PM
What an awesome and amazing blog. You worded everything so perfectly well. I applaud you, I really do. :) I come from a family of writers...poetry for special occasions. However, I can't tell you how my heart breaks when my own family takes NO interest in what I do...."A prophet is without honor in his own country." Before Poetry Soup...I'd post poems on the notes section on FB...I'd get comments, but RARELY from family...The stinging comment came from someone who said, "It's not that I don't love poetry that I don't read your work...I love Neruda" ...outch! My interpretation..."It's just your work that doesn't interest me."
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Manassian Avatar
Eileen Manassian
Date: 7/25/2013 10:29:00 PM
:) Oh...the comment wasn't from an immediate family member, but one who has joined through marriage...My family members will say a nice comment or two....but nothing effusive. Yes...LOL...we will sty here and "suffer" together! :)
Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 8:51:00 PM
Eileen, thanks for your input. Yes, I bet it is harder still to have loved ones who share this passion but do not take yours as being serious. But, we persevere and, thanks to web sites life PS, we can all suffer to together while sharing our art with one another.
Manassian Avatar
Eileen Manassian
Date: 7/25/2013 8:27:00 PM
CONT...Poetry Soup has opened a new world for me. I often post comments people make on my work, or my wins in certain contests on FB...and my family now sees me in a new light. Hubby is glad I have a hobby, no interest in hearing my work...My daughter...My 18 year old daughter is my delight! She is proud of her MAMA. My students are proud of me. 'm fulfilled. Thanks, Joe...for letting me get this off my chest by sharing your story....I really connected here. Bless you!
Date: 7/25/2013 8:20:00 PM
Great Blog. I rarely comment, but this touched a nerve with me. When I talk about my poetry, my friends nod politely and move on to another subject as quickly as they can. My biggest fan in my 12 year old grandson. He is proud of my efforts and has tried his hand at writing. My husband once said , after reading one of my better poems " you won a 1st place with that?"..I have forgiven him, but not forgotten..lol. BG
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 8:48:00 PM
Barbara, I am honored that you decided to comment on my blog. It is interesting how many really good poets here suffer from the same malady. I once told someone that writing and posting poems is like walking into formal party with no clothes on. You enter expecting everyone to laugh, chuckle, point out your flaws, etc., but then when nobody even seems to notice that you are naked, it is even worse than you expected. "Hey, I am naked here, could you please at least notice?!" Yeah, my wife has no interest at all in my poems and gives me a hard time for "wasting my time" on them. Then she gives me an even harder time when strangers post nice comments about my poems. She accuses me of having girlfriends through poetry. I tell her that I understand she doesn't get my poetry or need to write it, but I will not apologize for having strangers that do.
Date: 7/25/2013 8:13:00 PM
Joe....some in my family (and extremely faith filled) view my passion as grandstanding..."look at me" never encouragement....this hurts...to those family members...its never discussed...i'm cool with that....i have been thanked by my dearest friends, sage old friends of my family who, before passing....actually discussed my poems with me! For that special gift, and all of my dear friends here....i am eternally grateful...jimbo
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 8:41:00 PM
Jimbo, I can relate. Sometimes, I think it is the total disregard that hurts the most. At least think enough about me to read my poems and hate them ... but to totally disregard that I am writing them and posting them for loved ones to see who choose not to even look at them is a hard pill to swallow. But ... I have learned to live with that, can you tell?
Date: 7/25/2013 7:40:00 PM
I also want to say, that I totally understand and empathize with those who have these stereotypes of what a male poet is like. Years ago, when I first moved to the NYC area, I was hesitant to go to a Broadway musical with the misconception that it was just a bunch of pansies singing on stage. After going to see Les Mis, Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera, I realized just how stupid I was. The male leads and members of the chorus in those musicals were very masculine and simply blew me away with their talent and abilities. So, I understand, I too, have had misconceptions that needed to be adjusted. People can change. We simply must give them the chance by sharing our poetry with them.
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Date: 7/25/2013 7:26:00 PM
Joe, I am in the exact same boat. I was going through a rough time and started writing haiku poems for my and posting them to her facebook page so she could get them on her breaks at night on her phone. I had fun doing it but all of my "masculine" friends and family started mocking me or telling me to write them a poem with a smirk (my "Poker Night" was one done in 20min to show them). I've just started writing and the support here has been a blessing and really fun to see some of my thoughts enjoyed by such great people. If your friends don't like it then they don't understand it :)
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 7:32:00 PM
Thanks for sharing Adam. Funny thing with me is, my most "masculine" friends seem to be my biggest fans. Those who "snicker" at my poetry are those that I feel are not as secure in their own masculinity. It is almost as if, if they say they enjoy my poetry it makes them less masculine or something. Anyway ... their issue, not mine.
Date: 7/25/2013 7:00:00 PM
I have found it much freer to share my poetry here, than in my personal life. Somehow, I still feel the need to guard the deep emotion that comes with writing from the heart, yes...the fear of ridicule or poking fun at what we consider so personally revealing, is a hard pill to swallow. Thanks Joe.....I'm still working on overcoming those hang-ups in baby steps. Thanks for the push!
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 7:27:00 PM
Wow, Carrie, this surprises me. I would not have expected that someone with your talent, creativity, and ingenuity would share this fear to reveal our poetic side. I just some how kind of assumed you were a noted and well respected poet in all aspects of your life. I guess it just goes to show that even the best poets on the soup have some poet-insecurities. Thank you for openly sharing that with us. I somehow feel a little bit better knowing I share this trait with you.
Date: 7/25/2013 4:36:00 PM
great blog Joe
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 5:34:00 PM
Thanks, Francine. You were one of the first ones here to help coax me out of the closet - thanks for that.
Date: 7/25/2013 4:23:00 PM
Years ago I discovered a book titled "Art & Fear" that addresses your comments head-on. In fact, it's one of those too rare events that changed my life. Another is "Bird by Bird," by Anne Lamott. Both agree that the viewer or reader takes away from art whatever they take away, positive or negative, as viewed through their personal filters. The artist or writer may have an entirely different intent, but that doesn't matter so long as he/she is satisfied with the product. It's often difficult to operate that way, but to me it's an honest way to be, that is, true to myself. As you say, the others aren't worth worrying about.
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Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 5:33:00 PM
Thanks for the input Jack. I will have to check out those books - maybe some others will want to, as well.
Date: 7/25/2013 3:10:00 PM
Hi..It helps knowing.im.not alone.Some of the closests of mine support me all out while some others see it as a waste of time.Keep writing and do what you.love to do.keep believing that family's obligations come first but in yr free time..Do what you love to do.
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Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 3:54:00 PM
Charmaine, I don't think we are alone, there are others out there in the same situation. And yes, it's good to know you have company. You are right, with our priorities in order, we should continue to follow our passions.
Date: 7/25/2013 2:52:00 PM
good blog, Joe. Jesus told us to let our lights shine and not to hide our talents. The judgmental ones are in the wrong!!
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Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 7/25/2013 3:52:00 PM
Thanks for your input Andrea. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!
Chircop Avatar
Charmaine Chircop
Date: 7/25/2013 3:11:00 PM
I sgree : )

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