The Voice of the Critics (pt. 1)

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Today I’m so very excited, not only have a guest post, but also to be doing a two part series.

My guest is the one and only Garrett, from his new blog Sovereign Swag.  Honestly, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs.  I look forward to reading his posts on Monday mornings, so go check out his blog.

(And can we just agree that Sovereign Swag is the coolest blog name ever?)

*coughs* (Even if you don’t agree, we must get on with this post, and maybe if you check out his blog, you’ll at least agree it’s pretty cool.) All right, so now I’ll let Garrett take over.

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You don’t have to listen to the critics, the voices of people that dislike you. The voices of the jealous ones, the angry ones.  The honest truth is that people are going to dislike you. They may even hate you. And that’s okay. Even Jesus was hated and mocked by people, including his own family!

All you can do is your best, making decisions that are best for you, with the guidance of God. If people don’t like that, then they clearly don’t need to be in your life. Boundaries are essential. You’re not selfish, you’re doing what’s best for you. As I’ve said before, we are called to take care of ourselves.

(Side note, this isn’t an excuse to disrespect your parents. They deserve respect, even if you’re not their biggest fan. However, if they’re abusive, tell another adult. Get help.)

We usually think of that in terms of the physical, but it applies to the mental and emotional realms too. You move in the direction of your strongest thoughts, and who you hang out with influences those thoughts.

If your supposed “friends” expect you to please them constantly, and shame you for having boundaries, then you need to move on. If they only talk to you when nobody else is around, or if they only use you as a sounding board, not caring what your day was like, or how you feel, move on. Your feelings, your emotions, your body, it’s yours. Don’t be a doormat for people. Stand up for yourself.

I know, it’s hard. But you’re never going to please everyone. It’s impossible.  

It’s going to hurt. You’ll feel alone, inadequate, depressed. And that’s okay. Grieve for those friends. Be angry. Feel the feelings. Feel, but don’t believe. Don’t act on them.

You just have to push through the insults, the mockery, the contempt that you recieve. It’s easy to read this, and know you should do it. It’s much harder to actually do it. But this is why God’s given us armor. To protect us, not only from the “flaming arrows of the evil one” but from the flaming arrows of the world and its constituents. It is imperative that you power through, holding the sword of the spirit and wearing the armor of God, doing as he commands. He will support you, because he loves you.

Galatians 1:10 says “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

The only one we should aim to please is God. And guess what? We don’t have to earn his approval. It’s unconditional. There’s nothing we can do to win his approval or love or pride. And that’s amazing. Think on that for a second, yall. He already loves us and is proud of us.

He’s all that matters. He’s all we should aim for. Everything else is secondary, or even tertiary.

Now, as an extrovert, this is much easier said than done, for me personally. But I remember that people are temporary. Friendships are temporary. Romance is temporary, some relationships more than others.

Just because we lose friends or don’t have them doesn’t mean it will be that way forever. God will place people in our lives at key times. We will never truly be alone, remember that. He is with us.

Deuteronomy 10:31 is perfect for this situation: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Keep that verse in mind, and you’ll be good.

Stay salty friends.

Garrett

Garrett Aldred is a teen blogger, novelist and avid reader. You can check out his blog here,  and follow him on Instagram and Facebook as @sovereignswag.
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Can I just say that this post hit me, and hit me hard?  And because of that, I decided to write another post on the same subject next Tuesday, so be on the lookout for part two.
Also, I want to be clear that Garrett isn’t saying that we shouldn’t ask for advice and people’s opinion.  We just shouldn’t listen to people who give their opinions without our asking.  Parents opinions, our pastor’s opinion, and people we trust’s opinion is something we need and should respect.
~~Amie~~

Writer’s Necessities

*leans back to take a cool sip of coffee* *Chokes on said cup of coffee*

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It is I, Amie again, and I am here to give you a rundown of a writer’s necessities.  It’s a very serious subject I’m about to write on, so please be considerate of this.  I thank you kindly.

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#1 A Pen

A pen is a very tricky object.  Some are dead, others flow, while some scratch, and others give the most uncomfortable blisters ever.  If you’re serious about being a writer, you must be serious about your companion, a pen.  Your pen will treat you well, if you treat it well.  Some people prefer pencils, but they disappear a bit faster from the universe.  You need a trusty sidekick that is compatible with…

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#2 A notebook

Life would be extremely dull without a place to put your thoughts.  If you’re anything like me, you um…Well, forget everything you think of in a short amount of time.  Or perhaps that is only my problem.  And so, as a writer, you need to remember what you’re supposed to be writing, and not move on to the next project.  Keep your mind focused on the project at hand instead of interviewing the potential projects for the future.

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#3 A beverage

Maybe I’m the only person that finds having something to drink keeps me from getting up a million times and never actually writing?  If I know I won’t die of thirst in the middle of a chapter, I’m comfortable.  We can start the action, and ignore the fact that you just remembered you have a mile high pile of dishes to clean.

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#4 Books, books, and more BOOKS.

Um, more than half of the work going into the novel is research and inspiration, so a writer obviously needs books, books, and more BOOKS.  Just as a musician needs to be acquainted with all forms of music, an author needs to be grounded in all types of genres and writing styles.  The beginning of writing is reading.  (Actually 95% of writing is reading.)

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#5 Blankets

You get cold sitting right next to the air vent, or just doing nothing in the middle of winter (or perhaps summer?) is very bone chilling, and so, you need your blankets.  I have about three different trusty blankets.  A winter blanket (that I have wrapped around me now, LOL.) a fall/summer blanket, and my summer blanket.  Blankets are very very needful.

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#6 Out of this world imaginations.

Okay, so not every writer has this, but some of the best do.  And according to everyone that knows me, so do I.  It’s very helpful to be able to imagine a whole new world in five minutes.  (No, don’t tell me that I left a lot of loop holes.  Pantsers don’t like being told that.)  It’s very helpful to come up with unique ways to murder someone, or unique ways to drive a car.

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#7 Food

Food is very important to most writers, though I find food distracting.  Most writers have their special food (CHOCOLATE, anyone?  I honestly prefer lettuce) that helps the creativity.  Find your special food and…Um, have it boost creativity.

#8 Places to people watch

People watching is one of my favorite sports as long as I can sit in a corner.  I like to make up descriptions and write small sketches with people I see.  It can be very entertaining, and I’m hoping it actually improves writing skills…(Though I’m not sure if it improves my people skills.)

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#9 Music

Writing inspiration music is the perfect thing for setting the tone for a scene you’re about to write.  I used to be too distracted by the music to actually write, but I’ve learned how to multitask. 😂  Find the music for your story, and enjoy it!  For my WIP, I’ve been listening to a lot of 40s music.

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#10 Computer

You probably need a computer (or typewriter) to write your story.  After you have everything else, that is. 😉

And that, my friend, are some of the needed things for being a writer.  I hope you enjoyed this post, and stay tuned for Cam’s next post.  (She’s been working rather hard on it.)

~~Amie~~