Now that I have established certain stuff I hope it gets to you in an important. If not, no matter — I have some more pointers. If you already knew the previous rules, more power to you. If not, try to incorporate them in your life in whatever customised or direct way you want and need. There is a reason I highlighted those words. Your wants and needs are important too. Though, your wants and needs also can be hierarchal. You must balance them accordingly to get a process going and get results. More on that later.
Onwards to new things that perhaps will be helping for you with writing. In the last segment I had shown you that writing is a psychosomatic, emotional and spatial skill. It interacts with other skills, with you and your environment. I have written how the word innate should not mean fast/rapid/genetic in your repertoire. People can be gifted but so can gifts be earned and attained. I am reviewing this because this is something that must be constantly reviewed. It will stick, then unstick, then stick again only to unstick once more. And again, more on that later.
- Avoid/Resist Toxic People and Situations as Much as Possible —This is not a rehash of the Trolls and the Haters phenomenon. This takes that further than that. Trolls and Haters usually occupy social media. They can also be real people as well, as I cited. But, they may be distant people. So, though this may sound similar it is not necessarily identical.
You may have to work with people who are unpleasant or unpleasant towards you. Usually, it can be latter than the former. If it is the former you can sometimes talk about this person with some other colleague who is a confidant. However, doing so regularly may a) jeopardise your job as no one can fully be trusted in the work space and b) cause you to create more toxicity by making your complaints a habit. Trust me. We all may have been there and we don’t want that.
If it’s the latter know that you don’t have to interact with this person beyond the minimum. Keep your interactions work related and respond only when particularly referred to. If this is your boss then choose select words and let your work do the talking for you. Do not reiterate anything much or try to seem over enthusiastic because toxic people use that opportunity to shoot you down and even publicly humiliating you. Do not tone down too much either nor else they will choose to be especially unpleasant and give you poor performance reviews.
If this person actively complains about you to your other bosses consult someone you can trust and change sectors or jobs if need be. Chances are that you will be happier and more productive in the new area. You have to prioritise your productivity and passions. Do not waste any of it on toxic people. Toxic people are not completely avoidable. This is just life. You will meet them in social media, in family, friends and even spouses.
If it is social media you can always ignore them or blocked them. If these are reviews then set the “no review” box for a while and even “non anon.” If this is family try to gradually lessen your interactions with them so that you can well not feel guilty or allow them to guilt trip you to go back to their toxic traps. Importantly, if they are parents you can really lessen your interactions with them. If you are being Abused. CALL SOCIAL SERVICES OR THE POLICE AND GET HELP.
Now, the other important parts. If toxic people are friends, you have to do what Anne Lamott said in her book Bird by Bird — your friendship needs a sabbatical. Seriously, if you feel you can’t cut them out think you are taking a sabbatical from your friendship. Sometimes toxic behaviour is also passive or indifferent behaviour. Such as not giving attention to your texts, not including you or showing any signs of elation when seeing or interacting with you. Then there is passive aggressive behaviour. Passive Aggressive behaviour is hard to stomach because it is a statement designed a joke or abstraction to still bruise you. You need to resist or stay away from these types of behaviour as much as possible. Friends are meant to enrich your life not make you feel like you are an abyss of uselessness.
If your spouse does this either go to couples counseling or seriously rethink the relationship. Your spouse/partner is not meant to belittle, humiliate, berate and ambush you with guilt all the time. Gaslighting and manipulating you is AN ABUSE. So, don’t stay with these people. PLEASE GET HELP ASAP.
The reasons I stated this is because toxic people like haters and trolls will debilitate and distract you from writing. If writing is your joy they will belittle it and they will try to ruin your work. Renowned novelist Buchi Emecheta had an abusive husband. When she wrote her first draft of Bride Price and gave it for her husband to read, she came back and saw him burning the manuscript. Yes, that did happen. That is how violent and toxic her ex-husband was.
You don’t need partners like that. Or environments like that. They will first feed parasitically on your writing and this will effect and eventually lead to other parts of you. Your writing is not only your passion, it allows you to gain privileges and opportunities and give you work. In the book So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport he didn’t support passion so that is why I called writing also work. His reasons are actually credible. Passion, he states, is a side effect of mastery so that ties into how innateness does not equate much in the long run. And, a spouse who doesn’t take your work seriously is not going to take seriously other avenues of your life. By work here I also mean your efforts to master talents, your needs and wants and efforts at communication, habits you try to inculcate, and also your personality and beliefs.
Toxic people and environments may ultimately ruin your needs and wants to master your craft. They are sometimes more dangerous than haters and trolls because they have a certain sense of closeness and intimacywith you, which they shamelessly take advantage of. If haters and trolls are clever and lack courage the toxic people are cowardice magnified. They also take the discrimination of cleverness and mutate it to entitlement. They feel that as they are with you they are entitled to behave with you in any way they please.
Don’t suffer from this garbage and take a stand for yourself to resist and avoid as much as possible. So yes the sticking and unsticking come here a bit. Toxic people and environments make you doubt yourself a lot and let you cave in to defeating pressure. Yeah, there is positive pressure. The feeling the demanding need to write and write as heartily and skillfully as one can at the moment.
So for your health tied to your writing stay away from toxicity as much as possible and resist it whenever the opportunities present themselves.
- Do not Wait for the Mood to Write — This is a cardinal rule that you need to repeat to yourself. I know I have to because I procrastinate on it and don’t do it but it is seriously and important rule. Even if you are depressed, take some time off for your health and then try to write one line and draft it out and redraft it out.
The reason I am saying this is that writing is a muscle and that it needs development and stimulation. Now, you may be thinking if I have writer’s block how can I be stimulated? Well, do other things. Or better yet start free writing. Take out your journal or Document and just start writing/typing random things and you will sure to get ideas. These writings do not need to final products or anything perfect. They can be to do lists or 40 best songs you liked or movies or even books. Write out your feelings of toxic people, your anxieties, your triumphs, etcetera and you are sure to get something.
Writing is a balance of passive and active nodes. Thinking alone about writing ideas usually don’t help. Thinking can also be passive because the mind is not stimulated enough to get somewhere. Free Writing can also be passive because it doesn’t have a necessary goal. However, both can be active too gradually. When I first started writing these writing tips I didn’t completely know how I would go about it. I still don’t know but I kept on writing and the ideas gradually came. If I stuck to only thinking and planning alone it may have taken longer. Yes, I thought out the headings and such and some of the chunks but not everything.
That is why I mentioned the hierarchy of desire and wants. Writing will not always operate on those things. Writing like any habit and skills needs time, dedication, discipline, patience and reiteration. If you are a victim of your moods and always get easily seduced by them writing will believe you are a player and not interested in a relationship (yeah, I went there). You need to understand that as there is no true innate quality to writing there is no ideal hour, moment, time or whatever for writing either.
Writing is paradoxical because human beings are paradoxical. Writing is sometimes born and borne out of great frustration and misery and flicks off your happy pastures world. Writing at times scowls at decay and looks for pure Nirvana. Writing is concrete in its form but relative in its act of conception. It creates its own ideals and mixes other generally thought out ones. It may sometimes strive in purity which can also be chaos and at times live in greys which can be a ordinary day in the park.
Don’t think that you need a mood always to write. You don’t need a mood always to breathe? It is as Scout said in To Kill a Mocking Bird. Reading to her was breathing. And, how do you breathe. You do it continuously. Now, I am not saying burn yourself out by writing. I am just giving a loose analogy. You don’t always breathe deeply and loudly so take writing also as gradual breathing which may sometimes stay nice and stable as though you are in a dream, sometimes peak up as you are being athletic and sometimes even be “soggy” like you are in a flu. You are writing about life so writing won’t be excised from life.
Like Life writing also needs other avenues than your thoughts to be feed. It needs experiential stuff, segments from classrooms, snippets in cafes and the smell of coffee and the warmth of tea, the kiss of a lover, the kiss of a stranger, the theories of betrayal and actual betrayals, the concatenation of pearls in a bracelet, the mathematical equation you learned the other day, your dissertation, your lab assignment and even the joke you told your friend.
Writing stems from all of these. Writing is the nodes of you as you go through life. Writing is the anatomy of your body, the curvatures of your spirit and the oceans of your soul with the forests of your thoughts and subconscious — writing is the braille of time and the alphabets of your spine dancing in unison to some track that is in your head and the cusp in your heart. Thus writing requires discipline, effort, time and dedication.
As you are analogous to your writing (if not themes or characters then certainly the process) than like you writing needs proper nourishment and nurturing. And your moods erratically firing off won’t always help.
Be consistent as much as possible. And I mean a healthy consistent. Write in a day or two days. Write small quotes. Plan projects and try your best to finish them.
The more respect, time and attention you give to writing (a healthy amount because you need to take yourself and do other things) the more your writing will respect you and feel like listening to you.
~ To Be Continued