Monday, January 04, 2021

How Writers Can Vanquish Negativity

Writing is a hard game to be in at the best of times, and more often than not you're going to get unkind or negative comments or reviews.  Negativity is the last thing you want to show up in your writing, so keeping yourself neutral and away from any kind of negativity can be really difficult.

External voices should be carefully filtered when it comes to writing, allowing them into your life can really make you feel low.

Even though writing communities are considered a good thing these days, it's like most things in life, any community you decide to join should be carefully vetted, for excessive cases of negativity.

Which is why it's important to use your own judgement when approaching this kind of group, because  not all groups are created equal.  You may also end up in a group filled with envy and bad information, which is a recipe for disaster.  Best advice is to tread carefully, and don't show your cards too soon.

Perseverance Pays

If you give up you'll never know your true potential as a writer, or how your work has made a difference to anybody's life.  The more you write the stronger your writing voice will get and improve, and will help you to become desensitised to the painful business that is writing. 

Protect Your Work

As soon as you decide you want to pursue writing your brain should be focused on protecting your work at all costs.  This includes letting slip any planned projects you may have to your friends and family.  Any well-intentioned comments may injure your sense of purpose, thwarting your writing for days or even weeks.  

Comments are Nonsense

Once you've been published and people start realising that you're in it for the long haul, brush aside comments from non-writers and think of them as poppycock.  Unless your commenters are writers how can they know the struggles and pain you've been through to get published.  You may find you have people in your life that are trying to sabotage your dreams and confidence.  This is where you don't tell them anything, and avoid talking about your writing at all costs.  This could also be a good indicator that your friend isn't such a good one after all and you should consider spending less time with them. 

Worries and Negativity Don't Go Away

Even when you have the contract in your hand ready to sign with a publishing house you'll discover a new set of anxieties and worries of being able to write under this kind of pressure.  

So here are some tips for persisting and prospering after you've been published.

Stay Away from Negative Reviews

Every writer will at some point receive reviews that are unpleasant and very often unkind, or even uncalled for.  And reviews can really cut-to-the-bone and stay with you for years.  You don't want to hold onto that kind of negativity because it will haunt your writing career.  If you can get someone close to you, a family member or friend to read out the good stuff and leave the bad stuff behind.

Better still collect your good comments and put them somewhere you can look at when you're feeling low or have writer's block.  You might want to make a scrapbook or a document file, and keep it close by for the times when you really need a confidence boost.

Identify Your Triggers

Start making notes about the things that make you feel inferior or an underachiever.  Also look at what makes you feel more confident, and what builds you up.

Ask yourself what your definition of success is.  You don't need to wrap yourself up in cotton wool, but being aware of things will help you get through the tough times.  You might have a completely different definition of success to me, but always go with what you feel is right for you.  Because whatever is right for you may be totally wrong for the next person.

Everybody's Different, So Don't Compare Yourself With Other Writers

Clean and polished on the outside doesn't necessarily equal happiness or a good writer.  It just means someone likes to give the appearance of knowing what they're doing.  For all you know they could be screaming on the inside. 

The writing industry is probably one of the hardest industries to break-into properly, and it's also one which requires a pound of flesh as payment.  

Every writer struggles at some point and you're no exception, but you're not alone.  It's good to remember you're in it for the long game, and it might take a while to get to the top or where you want to be as a writer.  But remember the time it takes is shaping your work and making you a better writer.

Abundance and Opportunity

With the invention of the internet, opportunity has come along for writer's like me who want to see what it's like to have a book in print without the trappings of a publishing house and the chains that come with it.  I have used Kindle Direct Publishing for quite a few years now to publish my books and ebooks, and feel very fortunate to be able to do it so freely.  Yes there are rules and regulations to follow, but the freedom of being able to put something in paperback form or digital is just an extraordinary advantage I never had before.  And one that people should try even if they've never written a book before. 

Authors shouldn't see each other as competitors or rivals, but rather as colleagues.  If someone likes your work they'll start looking for more things to read, and that's the start of a loyal fanbase.

On the positive side look at what you've achieved as a writer and build on that.  Negativity isn't worth your time and should be kept at arm's length.

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Read more:

How to Prepare Yourself as a Writer

How to Accept Your Writing Anxiety, and Spend Time on the Craft

Why All Writers Should Set Goals

How to Overcome Your Writing Fear With Mind Games

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