I have a confession. I’m avoiding rewriting my book. This blog post is going to be a part of the book because it deals with something important.
Story analyst Robert McKee calls it “negophobia”.
Barbara Sher calls us out on it too. She talks about how Western society tries to prevent individuals from expressing any negative thoughts or emotions because there’s this superstition that negative emotions will attract negative circumstances.
People don’t want to hang around people with negative traits. Nobody will like you and you will never be successful if you have emotions we define as negative. These being sadness, anger, frustration, jealousy, envy, greed, selfishness just to name a few.
So we are always forced to ignore these parts of personality not judged as fit to see the light of day. We don’t acknowledge them to ourselves and we certainly don’t talk about them to other people. We push them into the shadows because they’re negative.
They’re not given the chance to fully develop and come out of the darkness.
You’re an acclaimed artist. Then you have permission to use the full spectrum of human emotion to paint a compelling picture.
What if we’re all creative and are all artists? Can we give ourselves permission to acknowledge the negative aspects of our personalities?
After all, as Barbara Sher says, negativity or negative emotions aren’t the killer of dreams. It’s isolation. What causes isolation?
Trying to hide the negativity within us.
So today, I’m coming forward and admitting that the Arthurian bad guy Amangons is among us and he is in me. In Arthurian tradition, Amangons ruled over a kingdom called Granland. In those days people had awareness of the contract between human and nature.
Humans protected nature and nature protected humans. Amangons had taken this oath too but his greed and want of power overcame his sense of duty to his land. He stole a golden cup from Maidens of the Wells and then raped them.
Maidens of the Wells hid in fear causing draughts in the land which brought on misery to Amangons and his people.
As creative beings, we too run the danger of letting our ego, greed or feeling of inadequacy take us over and abuse our very own nature and deprive us of our creative gifts. Think about it. You’re probably running around trying to fit everything into your day, the house must be clean, dinner must be delicious, there are people to see, things to do and writing that book? Oh, that can wait another day.
This is all Amangons manifesting himself and stealing from our spiritual well that’s the source of all creative flow and output. If you’re a writer it prevents you from writing your book, if you’re a painter, you’re not producing any more paintings, if you’re a chef, you’re not developing any new recipes, if you’re an architect, you’re ignoring the presentation of your own house, if you’re a web developer, you’re letting your website collect spider webs by not updating it to a fresher new look, if you’re a photographer you aren’t out there snapping photos and developing your negatives (pun intended).
Ignoring Your Negativity Wastes Your Time
Ignoring Amangons is preventing me from writing the book I must write called “How to Create Time”. I can’t create time for it because I’m too paralysed by the fear that I’m not qualified to write such a book. Here’s what my inner voice says to me.
“You’re 38, almost 39. You wasted your time studying Biology when you had no intention of going to med school. Then you worked in a Government job even though you distrust the U.S. Government and you did this for seven years, taking the money and being of as little value as possible. When you finally quit that and came to Sydney you went from one dead-end job to another telling yourself you were doing it for a visa. You’ve lived a life of lies, wasting precious years ignoring your gift for writing. And who even says you’re a good writer? Certainly not any publisher. And now you’re trying to become a published author? Give me a break. Who do you think you are?”
I can’t keep pretending I know what I’m doing and am walking some determined path. The truth is there’s so much uncertainty in bringing a creative work to life. I qualified myself to do the work. The fact that I haven’t yet acknowledged these uncertainties has me lying to myself and others that I’m working on the rewrite.
The truth is, I’m not. I’m blogging.
It’s safer to blog. Even though I tell myself this blog article is going be a part of the book. I can’t face what I’ve never done before.
OK, now that all my negative thoughts are out in the open, I can have a constructive conversation with them. Here’s my response to Amangons who surely will not steal my creative flow.
“I lived a life that wasn’t consistent with who I am, a writer. Who better than me to inspire others find their creative spark and stand up to the forces of their own negativity? I’m through ignoring my negative feelings. I have the courage to acknowledge them, stand up to them and overcome them. This writing right here, this is going straight into my book because we must all acknowledge what lurks in the shadows. Otherwise, it becomes invisible baggage draining our energy. Instead of letting Amangons, my own negative thoughts, have their way with me, I will engage them in a conversation where we will gain a better understanding of each other. This is the better way.”
Over to you…
What is a creative endeavour you’ve been dreaming of bringing out onto the world? What thoughts or emotions have been holding you back? How can you incorporate these negative or antagonistic thoughts and emotions into your creative work to bring it greater depth?