Not even sure I have to go into details with this one. It’s a destroyer of egos and causes people to quit. Not only with writing, but with most adventures. This can birth doubt and keep it fed for as long as it’s around. One never knows when it will turn up. Even a barrage of uplifting platitudes can fail if this horseman strikes correctly. So, what is the last of the quartet?
This can come from any source. An author may create it in their own minds and hearts because they don’t feel right about their path. They might have a frustrating story section that causes negativity and leads to doubt. Internal negativity is easier to shrug off, but it’s also the more likely one to remain if it goes unchecked for too long. Think of it as a chronic mental illness since getting it once doesn’t mean you’re immune. Negativity always leaves a little behind.
More commonly, we get this from outside influences. Negativity comes from every bad review, piece of criticism, and day without a sale. It’s lurking within the words of devil’s advocates who think they’re helping. Naysayers don’t even hide this horseman since it’s their main weapon to get you to quit. People may say that you just ignore it or cast those people away, but it’s not always possible. Some sources can’t be removed from your life because there are other connections. It’s really easy for someone outside of your life to tell you to get rid of people because they don’t have the emotional connection and won’t be the ones to suffer any backlash. As for the ignoring, that doesn’t work forever because even stone can get worn down by a constant trickle of water.
Something I want to add is a little bit of psychology that I read about a while back. If a person is constantly bombarded by negativity instead of positivity, their brains will change to treat that as the norm. This can lead to semi-permanent pessimism, anxiety when happy, and distrust of anyone offering to help. All attempts to be optimistic and positive are herculean because we’re fighting against our internal wiring. It’s not impossible, but it’s a path that can be ruined by even the smallest failure or criticism. This is where devil’s advocates end up being a problem too. They mean well and think they’re cheering you on, but they’re really reminding you that bad things can, and probably will, happen.
- How do you handle negativity?
- Have you ever acted against your instincts due to negativity?
- Have you ever been the negative person?