Thursday, August 9, 2007

More on Negativity

I have discussed this issue before but seeing as how it has been a particular issue in my life lately, and it doesn’t really limit itself to any one entertainment venue, I just thought I'd take a moment to bitch and moan about it for just a second here.

I hate negativity. And no one faces negativity more than those of us in the entertainment industry who have yet to make $1 million or have our faces slathered across the TV. Or a sex video.

No matter what you do - writer, musician, artist, blogger, webmaster - if you pursue a career in any form of entertainment or media, you have dealt with the "friend" or family member who thinks that what you do is just a pipe dream and you're just some kind of flake who's never going to make it, so why don't you just give up and "get a real job."

I've had at least five people in the past month give me this little speech and I'm completely over it.

One of them is a neighbor who constantly wants me to drop what I am doing and take her somewhere - nowhere important, mind you - not to the grocery store or the doctor or to register her kids for school (though I have done all those things); she wants to go swimming - every day. She wants to go to her friend's house because she's "going stir-crazy." She wants to go to a local electronics store to look at a phone because it's on sale for $99.00 - even though she has bad credit, has been previously declined for a plan, and doesn’t have $99.00 to her name (otherwise she'd have her own car fixed!). No matter where she wants to go, when I acquiesce and take her there, it's always "just going to be a minute," but she takes 10-15 damned minutes and I sit in the 100° weather with her kids who bitch and complain and scream and caterwaul and sweat. Then she wants to stop at this convenience store because she's "going to die" if she doesn’t get a "pop" (no one in the South calls them "pops" - they’re "Cokes," no matter the flavor, brand name, or whatever the hell else). On the way out, she wants to stop at that convenience store to get "something to snack on." And she always buys me something because I bitch about it, then she throws a fit when I gripe about all the stops and says, "Well you drank one, too!" So I have literally just quit drinking them and now have about 7 in the floorboard of my car.

Another online "friend" was discussing my moving with her to LA. I told her, in no uncertain terms, that if I could afford to move to LA, I would already have done so - except for the fact that I don't particularly want to live in LA, so I probably wouldn't, even if I could afford to, but it's a moot point - because I can't afford to! So she suggested I "get a real job." I explained to her, as calmly as I could, that I am currently managing to make right at minimum wage doing what I do from home and I am my own boss. Further, since I do not have a degree, that’s about the most I could hope for working for someone else.

Furthermore, my new site has only been up for about a year now and has almost nothing on it content-wise, thanks to all the server issues I have been having. I said it takes at least 2-3 years for a site to really start generating decent revenue because so many sites tend to come and go so quickly. Of course, this chick has absolutely no fucking idea as to how any of this works, but she's never wrong and I'm "just making excuses," so what I am doing is just a "pipe-dream" and if I "really want to be successful, I'm going to have to get off my ass and work for it."

I fumed over that one for days!

Yet another of these online "friends" - who is a real, living douchebag no matter how you slice it - had the nerve to berate me for over an hour about how I'm never going to make any money doing what I do and she's disappointed in me for "squandering my talent" instead of "applying it." When I made some of the points above - especially as to how I actually was making money - she got really snarky and said, "Yeah - at $5 and $10 at a time! Some job!" I managed to keep it together somewhat, explaining to her that, thanks to simple math, doing more than just one of these $5-10 jobs adds up to a modest amount over time and, depending upon how hard I work and how many are available to me, that can be as much as $100-200+ a day. She continued to try and bring me down and disparage me and she suddenly found herself on the infamous IGNORE.

I'm bringing this up for a very important reason - a few, actually: I am so far over being nice and friendly and trying to defend what I do. especially to people who don't know wtf they're talking about and are only saying these things to discourage me anyway. I love what I do! I love dishing on celebs, reviewing new products, discussing and reviewing comics and games and film I love, and all of that. I also love getting paid to do it! And while I am not rich from doing so - and may never be - and while blogging may be a "new" fad (it really isn't - it's just recently had a resurgence), I was here for almost 10 years before anyone who is here now and will be here in one form or another 10 years from now (God willing) when no one who is here now is.

Face it guys: misery loves company and there really is a bit of jealousy behind their barbed words. Don't you think that jackass "friend" of yours who has to force himself out of bed everyday to go flip burgers wishes he had the talent you do and could afford to work from home? Don't you know the rude, 20-something bitch with three illegitimate kids from four or maybe five different fathers and spends her every, waking minute trying to beg and borrow the change she needs to get a foty and has to foist her kids off on a decent neighbor who feels sorry for them and has to flirt her way into getting a ride to the store to get her booze wishes she had the cable you can afford and the computer skills to do something - anything - that would keep her from having to do all that?

And this is true of all these people who have said these things to me: they are all unemployed, in situations they do nothing but bitch and moan about, and they all would rather spend what little money they have on partying and buying shit they don’t need instead of buckling down and doing what needs to be done. But it's so much easier for them to pull someone else down and "put them in their place" and "knock them down to size" than to actually pick themselves up and do what needs to be done to change their situation.

Don't let them bring you down!

Even on the days when you really don't feel like blogging and AdSense has amassed you all of $10 over the past three months, you are still $10 ahead of those people. And no matter what you may think or they may try to convince you, you really aren’t missing one damned thing! Three months from now, you’ll have $20 in AdSense, your writing will be even better, you'll have twice as many regular visitors, and you'll still be able to just get up and leave to take them down to the store when they ask you to.

And the reason they all come to you is because you're the only one who will do these things for them; every other (semi-)successful person they know doesn’t want anything to do with them because they don't want their negativity in their life!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Manodogs-this is Amber(ammorton), You are so right with this post. People like that try sooo hard to pull others down with them, so that they feel better about themselves and their own sad situations. My husband calls this the "crawdad theory". It is their own self esteem that they are trying to repair by doing this. You have a good head on your shoulders and this is an honest living you do, and you know what your doing and do it well. Your life wont be measured by the amount of money you made, but by the fact that you didn't sit on your ass and do nothing, you put your talents to work for you, as well as did many good deeds for those who needed your help, and if your happy with all of it, F*** everyone else, and what they think. Kudos to you. You keep doing what your doing- its great!!
P.S. I couldn't get this to post with out using the anonymous identity.

ManoDogs said...

Hiya, Am* (heh), nice to see you around here. I don't post here as much as I should because I'm usually too busy actually writing to sit around, thinking and talking about writing - not to mention that I have stopped reading my writing resources the past few months because I kept reading all these "Golden Rules" that were stifling me.

I'm glad you agree with the advice. After all I've been through lately, this whole issue seems a million miles away, but I recall the frustration I was feeling upon rereading it.

I hope no one takes these peoples' "advice" seriously, even if they really are very bad at what they do. Keep plugging away and get your work out there! If a whole lot of people suggest you try something else, then you should really rethink your intended career, but if it is just your dad or your brother or your neighbor or someone like that, thank them for their observations and exclude them from the people with whom you share your work from then on!

That kind of constant mockery and negativity will definitely impact your ability to focus on your work and bring your "A-game" to the table. At the very least it will shake your confidence.

Either way, you don't need it.

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