Just Say No to the Naysayers

The naysayer in your life

by Leslie Zeigler

Have you ever told a friend that you are thinking about an idea for a story you are writing only to hear:  “You are not a writer because you are just thinking and you are not setting aside time each day to write.”   Well this is what Gail, the writer whom Deborah and I are coaching, is hearing from some of her friends. ( Gail has given us permission to share the themes of our work together in the blog.)  Gail  said this kind of comment can make her feel discouraged.   We have been working in our coaching sessions on helping her not just to allow herself to feel what she feels, but to move forward in spite of  how much or how badly that negative comment makes her feel.

Naysayers can be friends, neighbors, or even relatives or spouses.  Sometimes the comments can  be expressed in a way that might take you by surprise and perhaps even leave you feeling speechless.   It  is unlikely that anyone  can insulate and protect themselves from  being on the receiving end of such comments.  But it is probably fair to say that whenever people move forward, working towards a creative dream,  other people will feel jealous or threatened and these kinds of comments will just pop out of their mouth.  Be prepared to internally  say no to the content and tone of these comments as well as finding a diplomatic way of letting the person know that you do not agree.

As Gail explained to me, she knows that many books on writing, as well as many writers, will say that you should sit down and write each day.  And although that is an excellent and worthwhile ritual to acquire, it doesn’t work for Gail.  We talked about the importance of  Gail following her own inutition about what works for her.  Although the naysayers in her life may tell her that not having a daily writing ritual means that she is not  a real writer,  it is just not so.

Since our last session two months ago, she  spent some time mulling over how she wanted to rewrite a children’s story she is  working on.  Through her thinking, she has now clarified for herself the direction of the story.

Her next assignment is, of course, to now put it to paper, which she is committed to doing, within her own time frame.

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