One of the hardest things to combat as a writer has been the awful voice I sometimes hear when I am about to begin a new writing project, while in the middle of a writing project and when I complete a writing project. Lots of my fellow writers have shared their own experiences of having people say some pretty detracting and distracting things. Outside opinions on one’s journey are welcome when they are of the positive and constructing kind. Otherwise they are not something a writer needs to hear.
Yesterday my spouse and I were getting ready to pull our car out of piles of snow. I was cleaning the roof off and she was shoveling around the tires. A person came down the block and asked if we wanted some advice. We looked at each other, neither us of new to the world, looked at him and decided, no, we weren’t interested. Maybe it was the smarmy look or the slightly arrogant tone. It might have been because he asked my spouse if she were a woman. He said he couldn’t tell because of her cap. Oof. We mostly probably refused his advice because we have All Wheel Drive. He shrugged and we pulled out a couple of minutes later. Like butter.
The thing is that wherever we are there are always people ready to give unwarranted advice. It usually comes in the form of “I know better,” “you don’t have a clue,” and “what you’re doing isn’t good enough.” Many of us have battled negative thinking for years. It took more years of learning to own ourselves by telling our own head committee where it’s at. A friend recently described her committee as a bunch of intellectuals sounding off in her head.
The committee in my head is made up of several different types- you’d never expect them in the same room, let alone around the same table. There’s the arrogant bloke, the little girl sitting with her thumb in her mouth, the teenage girl who is running around trying to please everyone to whatever her detriment and the grey haired lady who says, “Relax, honey, it’s not that bad.” The woman who used to stand wringing her hands waiting for criticism left the committee a long time ago. She resigned her position.
So, now when I hear the creepy little voices in my ear ready to bring down one of my writing endeavors I’ll just say “no, thank you” like we did with the car cleaning expert. The same goes for the voices I hear in my head and the ones outside of it.
How do you rid yourself of unwarranted advice and opinions?