Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Five Biggest Bullies for Writers



Ever try to put your finger on the five greatest culprits of your career? Recently I did.
Here’s what I came up with regarding my vocation…

Taunting Tom
Taunting Tom is the voice in your head siphoning all the goodies. Tom tells you you can’t write for squat. He rattles on about your ineptitude until you’re tempted to start believing him.

Tell Tom to take a take it out on someone who’s willing to believe him. You’re done.

Pseudo Sue
Pseudo Sue’s greatest desire is to convince you to become like all the authors you admire. To morph into everyone but yourself. Sue encourages you to not just practice writing like them—to actually try to pattern your style, your writing voice after them. Meanwhile, Sue is robbing you of the most valuable gift writing offers—finding yourself in your words.

Send Sue sailing on the winds of change.

By the Book Barbara
Barbara is that gnat in your ear reminding you to cross all your Ts and dot all your Is. She’s stifling your inspiration with her musts and have-to lists. Coiling around you like a python, By the Book Barbara chokes your creative connection to the world around you. There is no one way.

Buy Barbara a one way ticket to Bye-Bye Ville.

Computer Crash Cal
Pulling out the big guns now. As a writer, nothing puts an abrupt squeeze on your lungs as fast as that little blinking cursor at the upper left hand corner of your all black screen. Dead. Gone to pasture. Cal is dying to gobble up your latest WIP faster than Cookie Monster and his flying cookies. Speaking of cookies…

One way to cut Cal off at the knees is to back that thing up.

Look a Rabbit Rebecca
She’s always there with a smile and a great story. And for some reason she always wants to share. Problem is, one thing leads to another, then another, then another… The rabbit trail is looking more and more like that curlicue path from the Candy Land board game every day. She means well. You mean well.

But Rebecca is robbing you of your most precious commodity—time.

So whether she comes in the form of good, but not great ideas, babbling acquaintances, or your own novel tripping along one rabbit hole after another, I’m here to encourage you to redirect Rebecca. So you can move on and “go confidently in the direction of your dreams” (thanks again Thoreau…I keep quoting you lately).

Can you think of any big bullies you’ve encountered when it comes to your vocation? How did you simmer, silence, or solve (I’m all about alliteration today) the bully issue?

*photo by stock.XCHNG
**
I’ve been having a blast featuring books written by some close friends of mine. Dani Pettrey’s book Shattered has gotten stellar reviews. Check it out!

20 comments:

  1. Lately my problem has been Taunting Tom--feeling like book one was a fluke and book two is a mess. :) But I guess the best way to silence the taunts is to replace them with truth...truth like God is faithful and doesn't lead us halfway down a path just to abandon us there. He is my help. :)

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    1. Staying with my alliteration kick today, Tom is no Tom Thumb for me. He's Towering Tom in my head. I fight him constantly. But I've got a jujitsu spiritual master. Good thing.

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  2. Love your descriptions, Wendy! I often have trouble with By the Book Barbara...trying to remember all the stuff I'm supposed to do, and getting overwhelmed by it. This is especially UNHELPFUL in the rough drafting phase, because I don't get far if I let my internal editor take over like that.

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    1. I think I kicked Barbara out long ago. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't invited her back in more often. ;-)

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  3. I've learned how to put Rabbit Rebecca on a timer! LOL But really, I did. At first, I felt bad but now not so much.

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    1. Shh...be vewy quiet, we're hunting rabbits. Together, we'll slam the buzzer on her when she rambles. I don't feel her pain either. I get so much more done with her muzzled.

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  4. Oh, dear, I have trouble with all these pesky little dickenses! Lately my biggest bully has been Distracting Dora--in the form of old movies, especially.

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    1. Wondering which old movies in particular? My kids are good at posing as DD.

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  5. Oh man, I'm struggling with so many of those bullies! Must...resist! Thanks for this post. It's a good reminder. :)

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    1. No problem. I write it b/c I've been there in some way or another. Glad it served as a reminder. (For me too.)

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  6. Wonderfully witty post, Wendy. All of these bullies can get the best of me at times. There are even days they gang up. Thank goodness for supportive friends. :-)

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    1. You brought the alliteration, Keli, nice! Yep, I totally get the gang up days. Supportive friends rock my world. You're in there.

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  7. By the Book Barbara has been my big enemy these last several months. I had to do a lot of thinking and praying to get past it, and it was great to find a solution that I hope will stick :)

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    1. Pumped about your rekindled passion! Rooting you on all the way.

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  8. Did you make those up! Too cute. :-)Yes, lots of bullies in my writing. Grrrrr.

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    1. All by my lonesome. We'll be like the kids from the Superbowl commercial & show 'em how the game is really played!

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  9. I think I've met all of these bullies. You did a good job covering them.

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    1. Thanks Susan! Featuring your book today. Look up to the latest post.

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  10. I've struggled with all of these bullies at one time or another. Sometimes I've even dealt with a combination of them. What I've discovered is that I can conquer my bullies with a lot of ignoring. I have to shut out the sounds Taunting Tom and especially Barbara when I feel it just HAVE to do it a certain way. I am learning to embrace my writing style and squelch the doubts that often creep in. Thank you for recognizing that we all struggle with these bullies but it's overcoming them that makes us even stronger!

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    1. Welcome Syrone!

      I deal with the combo often. I end up having to silence them one at a time. There's nothing more rewarding than learning to accept and appreciate your own writing style. I'm glad you're learning to embrace yours!

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