Sunday, March 1, 2015

Blue & Black or White & Gold

I'm not sure what makes this 'blue & black' dress a sensation, but it is. Equally puzzling for me is the fact that half of my family/friends see it as black and blue while the other half vehemently argue that it's as white and gold as white and gold can be. Needless to say, the debate (familial and national) has been the tiniest bit frustrating.
 The disagreement is unsettling because the people who aren't seeing the dress in the same 'light' as you - in some situations - are people you love and respect, ones you admire and ones you know would never maliciously try to mess with your head. The reality is I've long suspected that everyone sees colors differently. 

The whole discussion made me realize these differences of opinions happen all day every day and no one questions them to this degree. I suspect that has to do with the fact that the interpretation of colors (excluding people who are color blind) should be relatively objective. Black is black. Blue is blue. White is white. Gold is gold. Usually!  When it comes to books, music, movies, paintings, photography, etc., we've long known that the like or dislike of them is completely dependent on our moods, a lifetimes' worth of experiences, our morals/ethics, our training, our preferences, etc.; therefore, disagreements are not only expected but welcomed. 

I've been writing for years now and have come to the realization that everyone is not always going to think my books are the best thing since sliced bread. This acceptance was a critical step in maturing as an artist and my ability to continue writing. Now, I understand that one reviewer might send me a very personal message, one so sweet it leaves me in tears, letting me know just how much she loved my book while another might hate that same book so much that his/her very public condemnation of my work might be gentler coming from Ming the Merciless himself. 

I've said many times that I only read Fifty Shades of Grey because of its horrible reviews. I knew that if it was on the best sellers lists it couldn't possibly be as bad as the reviewers were making it out to be. Now (and not because of the erotica in the book... in fact... despite the erotica in the book), it's one of my favorite go-to stories/characters. 

As with all great national debates, it proves that not everyone sees the world in the same light. One person's black and blue dress is another person's gold and white dress. One person's favorite book is another's 'worst waste of time'. The most important thing to come from this is the acceptance that we all see things differently. As such, reviews of books (and movies, music, etc.) should be taken with a grain of salt. Just because one person hates a book does not mean that you will. In fact, you might be pleasantly surprised when you take a chance on something others despise.