We all have them, those who surround us sucking the life right out of everything that brings us joy. Sometimes the intentions are good, nevertheless the end result is the same. We feel beaten up, chewed up and spat out. We take a deep sigh and then start anew.
As a writer, I face much the same as my fellow authors living with self-doubt about their work. OK, maybe King, Martin, Roth, and the rest aren’t the least bit shaken, but I think we all live with “Is it good enough?” at some moment in out lives. A writer perseveres and much like a dog, shake those fleas off their backs. What do you do when it seems impossible to keep the naysayers at bay, and keep putting one foot in front of the other? I find I say ‘Uh huh’ a lot. What happens when the significant other doesn’t get it, and complains about the hours you are putting into a useless effort? I hope you are lucky enough not to have one of those suck, suck, let me take your confidence away companions. If you do, how do you handle it? What about the mom who insists you can do better with your life, and that you are wasting your time?
The best friend oooh, now that can get tricky. You need to meet a deadline, self-imposed or otherwise, and they are dangling the carrot with a come hither look. Can you actually do that with a carrot btw? Why is it when you write, that very few of the people who ‘love you best’ don’t get it? They should be cheering you on, and slapping a high-five when the book is finally off to edits, and asking how they can help promote the precious thing that you brought to life. For those of you who have a 100% support group, kudos, however most of us go it alone. Writing is a lonely venture, we are in that canoe all by ourselves with one paddle surrounded by alligators. One slip and bam!
I have learned early on to listen for the a verbal hint of non support, the sigh and the shake of the head, and then I smile and say, “Hey I just finished another book.” Elvis has just left the room.