Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Anxiety Fairy

It's been a long, tough week, complicated by Blogger trying to drive me nuts, lightened by some wonderful news (about which I must keep mine lips sealed for the present) and spiced up by writing these posts. I appreciate all the kind words and nice comments.

Some of the best blog-related hate-mail I've gotten in ages came in response to some of the PTC posts, too. Really, you eavesdroppers and is-she-talking-about-me lurkers outdid yourselves this time. Highlights from hate-mail (paraphrased and posted without permission):

"You don't know anything. Just becuz your a loser your bitter and want to make everybody hate publishing. No one likes you."

Hey, I recognize that lousy spelling -- it's the No One Likes You chick!(she always ends all the e-mails with that line.) Aw, I've missed you, sweetie. It's been, what, at least a year since you last wrote. How are you? I mean, besides upset with me again.

Multiple variations on: "Were you talking about me in that post? Because if you were, I think you are being really unfair..."

No, I was not talking about you, you, you, you, you or you. But don't worry that people will think I was. Remember, I'm a loser, I'm bitter, and no one likes me.

"How did you sell 32 books with that attitude?"

37; five of them haven't hit the shelf yet. I did it while you were at all those conferences. Want to know what I did while you were sleeping last night?

Hostility is a fascinating thing. Dr. George Kelly defined it in his 1955 book The Psychology of Personal Constructs as the "continued effort to extort validational evidence in favor of a type of social prediction which has already proven itself a failure."

What Dr. George meant was that when your construct systems -- what you use to analyze and explain things that happen in your life -- fail to do their job, the Anxiety Fairy pays you a visit. We don't like the Anxiety Fairy, because that bitch has the power to make our collective construct systems collapse like a house of cards and throw us into the Deep Dark Pit of I Haven't a Fucking Clue, Do I? Also, rigid construct systems can't be modified; their owners build them to be inviolate. The combo of the two are why people get hostile, demand validation for their beliefs and otherwise try to enforce flawed construct systems, because they can't afford to be wrong.

What, you thought Dr. Sue was the only one into psychotherapy? You should hear my theory on Freud flashing his own parapraxes via his sexual motivation theories; it's a killer. I also did a riff on Dr. George's theories to shape future Terran attitudes in StarDoc, and while I don't completely agree with him -- I've observed hostility springing from sources other than fear of the Anxiety Fairy's bulldozer -- it's still interesting stuff.

In all things publishing, my final bit of advice is to keep those construct systems flexible, laugh at yourself and the biz, and enjoy learning new things. The Anxiety Fairy truly hates that. My thanks to everyone who picked up the PTC meme and gave out answers on their blogs. Keep writing and linking, the more opinions the merrier.


  1. Anonymous1:10 AM

    You get hate mail over honest advice and the relating of personal experience about the business you're in?

    I'm assuming the more the dogs bark, the better the guest at the door. You've addressed these questions thoroughly.

    Thank you.

  2. Anonymous1:17 AM

    Want to know what I did while you were sleeping last night?


    Actually, just want to say that this comment really tickled my funny bone. Must remember that one :D

  3. Great post (and series of posts). Thank you!

    And your summary of constructs gave me a great deja vu to my psych minor! Except I didn't need to be the lab rat this time!


  4. Good for you!
    Agree with Doug.
    Tangental wonder if this is why some people hate and deny heroines over forty who are not saggy T&A.

  5. LOL. Can't believe there are actually so many self-obsessed people in the world. How on earth would you have time to bitch about them? Anyway, kudos to you for the PTC meme, the advice was invaluable. Oh by the way, how about a post on Freudian psychology? :D You got me curious.

  6. I'm glad you can take those idiotic comments with a grain of levity. And thank you for a wonderful blog. As a writer working to become published, I find your attitute motivating and inspiring.

    And I've already stolen/adapted one of your techniques--using a timer for my daily writing time. One hour a day for writing without distractions--no email, no phone calls, no surfing the net.

    Thank you!


  7. Nobody really needs conference chicken anyway. *g* I really enjoyed the PTC 10. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

  8. I loved this series of posts this week! They were better than a couple of real life workshops I've been to.

    Thank you for all the time you put into it. Even it did upset upset a few folks.

  9. There should be additional rules in life.

    If you don't like it, don't read it.

    The world isn't talking about you.

    Hmm... you would think people would understand this. ;)

    Anyways, thanks for all those great responses, everyone, to those questions. I know I learn much more reading blogs from writers, even unpublished writers, than I have learned from piles of books on writing.

  10. The world isn't talking about you.

    Pixel, you talkin' 'bout me? :)

    Want to know what I did while you were sleeping last night?

    Well, in the generic sense, and if I've been paying attention to you, I believe you were doing revisions. But, see, I didn't get to sleep until after 4am, because Tess Gerritsen's Body Double sucked me in when I started it at 10pm last night, and I had to finish it.

  11. People always think it's about them (me included) LOL

  12. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Wow, people have lots of time on their hands to get all riled up and send you irate emails. Shouldn't they be writing books or something?

    Thanks for this series of posts! Informative, as usual. :)

  13. "We don't like the Anxiety Fairy, because that bitch has the power to make our collective construct systems collapse like a house of cards and throw us into the Deep Dark Pit of I Haven't a Fucking Clue,..."

    I'm such a frequent visitor to the Deep Dark Pit of I Haven't a Fucking Clue that they save me a room there, and I'm on first name terms with all the staff.


  14. Anonymous9:39 PM

    Anxiety Fairy I can deal with. We've been buds a long, long time, thanks to my upbringing. Ditto on Guilt, Shame and Lack of Confidence. No big. This brand new, maniacal Fear Fairy tho is drving me apeshit and has got to GO!!!

    Do you have any tips on poisoning/slaughtering/hacking up the skanky bitch?


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