Gatekeepers control access. Various mythologies and folktales include sentinels often associated with the underworld: Hades, Anubis, Dormath, and others. In literature, the Wizard of Oz distinguishes himself. On a local level, enforcers include Customs officers, who attempt to regulate flow between Washington State and Canada.
Of course, we can and do serve as our own gatekeepers. As a human who’s led an interesting life, compartmentalizing events provided a survival mechanism. What can happen is that you lose the key to incidents, especially traumatic ones. When recall is triggered, you’re so surprised you wonder, “Who was that person?” These ordeals also offer gratifying insights, for which I’m thankful.
As a writer, illiteracy encompasses the most monstrous of sentries. Those who cannot read are excluded from the richness of life. They must depend upon macro audio or visual cues, missing out on nuances inherent in the written word. Dwelling on a loss of this proportion can literally lead me to tears.
For writers, our greatest nemesis and occasional partner are those editors who guard the entry into brick-and-mortar publishing. They decide whether to accept or reject our work. It all begins with the submission process. A term I personally loathe, submission carries the distaste of obedience and capitulation. In recent times, editors have expanded to editorial groups that include literary agents and even author-paid consultants who filter for them, too. In other words, obstacles to publishing have grown thick to the point of impenetrable.
Which brings me to a thought. Perhaps artists need to find a way to circumvent these blockades. After all, what I really want is to connect with those who appreciate my work. That may mean thwarting those who set themselves up as gatekeepers. With that in mind, please join me here for my next blog, A New Day.