Sometimes as a writer, it’s easy to be negative. It’s easy to let the tide of bad news, of rejection, of endless wait times to hear back on projects you or your agent has pitched – all that stuff, get to you. There are days when I read a review that can make me totally miserable, even when I get two really good ones the same day. There are times I wonder why the heck I’ve chosen a path that involves so much exposure to criticism, LOL. It can get you down, no matter how positive a person you are – everyone has a limit to what they can take.
I’ve noticed, over the years, that some can shake it after allowing for a brief wallow, while others wear negativity and bitterness like a scarf or piece of jewelry.
I’m not pollyanna, I promise. This business gets me down too. Earlier this year I was incredibly unhappy and frustrated with the pace of progress with my writing. It’s easy to let that affect your writing, your pace, your schedule.
At the same time, it’s like the flu – when you wear your bitterness like skin, you infect everyone you touch. Bitterness and negativity do not solve anything. They don’t make things better, in fact, they make them worse not only for you, but for everyone around you.
For instance, on a loop I used to enjoy quite a bit, there’s now a group of authors who simply hate everything. One hates agents, one hates ebooks, one hates the biz in general. So when any negative spin on any subject come up, they’re on it, responding to it one by one until the entire loop drips with negativity. It’s turned a pretty interesting discussion loop into a loop I avoid because I can’t take hearing Author A complain bitterly about agents one more second. I don’t want to infect my day when Author B starts to complain that digital publishing is the reason for piracy. I don’t want a snootfull of toxic, nasty complaints every damned time I turn the computer on.
In the end, if you hate agents, don’t have one. But please don’t assume your perspective is the only one. Also, please don’t assume that spilling the poisonous hate you feel for agents all over everyone else actually *solves* anything. It does not. In the end, if you hate digital publishing, good luck on that – it’s unavoidable, even for NY these days, but you know, if you feel that strongly, I do wish you and your agent luck on keeping it out of your contract. If you hate Facebook, stay off it. If you hate Twitter, stay off it. If you hate blogs, don’t have one, etc.
Bitterness and Negativity are absolutely useless – in an active sense. It travels from your mouth or keyboard to everyone in your vicinity until it totally turns a group toxic and that’s fucked up and selfish. Deal with your shit, but don’t fling it all over the rest of us.
Negativity will not make you a better writer. It won’t make you more friends. It won’t help your career. There is nothing positive about it (pun intended). Shake it off. Make that choice to reject it. Have your wallow and move on. Because if you were so happy with your choices, as you tell everyone every three posts, with your choice not to do XYZ, you don’t have to repeat it in such a negative way. Over and over.