I've never been one who just quits without thinking about it and having no other option but to walk away. I'd much rather be kicked out than to walk off and find out that I could have stayed around.
I'm also not very emotional or sensitive.
I've been through way too much in my life to be mired down in emotions. You can't go through the hell I've gone through and be emotionally sensitive. And I've endured a lot. The end of an eleven year friendship over a guy who wanted to have both me and my friend at the same time so he lied on the both of us to each other. I've survived hell, gossip, lies, criminal activity I've done and that I've had done to me, I've survived losing my family and I've survived getting them back, I've survived medical problems, losing people I thought cared about me, finding out that some people just are not trustworthy no matter how "nice" they seem, I've survived heartache, heartbreak, and everything in between.
But for the last two weeks I've thought seriously about quitting.
No, not quitting life, quitting writing.
I really got sick of the pettiness, the lying, the gossiping, backstabbing, the negativity, and the "clique" mentality. It weighed heavily on my soul. I couldn't take it. Not the two-faced behavior or the superior attitudes. I couldn't write because every time I sat down to do so I was bombarded with tweets, Facebook statuses, blog posts, reviews, etc. not necessarily about me but about other people, other authors, bloggers, reviewers, readers... I have teased with other authors about having graduated from high school over 12 years ago but it's not a joke. I didn't want to deal with it.
I've learned the beauty of forgiveness, second chances, and moving past a hurtful incident just in dealing with friends and family over the past few years but how do you handle an environment that's constantly toxic?
My thought for a week and a half was to leave it. Walk away and never look back. That's what I was gonna do. This was gonna be my last year as an author. I was going to shut down everything and just turn to something else to do with my life.
Then, while talking to an aspiring author who is a friend of mine, who really just encouraged me, I realized that the best way to try and handle a toxic environment is to take your medication to build up your immune system and then go into that toxic environment and change it from the inside out.
So, I didn't tell anyone besides those who needed to know that I was thinking of quitting, but the encouragement I got from those who didn't know was just as refreshing and beautiful as the encouragement from those who did know.
So, while my soul is still battered, and my spirit is still bruised and my heart is still a little broken I have decided not to quit writing.
Thank you to those of you who have supported me tirelessly and unconditionally. Thank you to those of you who encourage me daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. And for those of you who have decided to stick by me after either having to forgive me or having to ask for my forgiveness, thank you.
And to every author, blogger, reviewer, and reader who has thought, is thinking, or will ever think about quitting this genre because of all the nonsense and negativity, remember that there are just a few bad apples, but the whole bunch isn't bad. We have to stop walking away and taking away the goodness because of the badness out there. If anything, we need to stand together more and make that light shine brighter.
I hope you all have a great weekend!
-Vicktor A. B.