About – Etienne Robert

‘Learn what it is to be taken seriously, and laugh at the rest.’
-Herman Hesse

Everything, for me, begins with a sentence. Pick any one of my stories and I can pinpoint the exact sentence that has inspired it. And then, he just walked out to sea. – The gutters is where some of us sleep, my dear.Like that time I woke up in a bag of chips… And, in the same way, my becoming a productive writer begins with a sentence. A Modus Operandi, if you will.

Be that person for yourself.

The beauty of a sentence is that, on its own, it is weak. Only through a very specific lens is it allowed to take on its full dimensions, bloom with the full spectrum of its colours, become timeless. If everything, for me, begins with a sentence, it is because I, myself am a sentence. Weak, uni-dimensional, monochromatic. And my mistake, my weakness, has always been that I have waited for someone else to see me, to discover me, to possess the specific lens that would allow me to blossom. Someone to come along and glance through the looking glass at my inner-world and judge it worthy of expression.

It is somewhat of a contradiction that I should, on the one hand, be independent to a fault, and thus solution driven, and thus auto-didactic; and on the other hand, feel disempowered by the lack of outer-support. I am, in truth, ashamed that it would have taken me so long to realise that, I, myself, have been in possession of this metaphorical looking glass all along. Ashamed that I should have ever thought that this looking glass into my creative soul would, could or should be wielded by someone else.

In the end, all I needed was one sentence to empower myself. One weakly, insignificant sentence. Be that person for yourself. Be your own patron. Be the person excited at a new story concept. Be your number one fan. Be your number one critic. Be the person that believes in yourself. Be the one who cracks the whip. Be the one who is empathetic. Be the one who is unyielding. Be the one who does the research. Be the one who finds the right word. Be the one who takes you, that is to say me, seriously.

Learn what it is to be taken seriously, and laugh at the rest.

Perhaps, like me, when you read this quote for the first time, you immediately thought of that person or those persons in your life that take you seriously. But, studied through another lens, another looking glass, this sentence can also be taken reflexively. Over time, I have learned what it is to be taken seriously, to have my ideas taken seriously, to have my sentences taken seriously. Taken seriously by me. And so now I write. And so now I laugh.

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