Sunday, October 24, 2010

Taking Out the Toxic

Our body has many mechanisms to handle foreign, unwanted visitors. Take a fever, for example: our body raises its temperature to try to get rid of an invader. Of course, this line of defense often leaves us feeling crappy which goes to show that even cleansing ourselves of bad things can feel, well, terrible.

But what about our emotional selves? Do we have mechanisms to ward off those toxic people and even more toxic thoughts?

I've been reading a lot about jealousy, competition, and doubt. It can be difficult to recognize and purge an unhealthy, draining person from your life....but it is so necessary. Sometimes we are toxic to our own selves, when we put our work or potential down. Sometimes it's others, who either try to imitate you or belittle you....many times, because of their own insecurities.

In the writing----and many other----industries, we already know that thick skin is a must. Maybe a part of developing that thick skin is learning when to perform an emotional purge....

How do you handle the toxic stuff?
Have there been any new toxic components in your life since you started writing?

I added a Medical Musings page inspired by my first writing injury! Make sure you don't push yourself too far when you're on the computer.


  1. I am absolutely terrified of being cocky so I don't tell everyone I meet about my latest literary success. Unfortunately, I am plagued by self-doubt and it doesn't help when I don't let myself balance it out by shouting "YEEHAW" (or equivalent) when I get good news.

    I haven't met a writer yet who is jealous of me and I don't have too many problems with envy on the flip-side. Though there is one person I am acquainted with who writes stunning poetry and I find myself wishing I could write like her. Maybe that's similar... hmmmm...

  2. I used to be terrified to publish or post something I'd written. Now I love it. I love getting the feedback, good, bad, whatever. I think it's just part of realizing that it'll all make you a better writer in the end.

  3. I agree with Jennifer up there - I have a hard time striking a balance between sharing information I'm proud of, and worrying that I'll come across as arrogant or cocky! It's a toxic thing to keep second-guessing yourself like that and I wish I could relax and just do things as they occur to me - that's much more 'me' than overthinking everything!

  4. Oh, PLENTY! I try to take a deep breath, remind myself why I'm doing what I'm doing, and that I DO enjoy it, regardless of outside sources!

  5. Negative thoughts will come. I just try to block them or do something positive that will shush them. Negative thoughts actually make me physically ill, so they must be blocked by action-oriented ones.

  6. Um--still learning on that one.
    Thanks for the medical post-- I did get that a few times and had to stop typing for a few days!