We have all experienced our share of negativity. The wry smiles from so-called friends when we tell them our goals, the second guessing nature of our parents, a position which is there to try and protect us but can equally hinder us. Teachers telling us we won’t amount to anything, our bosses telling us we will be here forever, the rejections when we submit our manuscripts, the list goes on and on and on. The truth of the matter is we would be nothing without our failures. We can feed off negative energy arguably way more than we can feed off positive energy. Each time somebody doubts me now I’m the one doing the smiling and I’ll tell you why.

People Suck!

They really do! Lots of people who repeatedly tell you that you can’t do something just suck. They’re intimidated by anybody achieving anything because they themselves have achieved so little. Your critics might not always be people who are qualified enough to even be giving you advice let alone be telling you what to do. Sometimes, we need to take a look at what people say to us and put it into this perspective because in all honesty the only thing standing between you and that blog, that novel or that screenplay, whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, is you. 

What do your friends really know about writing? They might know how to send an email, maybe write an essay, they might even have tried their hand at poetry once but apart from that their advice is perhaps not the most reliable. If Steven King told me I was a terrible writer I might consider other options but as far as I’m aware Steven King doesn’t know I exist… Yet! You never know, he might do one day! 

Sometimes those people that are doubting might not really have your best interests at heart. Even if they see you working, day in and day out trying to get that first draft done and they still don’t believe in you, it might be time to reassess your friendship. I’m serious! If your goals mean that much to you, then your friends should really be on board with them and they should support you. If they’re not on board then prove them wrong! They’re all going to look pretty silly when they see your smug face on the back of that novel. That energy is so valuable to our success, that metaphorical eff you! It’s the only thing which will drive us to work harder than anybody else because our goals aren’t just about us anymore, they are about principle.  

Thomas Edison Proved Negativity Would not Define Him

Thomas Edison is a character I’m sure everyone has heard of, the famous inventor of the lightbulb along with many other scientific breakthroughs which have made our lives much better and much more comfortable. It was never always like that though, Edison was far from a child prodigy. Teacher’s at Edison’s primary school believed him to be “mentally retarded” and urged him to secure a steady working job which would provide him with just enough money to survive. In 1886, he gave up his steady job to become a freelance inventor. Through ups and downs he eventually became very successful and achieved many of the things we know him for today. Just because teachers diagnose us with dyslexia or call us out for not being the brightest student in the classroom doesn’t mean we are defined by that. With hard work dedication and belief anything is possible, Thomas Edison proved that. 

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas Edison

Prove Them Wrong 

Negativity makes me angry because I believe in myself. I’m not saying I blindly reject all criticisms because I’m an incredible human being and I’m perfect, that’s just arrogant… Although I am pretty cool. If someone tells me I can’t do something, it burns pretty deep because I know that anything is possible if you work hard and stay committed to it. A lot of people I know think even me writing this blog is a little pathetic. They think I’m a write off in a sense, a failure, a lost cause. Those people are the people that feed me, they don’t know they’re doing it, they probably don’t care either but they provide me with the most positive energy I could ever harness constructively: the energy to work harder than all of them, the energy to prove them all wrong. Writing isn’t cool, I sit in my dressing gown at the computer while friends are outside having a kick about at the park, going to the pub and all manner of fun things, but I have to do this. I love it! I’ll leave you with this: anyone who doubts me contributes to my certainty, and that’s why negativity is so important.        

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.

Richard Bach