In Case No One Told You, It’s Okay to Be Weird.
Benjamin Sledge
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I’ve just been watching “Anne with an ‘E’”, based on “Anne of Green Gables” on Netflix, and she is seriously imaginative and weird in a time when people were very conventional. It made me cry, because I remember this feeling of being different and rejected, both at home and school — partly for being mixed-race, but mainly I think because I was dreamy and said strange things. Stephen King is right — for years I think people saw my writing as self-indulgence or delusion and made patronising comments about it, but the moment I got published everything changed. Suddenly all the things that made me seem weird are signs that I’m creative. When asked for advice recently at a reading the only thing I could think of to say was, “Don’t give up. If you love writing — or any or creative pursuit — don’t give up, no matter what anyone tells you.” And that includes your own mind, because often those internal voices are actually external voices that we’ve internalised.

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