BLUF: Writer Toxicity
Not to end the week on a down note, buuuuut....
No, seriously, I hope this empowers you to act if you find yourself in a similar situation.
As humans, we have too much toxicity (especially in 2020). We don't need that in our writing lives. There are plenty of writers who will tear you down (you probably already know some), and they'll work extra hard the more successful you are. Ambitious people frighten those who aim to be mediocre.
If you find you're surrounded by toxic writers, no matter who they are, separate yourself.
If you are in a community that does not support EQUALLY, leave it.
If your ambitions and success intimidate other writers in your circles, remove them (or yourself from them).
I belong to a group of writers who aren't interested in the market trends and who still think publishing is all about getting an agent and a 6-figure advance from a 'big house.' This is a group that has members who still think Amazon chooses your covers for you and that an author with an agent and small house book deal will sell more than an Indie because of those single two factors--even when they are shown data that contradicts their outdated perspective of the publishing industry. This group does not celebrate those who outpace the rest of the group, but will trumpet mediocrity.
They are a drag on my entrepreneurial and creative spirit.
This group is a drag on me and has been for a long time.
Today, I decided I'm going check out from them because I've given them a lot (too much) of my time and lessons learned & the ROI just isn't there. I respect myself and the knowledge I've gained about publishing, the thousands of dollars I've spent learning and improving my craft, and the years of sweat, blood, and tears I've sacrificed too much to give-give-give and get nothing in return except for passive-aggressive platitudes.
This isn't exclusive to the writing life, but this is a writer's group, so we'll keep it focused on that.
I'm not frustrated or pissed. I'm just moving on.
Who is dragging you back from reaching your writing goals, and how long are you willing to allow them to continue doing that? (You are responsible for letting people treat you, and your ambitions, they way they do.)
Originally Published: October 2020