Perhaps this post is just for me. It happens sometimes where you have several ideas rolling about in your head, but that one you keep ignoring keeps fighting until you submit. What’s been nagging at me is the fact that I can’t receive positive feedback. Calm down, I can hear your eye rolls but hear me out.
Recently I had my evaluation at work. Nothing special just a job I’ve been at for the past nineteen years. There’s never been an issue performance wise, in honesty I wanted to speed through so I could get back to work and go home. This year we have a new president at our job and a new manager. We went through the whole rigmarole before the part came to manager notes and president notes. Usually it’s nothing other than keep working hard. On this occasion I got rave reviews on my work ethic from my manager and the president who I only met three times. I was, for the first time in my life, finally able to accurately emote being gobsmacked.
But in spite of that I sat there and said “Oh, okay…can I go back to work?” I kicked myself later for not letting a bit more gratitude show. Afterwards though I looked back at my life and realize I usually default to not accepting the darn compliment or believing something good is going to come.
So what the heck does this have to do with writing? When you put yourself out there you leave yourself open to rejection, to hurt, to negativity. I think any writer or creative person you have to build up a thick skin, to portray that everything is fine when in actuality you want to scream or cry. I spent several years trying to get my book Beyond Here traditionally published. There were a lot of times where I questioned the purpose of writing. Through all the rejection it was hard to hear that it was worth putting it out into the world. All I heard was the negative and my thick skin wouldn’t allow any praise to come through.
What I’m trying to say is: keep going. Roadblocks and tribulations will come, but along the way there are paths of stability to give you respite. Breathe in these times. Take it all in. Don’t allow your tough skin to push you out of the life you want, from creating what you were meant to create. Taking in that positive feedback here and then can be that spark to light your way when things seem dark. Just keep going and trust in you.
Until next time have a writeous day!
Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or building the inkslayer army you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. You can read his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem, along with a few projects with his other daughter. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.