How to Really Not Give a F--k and Just Write
I spend a lot of time walking around Barnes and Noble to peruse the books. In a way it feels like going to a friend's house, getting a cup of coffee, and having a visit. I also travel up and down the aisles to see which books are the hot new thing. As an author this is both inspiring and imperative for me. I like to know the trends, not that I follow them, but I like to know what's out there.
As I venture out into writing my own books in the field of personal growth/self-help/self-improvement (whatever you want to call it) I've been spending time in that section of the bookstore a lot more. I've noticed there's quite a bit of cursing in that section these days. I don't mean the patrons are grumbling but rather the book covers are all littered with curse words in an attempt to trigger a response. This all started to come about on the heels of Jen Sincero's popular book You Are A Badass.
Jen's approach is to fire you up with humor, personal anecdotes, and gentle cattle prodding to get you to believe in yourself as you march towards the attainment of your goals. Her success not only spawned other titles like You Are A Badass at Making Money but then came the flood of followers. Now everyone is writing self-help books with curse words in the title trying to fire you up and put you in a state where you'll accomplish the goals on your list.
They try to tell you not to give a f*ck. To get your a** in gear. Or make life your b*tch. These affirmations can get you in a certain state-of-mind but after you've read the book and followed the steps they've outlined it often starts to fade. The same can be said for attending a motivational seminar. The energy is off the charts and you feel like you can take on the world but after a few days you fall back into old negative patterns.
A dream without a plan is just a wish.
A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.
HOW TO REALLY NOT GIVE A FUCK
Do you know how to really not give a fuck? You build the life of your dreams. The reason we give a fcuk what people think of us is because we feel inferior. Social media is a wonderful tool when used for good but it's also become something of the magic mirror from Snow White. The evil queen asks to see the fairest in the land expecting to see her own reflection. When she sees Snow White instead it throws her off. She becomes obsessed with Snow White instead of focusing on bettering herself.
I've had a lot of writers say they feel this imposter syndrome where they get praise for their work and they feel like they're not that person who is deserving. I've been guilty of it myself. One time at a signing a nervous girl came up to me and told me I was her favorite author. Instead of accepting the compliment I looked behind me thinking she must've been talking to someone else.
We are our own toughest critics and that often filters into allowing other people's opinions to overshadow our truths. It's taken me a long time to build up the armor needed to deflect the unsolicited opinions of others.
A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinion of the sheep.
I've had consistent criticism of my appearance. They tell me to wear more makeup and wear high heels because that's what society has deemed feminine. For a long time it bothered me but I built up my confidence, and shifted my focus towards things that were more important in life than the superficial standards some people insist on policing. So now if someone feels the need to speak up about something that should have no concern to them it bounces off of me like broken arrows.
Self-confidence is easy for some, for others it can be hard to believe in yourself sometimes. The way you can break through the barriers that are keeping you from the truth of who you are is by facing something you're unsure about.
In Chuck Norris' book "The Secret of Inner Strength" he speaks on facing fears.
"Face your fears and conquer them. If you do something you have previously been afraid to do, you will begin to crack the egg of your insecurity. Accomplishing something difficult gives you the strength to go on to further success.
When you force yourself to take chances you strengthen your ability to handle change.
DO THE WORK
Consistent action is the key to keeping your fires stoked. When you take steps towards the life you've always wanted you start to gain momentum. You can write down your vision over and over again but eventually you have to pull the trigger and start the groundwork on what will become your own empire.
Make no mistake I'm not against any tools that can help you improve the quality of your life. I read many books, go to seminars, listen to podcasts and interviews or motivational videos on Youtube. They always fire me up and get me to pounding on my chest in an act of attrition. But I've been guilty of falling off after that. I don't use the resources they've outlined and so I fall back into my patterns and back into despair.
The worst thing for me is stagnation and it comes with complacency. Complacency is comfortable but the best things in life come at the other side of your comfort zone.
I recently stumbled upon a review of one of my books where the guy tore it apart. He hated my characters and gave it a really low rating. At first, I was wondering if maybe my writing sucked but then I decided to look at things a different way. The book was one of my backlist and it was actually the first book I ever published. I've come a long way since then and my character development has improved. Also, this particular book has been in pre-production for a new TV series so it couldn't be as bad as the review stated, it just wasn't what this particular reader was looking for.
When you're selective in the advice and critiques you take to heart it makes all the difference. Remember that you can't please everyone all the time...you're not pizza!
So when you're faced with criticism, stress, or imposter syndrome don't give a f*ck and keep going after the things that you enjoy doing. It's your life, live it accordingly...no fucks given!