Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When Writers are Disappointed

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted. And usually, regardless of what’s going on in personal life, I always either post an update or at least put together a weekly mash-up of writing posts on Fridays.
During these last two weeks of what I’ll simply refer to lovingly as ‘life at its best’, I have been tested and pushed to my absolute max. I literally feel as though I’ve been beaten, shattered, shaken, and stirred. At first it was all about the balance between the home life, the writing life, the professional/career/dayjob, and time with myself. But boy does life know how to throw the most wicked screwball in your direction. As in, just when you think things are starting to look up, it turns out you were being psyched in an evil game of made ya look.
So, in honor of these events – none of which I can really share as most have to do with my professional/dayjob that I still love and enjoy – I’d like to post my first rant post: a lesson in what to expect when you disappoint, hurt or piss off a writer:
When a writer is disappointed, saddened, hurt, or angered, whether by a person or a particular situation, it should come as no surprise when one – or all – of the following immediately happens:
  • They yell, kick, scream, throw a punch or two -- *ahem* generally a punching bag or a pillow…generally – or burst into tears at a moment’s notice
  • They become abnormally quiet, or abnormally loud (or in my case: louder then extremely quiet)
  • They politely nod their head and say, “Everything’s juuuuust fine.” – even if it’s only been a few hours or a few days since the emotional event
  • They suddenly become distracted – more so than usual – after the emotional event
  • The stay awake at night plotting and planning the what if’s (ex: What if I did get that job? What if I did get that publisher? What if I had actually been told blah, blah, blah? What if my response had actually been blah, blah, blah?)
That was Stage 1.
Again, don’t be surprised when one – or all – of the following happen sooner or later in Stage 2 of what happens when you disappoint, sadden, anger, or hurt a writer:
  • The catalyst to the writer’s pain winds up as a plot point
  • You’re reading one of the writer’s books and there’s a character who sounds an awful lot like you (ex: talks like you, has the same mannerisms as you, eerily makes the same decisions as you, etc.).
  • You discover the character – the one who reminded you of yourself in some way – ends up being a person you really don’t like. In fact, they end up being a fictional character that you loathe with passion
  • You cheer and fist pump when that character, the antagonist, ends up getting their ass handed to them by the writer’s fictional self protagonist
  • Thanks to the writer and their story, you learn a valuable lesson about how to treat others with the respect they deserve and you emerge from the end of the story wishing you had done things a bit differently, but ultimately vow to never make the same mistake again
Basically the bottom line is this: be very, very careful when you intentionally hurt someone. No matter if they’re a coworker, a friend, a family member, a husband/wife, sister/brother, or simply a stranger, just take care with their feelings and treat them as you’d want to be treated.
Because you never know if they’re a writer.
And if they’re a writer, and you’ve hurt them? Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
Because writers know how to bounce back bigger and better than ever. Because writers have learned after many, many, many years of rejection and disappointment how to take those emotions and morph them into fuel for their writing. Because writers know how to draw from life to inspire their art. Because writers don’t know how to take no for an answer.
Because writers AREN’T quitters!!! And you’ll never, EVER get us down.
In the end, we’ll always win.
No! Matter! What!
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