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  • Douglas Daech

    Born near Detroit Michigan and transplanted to Tampa Florida in 1982, where he located the story called “Steeling Time”, the author now resides in Russellville, Kentucky.

    His past experience includes articles in the Tripolitan, (Journal of the Tripoli Rocket Association, June 1991) and TRASH (Tampa Regional Aero-Space Hobbyist). In 1993 and 1994 many articles were published in the Unauthorized Launch, the Tampa Tripoli High Power Rocket Club newsletter. A science fiction piece was also presented in the online magazine NTH Degree (May, 2004). Also, an award for creative nonfiction was granted in the 2007 Frank and Cellia Conley Writing Contest at Western Kentucky University

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Secret to Success

Long ago I was a musician.  I was a member of a ninety member symphonic group that performed in theaters filled with hundreds of people.  One of my conductors once explained to us that music was a temporal art.  It existed only in time.  When the performance ended, the art was gone.  It was temporary.  Life, in much the same way is temporal.  The art and grace of everything you are is only temporary.  When your performance ends, you are gone.  Time is a fleeting abstract concept that is wrapped around life.  People are always chasing, it wasting it and wanting more of it.  Yet it is really all there is.  Time is unending, but the music we make of our life will end, so make your songs, whatever they may be, beautiful.

One of the things that people struggle with is the judgments of their performances.  Whatever that performance is, dance, song, beauty, work or play, someone will have an opinion on it.  Through a person’s life, millions of judgments are made of them and criticisms can be painful.  What separates the successful artist in life from others struggling with their life’s performance is the ability to ignore judgments on their performance and just sing.  Someplace in their history, a painful criticism embedded a fear of showing the beauty of their personal art and talents.  Due to the fear of other people’s opinions they hold back and only sing in the shower.  They function in society, and live an apparently happy life, but unfulfilled artistically.  They live afraid to express themselves publically, yet many crave fame and fortune.

Successful artists are unaffected by bad press.  The covers of tabloids don’t bother them because they realize that judgments are temporary.  After a bad review they jump right back up on stage and give them the other cheek to slap, unafraid.  Reviews are unimportant to them, they just enjoy doing.  So follow their lead, do your thing without worry.  Sing whatever art fills your heart.

As a writer I tell stories.  Just like music, storytelling is a temporal art.  Passing those stories from one generation to another has changed from word of mouth to e-books.  But when the story is finished, all that is left are still memories.  When I tell a story I don’t worry that the story may not be good enough.  I don’t worry that it won’t entertain or amuse the reader.  What I worry about is the technical construction of the sentences and the grammar.  I worry that my eighth grade English teacher would turn over in her grave if she read it.  I worry about the criticism readers will make of a misspelled word or run-on sentence.  I worry they will think I’m an idiot.

Seedy Hills, an odd little town was just uploaded to the publisher’s website.  It will be reviewed and probably rewritten to some extent then eventually released for sale.  I worry that people will make judgments on my work, but I know they are just temporary.  Bad press will be forgotten, and I know time will heal all hurt feelings.  A good friend once commented, “Who are they to judge you, anyway?”  I try to remember that.  Until I get a letter from Steven King saying I should give up writing, I am going to continue.


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