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Naysayers Can Bite Me: Encouragement for Writers

Bite Me T-shirt Jeannie M Bushnell
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Bite Me T-shirt Jeannie M BushnellI cannot tell you how much I love this shirt. It glows in the dark, too!

 

It isn’t always a lack of motivation that prevents us from accomplishing our goals. I have witnessed too many people give up on a dream because they had no one in their life to offer support and encouragement. Our personal relationships have a profound impact on what we accomplish, as well as what we perceive we can achieve.

Throughout my education, I was fortunate to be surrounded by teachers and friends who supported my efforts and encouraged me to pursue my writing ambitions. Adult friends and acquaintances have been a different experience. Sadly, many people see writing a book as a fanciful task, an unnecessary self-appointed employment. Unfortunately, some of those very same high school friends who were once so supportive are now silent. I’ve found the silence to be the most hurtful.

I should not have been surprised, for as an entrepreneur I’ve encountered the wall of silence before. While business start-ups are no less personal, the endeavor to write is the most personal of all. I wasn’t prepared to hear crickets from friends who I have known and supported throughout different stages in their lives. I believe in being a cheerleader for my friends, and I expect the same in return.

I can only guess why I haven’t heard squeals of joy from the people who have chosen to be silent. I know some people are shocked that my first book is in the romance genre, and since they don’t read that genre, they are at a loss for words. Some people are very indifferent to the success of others, and then there are those who feel they do not need to expend valuable energy on another person.

It is no easy task to write a book. It requires commitment, sacrifice, and persistent effort. Writers who finish a book do so because they are forced to continue; they are driven to scratch the compelling itch. Many people do not feel this passion for their work every day. People go to work and do what is required of them as they count down the minutes until they can return home or resume the activities that give them pleasure. Writers, often feeling as though they are having too much fun, enjoy the work they are passionate about completing.

As creative writers, we must learn to destroy the inner voice of defeat and ignore the critical naysayers that surround us. Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not encouraging you to surround yourself with “yes” robots who tell you everything you produce is amazing. Everyone needs helpful critical feedback!  However, we don’t need to listen to the voices that predict failure even before we’ve attempted to succeed. Whether they are scared we’ll be successful and leave them behind, or they are attempting to protect us from failure or criticism, their reasons are their own, and we must learn to ignore them.

I’ve worked in animal rescue my entire adult life. Some people have horrific hobbies that center around abuse, torture, neglect, and death. If someone tells me they are doing anything that doesn’t involve the maiming, torturing, or killing of another living being, I take it as my personal duty to throw a hand on their back in praise and encourage them to go for it. It may sound silly, but it truly can make all the difference in someone’s world. We cannot afford to be stingy with loving support.

It takes nothing to give another person a supportive nod and encourage them toward their dreams. If there is a cost, in the form of a stamp or a phone call, it is minimal, but for most, there is no cost. Shouldn’t everyone be encouraged to do more, be more, and achieve greater things?

If we cannot find the encouragement we need within our circle of family and friends, we must go in search of new people who will be supportive of our creative efforts.  Seek out others who not only share your excitement, but are staunchly standing on your side of the bleachers cheering you on. These like-minded individuals will have a keen understanding of what you are going through, and they are more likely to give you the type of support you need. Cherish these positive people, and surround yourself with them. Pay the kindness forward, as someone else is in need of the encouragement you crave.

“You need so much energy and encouragement to write that if someone says something negative, some of that energy goes.”

-Joyce Carol Oates


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11 thoughts on “Naysayers Can Bite Me: Encouragement for Writers

  1. I cherish a few special words from a few reviews. I can think of no one in my circle of family or friends who is excited about my writing. I have stopped talking about it around them, or at least I try to. I am having a severe case of the doldrums complicated by my private life. It’s kind of rough right now. Still the next story is in my mind all the time. And I am constantly looking for cover inspiration, so I know I’m not through.

    I’ve seen you around. Maybe facebook or Pinterest. Thanks for stopping by my page.

    1. As a reader (lurker) of your blog, I am a fan of your writing. Your friends and family are truly missing out on a witty and talented writer. As someone who tends to read and admire from afar and remain silent, you are encouraging me to step forward with my admiration.

      You make an excellent point; we must hold tight to the expressed appreciation we receive. Those supportive acts do keep us moving on and pushing forward. Mourning the loss of encouragement from others is a waste of time and is insulting to those who do care. Unfortunately, the logic doesn’t make it any less hurtful. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience, Virginia.

      🙂 I follow you on Pinterest and share your love of all things redhead. Sisters of the flame must stand together.

  2. Love this post! Couldn’t have said it better myself! Oh, and I want that Tshirt, lol 🙂 Seriously, I am living that now. In my long journey of writing my book and almost launching it, I have discovered that it has been me, myself and I, and gratefully my cyber friends only who give a damn. I was floored to discover that nobody asks questions, knows what work is involved or calls! This year has taught me more than publishing. I just couldn’t imagine having a friend write a book and not being curious enough to even check in to her website to see the book cover or read a synopsis. Life’s lessons my friend! 🙂

    1. Thank you for providing your experience, DG!

      I, like you, am finding that other indie writers are the best sources of encouragement and support for us. Hearing from writers like you and Virginia is both heartbreaking and encouraging. A similar thread runs through our experiences, and it propels me to keep discovering and supporting others who share our drive and passion.

      If a kind word or a supportive push can prevent someone from abandoning their dreams or even their life, can any of us afford to deny another such a simple act? Our actions snowball and have a profound effect on those around us. We can never truly understand or know the impact we have on another.

      We’re all a little broken, and we can choose to either be the glue or a hammer when we speak and act toward another. It is a choice.

      I choose to be the glue, and I’m already stuck on you, D.G.! 🙂

      1. You know Jeannie, they say we meet people for reasons! I’m so happy we connected amongst many reasons I’m sure, we share the same philosophy. It is not enough to be just a writer in this day and age, we are now business managers, promoters, interacters and marketers. We must wear many hats to stay on top in this business. I have met some wonderful people on this journey through following many publications, doors have opened. Every once in awhile we meet someone extra special and I’m glad we connected! 🙂 If nobody paid it forward, we would have had no guidance! I post things on life and some poetry I write on my website, but I also post useful information I like to pass on to other Indies who may find themselves lost in a sea of information and need a helping hand.:)
        PS. Check your spam once in awhile, I am finding with some of my blogging pals, my comments aren’t showing up :(. WordPress does strange things I think as punishment for leaving them! 🙂

  3. I find that writers have a depth to them that many don’t possess. You are gifted with not only that depth, but also insight; it will take you far…
    I am honored to have met you…

    1. I’m so touched by your sweet words. Thank you, Amber! I know that you are very supportive of other writers, and you believe in the power of paying it forward. My talented friend, I appreciate you.

  4. This just popped out at me. Thank you. Truly truly when I needed it.

    1. Music to my ears, Virginia! Thank you.

  5. I like it! This can help my in my 2014 aim.

    1. 🙂 I’m glad to hear you find it helpful. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. All the best to you!

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