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Have You Given Yourself Authority?

I am usually in the second camp: at the first sign of criticism, I start to curl

I nearly went under recently when my unpublished novel was harshly critiqued

But luckily, just the next day, I happened to be reading about a feminist performance artist and

The quote was by Carolee Schneemann, whose controversial artworks include reading from a scroll that she pulls

It was the first part that got me: ‘I have given myself authority’

It’s about a relatively unknown group of historical people that I am passionate about, and I

I have never had any intention of giving up but this time when I was challenged I

My authority derives from a long list of things that I have done or found out

I’ve gone on research trips to all the locations and read the standard and latest publications

Readers have given me their opinions and I have received professional feedback on the manuscript

I have given readings, written blogs about the real people behind the characters, and then gone on

In other words, I have given myself authority over my material

But I have earned ownership over this topic and I do have the right to tell the

It’s almost impossible not to experience this when receiving criticism and relatively few people have the

But if you take the time and do the work, and then consciously and deliberately occupy the

You can even weather deliberate and genuinely nasty attacks and still remain emotionally intact