Are The Writing Bullies Defeating You?
Adults can have bullies in their lives too. Adult bullies usually feel threatened by the success of others and use words to try to control the threat. Do you have a writing bully? Have you let your writing bully defeat you so that you have given up before finishing your book?
Maybe your bully doesn’t want you to be a successful writer (or successful at—–you fill in the blank), so they say things like:
“Why don’t you just give up and get a real job?”
“You’ll never make it as a writer. There are too many writers.”
“How many times have you been rejected now?”
“Aren’t you finished with that book yet?”
“You’re not a real writer if you self-publish.”
“Self-published books are all poorly written.”
“When are you going to get a real publisher?”
Have you ever wished you could just reach deep inside you and magically zap someone into silence? You can. Well, maybe not magically, but you can reach inside yourself and find the strength to stand against the writing bully. How?
If you are only happy when you are able to write on a regular basis, then you have to make yourself reject the idea that you are not a “real writer,” no matter who is trying to destroy your confidence.
If you are writing, then you are a writer.
Maybe you aren’t writing. Why?
Make a list of the things that keep you from writing. Maybe your list will look something like this:
Why I Don’t Write
What if my story is no good?
What if I never finish it?
I’ll write later.
Time to check my e-mail.
Time to Twitter.
I want to read someone else’s book right now.
I’m too tired!
What if no one likes my book?
Just one Plants and Zombies game.
Just one game of Snood.
I don’t have time.
My husband, (wife, daughter, baby, whoever) wants my attention.
Now, think of the worse case scenario for each of the above. Now think of the best case scenario for each. Now write down what you will do to combat each thing on the list.
Second, know why you are writing. Sit down and make a list of all the reasons you write. Put down everything that comes to mind.
Your list might look something like mine–or not.
Why I Write
To be creative
To prove I can
To live in a world with magic
To live in dreams
To build a world
To see what my characters are up to
To find something
To stop something
To uncage my dreams
To make it real
To get even (Don’t ask!)
To climb a ladder
To be someone else (for a while)
To make money (Bhwa Ha Ha Ha!)
How important is it for you to write? Writing bullies only have power over you if you let them. Don’t let them win.
What about the Writing Police? Those that lay down rules for writing? That’s a topic for another day.