If you follow my blog you know that a few months ago we lost our dog, then a month later, our cat. We went from three animals to one. Our poor cat cookie (who is only a little over a year old) was certainly confused by the sudden disappearance of his friends. To add to his loneliness, we were gone most of the summer. So I knew when we returned from our last trip we had to find Cookie a friend.
There are millions of cats out there so I figured we’d have no problem finding one. Yeah, not so much. We drove all over Saturday looking for the right cat. Of the hundreds of cats we saw, every single one was right for my son, who cried every time we left a shelter. But this was going to be “my” cat and for some reason I wasn’t bonding with any. At the last shelter the woman who ran it was very persuasive, trying to get me to hold the cats and take one home. There were times when I wavered, but in the end we walked away without one. By the time I left I was exhausted by her pleasant pushiness and had no idea what I was looking for.
This got me thinking about how many times we are bombarded and exhausted by people trying to push us to go the right way, and by right way, I mean their way.
About seven years ago I wanted to write a vampire book but everyone told me it would never sell. Vampires were out.
I’m actually going to start on a vampire YA soon and who knows, maybe I’m too late to catch that boat, but you know what… I don’t care. As an author we have to write the book that calls to us, no matter what anyone else says.
But not everyone thinks that way. There have been many authors who have written a certain book or have written in a certain way because they felt like it would sell, not necessarily because they wanted to write it. Even I have been pushed toward writing a certain way, and guess what…those books that aren’t authentically me are the books that have the worst reviews.
Self-publishing is another area in which instinctively I wanted to dive in but many, many people told me not to. In the end I went with my gut and I’m so glad I did! I actually have the career I’ve always dreamt of.
So what’s the best thing to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed by everyone’s opinion? Perhaps it’s time to take a step back as I did with the cats. Leave, get away from the person trying to force you into their beliefs and take a day to yourself; a day to clear the thoughts of others from your head.
And by the way, we did get our cat. She’s a three month old black kitty named Lizzie and she’s super hyper and feisty. She definitely won’t take any crap from our big bully male, Cookie. In fact, I think they’ll do quite well together.