Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG Post – Avoiding Negative Thinking

Sometimes the IWSG topic just drops into my head. At other times I have to think long and hard. You guessed right. It’s the first Wednesday of the month and it’s time for our regular IWSG post. Insecure Writers Support Group, an online group of writers is a monthly hangout place where we writers troubled by a million insecurities discuss our anxieties, worries and writing problems with other writers. Other writers grappling with similar issues and insecurities completely understand us and they support and encourage us to stick to our writing and publishing path, inspite of all the odds stacked against us.

The credit for creating this awesome and inspiring group goes to Ninja Captain, Alex J Cavanaugh (author of the Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars). Check out the IWSG website for loads of useful information.

This month I want to discuss Giving in to Negative Behaviour. I am one of the few writers who has very few writing friends in India. Most of my writing pals are my blog buddies who are spread all over the world. In a way I am glad that I have only online writing pals.

The reason I am saying this is because I met an Indian writer online who I feel has only negative things to say about other writers, editors, publishing houses and the few Indian literary agents.

Every comment she makes is spiked with acid and full of insult. I have realized that she has only derogatory things to say about most of the other writers who have been published. According to her if one doesn’t know commissioning editors personally, one will never get published.

When I brought her behaviour to her notice, she accused me of living inside a protective bubble, a bubble which made me blind to all the politics, shenanigans and other crap that happens to writers. I am not denying that there are all kinds of games being played in publishing houses, where writers friendly with editors get their books published faster than other writers who submit via the slush pile. But, there is something called faith, faith in one’s talent that the slush pile writers must have.

I seriously feel that rejection has reduced her to this bitter state. Instead of working on her next lot of manuscripts, she revels in pulling down writers and even the entire system.

In my case I don’t want to query with a cloud of negativity shrouding me. I believe that good stories will find takers. I would rather follow Roald Dahl’s advice- “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” I believe that my Publishing Fairy Godmother is beside me, scouting around for publishing deals. Call it childishness or stupidity, but I want to believe that there is a bright light at the end of my querying and submitting tunnel. That all my books will sit on many bookshelves one day.

Have you ever met such a negative person in your life? What would your advice to such a person be? 

23 comments:

  1. Yes, some people are really negative in general. I used to work with someone who always had to hate someone at work. It was no fun it was my turn. It's best to try to limit time with these people. Sorry you don't have more writer friends in India.

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  2. The problem of being negative as a writer is, all that negativity is going to be reflected in ones writing and readers are not going to like it. That's a good reason for writers to remain positive, perhaps even essential. But that's a phase and it happens to everyone. I am sure your friend will come out of it soon.

    Destination Infinity

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  3. In addition to what Destination Infinity has said, if a writer is vocally negative about publishers, agents and the industry, those publishers and agents are less likely to want to work with her. I try to be as positive, friendly and open as I can be, especially in places where my future publishers might be able to read it!

    I don't think I've met any very negative people. Perhaps I just repel them by being too positive ;-)

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  4. I think it's good to be realistic but that doesn't mean a person has to be pessimistic. You can look at a problem or an issue for what it is then approach it with as positive an attitude as possible. :)

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  5. I've definitely had people/writers like that in my life. It usually turns out that they don't want to do all the work that's associated with getting published (or being successful in any field for that matter). It's a lot easier to blame the system than take personal responsibility for laziness.

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  6. We're all in this together. I don't understand why some writers have to bash and put down other writers. It's a shame, because we can learn and get so much from each other if we were all just supportive.

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  7. I like Roald Dahl’s advice. Thanks for sharing, Rachna. I wish you luck with all your books!

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  8. Good for you for being so positive! That is what will keep us going and It DOES pay off!

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  9. Wow this person sounds pretty bitter. I think you should limit your time with her. Negativity is contagious. Well, so is positivity, but I think sometimes writers are more vulnerable to others' vibes, so you don't need her view around you. Hmm. On the other hand, this could lead to a story for young people, who are still sorting out who to listen to and who to disregard. :-)

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  10. Yes, keep the faith! Those great stories will get out there. I feel sad for your writer friend. It is nice to have online writer pals. I seem to not have any here in my neck of the woods:)

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  11. Unfortunately, I think we've all run into someone like that. Best to just avoid her. You don't need someone dragging you down. She'll never find the magic.

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  12. It's easy to make excuses and fall into negativity. And negativity is so powerful!! But it's also a choice we make. I choose to be positive.

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  13. The system is tough and flawed, but obviously some unknowns do get published, and make great names for themselves and their publishing houses. You're right, you do have to have faith in that fairy godmother (or wizard or brilliant literary agent). Nothing happens if you don't put in the work, accept constructive feedback, and above all, believe in yourself. Sometimes it takes a long time, and sometimes there is only minor success. But feeling good about your chances is the first step in making it happen.

    Being a writer is no different than anything else a person could choose as a career. Ups downs, good people, negative ones. Life is challenging. True friends support you no matter what.

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  14. Thank Goodness that I keep myself away from negative thinkers as there are so many positives that fill most time! Lovely post and feels good that you think like me:)

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  15. Negativity only hurts yourself. This person is going to have to learn to look at the brighter side of things.

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  16. Hello Rachna, I do know such people! I used to be one of them actually, long enough to open a club and be the president of it. But I found out that it's all a very poor attempt to justify that we just don't want to try any further. It's easier to blame others than to confront ourselves in the pursuit of our dreams, you know. Now that I know this, I make my best effort in not wasting time in negative thoughts. Life is precious and time wasted whining never comes back. Dragon Hugs!

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  17. I like the idea of a Publishing Fairy Godmother:) Hope she stays near.

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  18. I'm sorry you've encountered such a person. I think her mistake has been in taking rejection personally and instead of using it to redouble her efforts, she has let it suck her into bitterness. Sad that she wouldn't listen when you tried to reach out too.

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  19. I have a rule: Avoid toxic people. Best leave this one alone.

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  20. This not only goes for the writing community, but life in general. Everybody had their bad days, and everybody sometimes complains, but who wants to listen to that all the time? It just brings you down.

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  21. I just make sure to put out more positive thinking and in the end it overwhelms any negatives:) Kill them with kindness;)

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  22. Such people are there, Rachna. ... Not just in the field of publishing but many others too. Just as there are rights, there are wrongs too. Just as there are good people, there are bad too.

    It's our choice whom to focus on. The more practical approach would be to be to focus on the good and paths ahead, even while being conscious of the traps and dangers.

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  23. Oh yes! I have known some really negative people. My personal philosophy is that being negative not only achieves nothing, it makes the person spewing the negativity feel worse. It is a pointless activity, other than brief, occasional vents, after which you quickly move on to more productive activities.

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