The Writer’s Wheel 7/19/2020: How Others Tend to Make You Feel Bad About Your Writing
Do others, meaning well, tend to make you feel bad about your writing? As if it’s just such a small thing. That it couldn’t possibly mean much to you. How do you push aside their unsupportiveness and keep at what you love even if there’s never a reward?
They may think they’re helping you by asking you about your writing. However, when you tend to talk about it there comes the blank stare and their quick to change the subject. Or they act as though it doesn’t matter. That’ll never be a big deal. In truth, they may be trying to spare you some hurt. But it’s hard to do that in this business.
The thick skin has to grow in place. They don’t realize that they’re helping that with their disinterest. Non-writers can’t know what it’s like to lay word after word down, hoping, praying for the best story that you can manage. And each draft you work to do better. The repetition teaches you as you go along. You search for just the right word. Fiddle with each sentence to perfection.
Another well-wisher. They think you’re spending too much time by yourself. That you need that night out. Heck that week-long vacation. They think you’re missing out on life. That nothing can mean that much to you. That it can’t be as precious as your children, your spouse, your extended family, them. They don’t understand when you cancel. When you postpone things all in the name of a deadline.
They want your time. Just as they always had before. Before you discovered the sun, moon, and stars in your writing. Before your characters took root in your conscious. The page sang its tune to you. I’m not saying it’s not good to spend time with the people you care about. However, if your writing’s important to you, don’t be guilty about spending time with it as well.
People You Barely Know.
Who think they have the right to tell you what to do in life? Teachers who say you couldn’t possibly amount to anything. Bosses who took advantage of you. Exes. And their family. You work hard to keep their condescending tone from dropping in on you. So, what if they thought they were psychic. Or above it all. They didn’t know you. Who’d you’d become. What you’d do with your life. No one can predict your path. Only you.
The truth is some people are petty and jealous. They aren’t satisfied with their lives, so they stomp on yours to make them feel better. Don’t let them. Stay strong. Ignore those at parties who roll their eyes at “another writer,” as if it’s the worst job imaginable. Believe me, I’ve worked some of those and it’s not even close.
Writing is fun. Educating. Adventurous. Fulfilling. Relaxing. Suspenseful. Terrifying. Rewarding. Beating back the darkness. It’s all this and more. That’s why others can’t understand how a story comes about. They don’t get the mystery and luck and revising to get it to the point where you can shout, “That’s it.” Although, probably not in public, lol.
The point is: don’t let someone steal your dreams. They belong to you. You’re meant to grow them into something bigger. Bolder. A galaxy far, far away would never have taken off if George Lucas had set aside his dreams. If he hadn’t worked at it. Neither would any of the other stories people love. Yes, they may not get the work but the end result, they can see is spectacular.
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