Writing Problem #1 – The People Pleasing Syndrome

Vacation has left me a bit MIA in the writing realm, but that is a topic for another day. Next week I plan to choose another sci-fi/fantasy book to focus on for the month of June, but to fill in that time I’d like to share a writing struggle I’ve thought a lot about while vacationing in lovely California (well, the lovely parts of it, anyway).

Vacations with family usually have their ups and downs, right? There’s the family politics, the dramatics, the indecision, the sudden change of plans, the teenage siblings (I’m the oldest, the only one married with a babe, it’s a crisis). But what I’ve discovered over the last week is that it’s more of a crisis for me than anyone else. Why? Because I’m one of those People Pleasers.

There have been a lot of seemingly simple decisions and trials that have been blown out of propertion by said People Pleaser, because with People Pleasing syndrome often comes this annoying symptom – Being Run Over By Other People. And when you are constantly Being Run Over By Other People, you also start to become overcome by a similar problem – let’s call it The Kettle. Slow to burn, but a massive terror once it gets hot enough. I’ll spare you the details.

The thing is, I know it’s something I need to get over, not only in day-to-day interactions but with writing. Yup, the same damn things happen when you are writing to please others, just in slightly different ways. You make a decision, you second-guess yourself, you run around in guilty circles and sometimes (sometimes…) the confusion gets to be too much. Quitting becomes an option when it wasn’t one before. Hot topics like representation, mental health, drugs, POC, physical disability and more have caused writers to think of their crafts in entirely different ways. On one hand, that’s a good thing. On another, when you are trying to pack every single book with every single topic to please EVERY single person who could possibly read your book and completely avoid offending them, you will fail. Straight up, fail. And trust me when I say I’m preaching to the choir, but that’s what I’ve seen.

It is a wonderful thing to try to think of others and keep their interests and feelings in mind. It is what paves the way for greater understanding and open-mindedness. But it is also a wonderful thing to do what you want for yourself, screw the rules and the opposing opinions. Hopefully, employing that will make your writing and your family vacations a little bit less messy.

We can only hope, right?


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