It’s time I started to avoid the self-sabotaging habits of visiting certain writers’ forums and blogs.
There are a few blogs I read that I find helpful and inspirational, even motivational, but there are also a number of blogs I’ve had to quit reading altogether. One makes me mad every time I read it, one disappoints me, a few more just leave me feeling disheartened when I read them—I face reality every day and I completely agree that writing is hard work and you have to be willing to put in so much more than you’re going to get back to start with, but the constant refrain of “if you don’t do this, you have no chance of success” annoys me when I clearly don’t do “this” and yet am not a failure.
I guess what I’m saying is that I didn’t realize so many writers were assholes. :D I’m not sure I like having found that out, and I definitely don’t feel like reminding myself of that every time I open a web browser.
Several forums make me feel the same.
Maybe a better way to explain it is that reading these forums and blogs on a regular basis sucks the creative energy right out of me. I lose my enthusiasm for my stories, for writing, for creating. These places make me feel all tangled up inside. I want to spend time with other writers, but I really don’t want to spend time with people I don’t like. That makes it sound like I don’t like most of the people I’ve met on forums and through blogs, but that’s not true. Not true at all. But I find being around people I don’t like so destructive that it completely overwhelms the joy I get from being around people I do like.
I don’t know why. I’m sure there are lots of writers who enjoy these places and receive more energy from these places than they lose, but that’s not me. Interacting even with people I like takes a lot of energy from me. Putting myself in the position of interacting with people I don’t like? It’s starting to feel a bit self-destructive, tbh.
I’ve become a conflict junkie. I don’t create it or participate, but I find myself drawn to those threads and those blog posts, reading about how horrible all writers are for not caring about this or that—or readers. Good Lord, am I tired of that one! I am a reader. I care about readers. I just chose to care mostly about the things that I as a reader would care about and that’s not the things that some of these other people care about—obviously—but my reader concerns (and therefore writer concerns) are apparently wrong.
Anyway, didn’t mean to go there, but maybe you’re getting the point here. I need to get away from that stuff.
I need contact with other writers, and I’m not sure how I’m going to get it, but I’ll have to figure something else out.
I need to spend more time reading good fiction (without discovering how much I just don’t like some of the authors of some of that good stuff because it completely ruins the reading experience for me). I need to spend more time reading and re-reading good craft and writing life books. I need to spend more time learning new things because this inspires my creativity like almost nothing else.
Now, this has made me almost an hour late getting started on my writing today so I’ve got to wrap it up.
Finally, here are some blogs that I still love.
- J.A. Konrath’s blog (lots of conflict but his stuff is different because he’s so inspiring)
- Hugh Howey’s blog (such a positive person that his posts are easy to read and enjoy)
- Dean Wesley Smith’s blog (sometimes abrasive but inspiring and very helpful and friendly when you have real questions)
- I’m sure there are more but I can’t think of them—the pressure! I’m in a hurry to get writing before this post starts eating into my second hour of writing time! :D