I have a delightful hummingbird feeder. Two female ruby-throated hummingbirds visit it all day long, often fighting over the nectar. These hummingbirds are endlessly fascinating: curious, fast, beautiful, acrobatic, hilarious, adorable.
The bees that insist on stuffing their whole heads inside the little red feeder thingie?
In fact, they are not adorable, hilarious, or beautiful, either. In short, I hate them. They chase the hummingbirds away.
Metaphorically speaking, the hummingbirds are inspiration, ideas, the muse—everything that a writer needs to create a world out of nothing. Words are nectar. The feeder is tea, chocolate, a good night’s sleep. The view from my window: infinity.
The bees? They are insecurity. Fear. Hatred. Envy. Self-destruction.
I’ve found when I’m writing, I can’t read crappy reviews. I don’t want to know how well other authors are doing. If at any point while I’m writing I think to myself: Oh, what the hell am I doing? This is stupid. No one will want to read this. That insidious, creeping fear of what others think, of not letting yourself be who you truly are, is the destroyer of writers everywhere. That fear is incredibly tenacious. It stings and hurts and if you let it suck the nectar dry, your ideas will fly off to feed somewhere else.
What is the solution?
Or, in other words, self-discipline. Do NOT let yourself sink into a whine-fest, envy-fest, fear-fest, or any other kind of negative fest of any sort whatsoever. Instead, look out the window. See that sky? That’s what you’re aiming for.