Monday, August 15, 2011

Blocking Out the Meanies and Kill-Joys

*Block out the negative…block OUT the negative…block out the negative….*

Seems like I've been doing a lot of that in my life recently--saying that mantra over and over again, in many parts of my job and personal life.   So what type of negativity am I pushing out exactly?  Constructive criticism?  No.  Not that. I need that.  In fact, I LIKE constructive criticism.  It's hard to hear sometimes, but I take that over just plain ole meanness any day.  I guess what I'm talking about are the negative attitudes, thoughts and comments of certain people in my life, that seem to pop out to ruin a good thing at the worst possible moments.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not expecting all things to be rosy and perfect.  That would just be delusional.  But I don't want the 'You can't do that(s)', the 'you shouldn't try that(s)', the 'why would you ever think of doing that(s)', and the 'what the hell did you write about this for(s)' kind of people in my life anymore.  And I'm especially done with people who think everything in life is a competition and it's all about "winning".  I'm not going to fight and try to claw the eyes out of these people anymore--even if they keep trying to do it to me.  I'm just done.  I'm turning my back and walking away…

What caused me to have this sudden clarifying moment and set me off on this tangent?  Well, other than the  fever of 102 degrees I had this weekend, I think part of it was a not so pleasant encounter last Friday evening, as well as looking back over my blog posts. I was trying to pin point why, after all these years, I am still letting fear get the best of me--not only in my writing, but in other parts of my life as well.  But, for purposes of this post I will focus on the writing.  (For now anyways.)  I mean what am I so scared of?  That someone might not like what I write?  Big deal.  As someone mentioned to me late last week, I'm writing for me. If other people like it, great. But isn't it most important that I like it first?  I think the answer to that question is yes.  As writers, isn't is just as important that we have worked our butts off, done the best job we know how to do, and like what we've written at the end?  Shouldn't we be proud of ourselves for what has been accomplished?  Even if it might not be publishing quality, or everyone's cup of tea, what was initially set out to be done was, well...not to sound repetitive, but..done!!  I mean, sure everyone wants to be published and have our books and stories read and bought.  But if we think its crap, well it's not going to really matter what anyone else thinks at the end of the day.   Is it?

So along that line of reasoning, if I, as the writer LIKE what I've created, I should be proud to let someone else read it.  Why should I continue to let other people's negativity and non-support stop me from realizing my dreams?  Why do I continue to let them win? I wrote something I am proud of.  Not everyone will like it. But I do.  And if someone has constructive criticism, I welcome it. But I am astute enough to tell the difference between constructive criticism and negativity.  So if it's just going to be a bunch of mean-spiritedness (okay, not a word, but you get the idea!) and kill-joys raining on my damn parade, well, guess what? I've got an umbrella this time.   

Therefore, I am adding a new rule to apply to both my writing, and non-writing life (though really the two are hard to separate lately!) :

Block out the negative, the mean, the "I always have to win" and the "all about me" kind of people around me. When I see it, or feel it, I'm gone.  That simple. I just can't keep giving bits of myself, both professionally and personally, away to people who don't have any appreciation, respect or common courtesy for me.  I want people around me who appreciate what I do and who I am, who respect me, and who don't take me for granted.  Life is just too short to allow for anything else.  I don't want yes-people around, or people who are just going to tell me what I want to hear.  That is NOT what I am saying, and if that is the message I am sending, I need to seriously revise this post. What I want are people around who I can rely on, people who I can trust.  Those people will be the ones to be honest, whether I want to hear it or not, and the people who will support me no matter what, all at the same time.  Those people won't be mean just to be mean, or hurtful just to be hurtful, or just, in general, ruin my good vibe!  It won't be easy, I know that. And I may be a little bit miserable as I purge the negative, but I am confident it will be worth it in the end.   After all, change is good….Right? 


  1. Great post. I just finished reading The Artist Way by Julia Cameron in which she talks about the negative folks. Those who try to kill our momentum. They are toxic and you really do have to block them out, walk away, not even talk to them about writing. Seek out the positive folks and share with them. I'm the eternal optimist and stay as far away from negative people as I can get. Stick with us row80 folks. You'll get plenty of positive feedback and support. :)

  2. Yes, I am keeping them as FAR away as possible and what a difference it has already made. I just feel...well lighter and more comfortable in my own skin!! Also, thanks for the mention of that book--I already added it to my list to read!