Saturday, 20 January 2018

Yes, It is Your Fault


"It doesn't' matter what others are doing. It matters what you are doing." 
~ Buddhist Quote

Although I have a Facebook account, I have never liked Facebook or the whole social media scene because I find that people say really terrible things when they're hiding behind their keyboards.

I only use FB for marketing but I have tried joining a few groups but every one I join turns out to be nothing like what it's supposed to be and there is always a ton of bitching and arguing going on.

So over time, I've dropped out of them all. But a few weeks ago I came across a group all about clean food and eating a plant-based diet, which is something I'm very interested in and it advertised itself as being all about empowering yourself and feeling good by eating clean food.

So I joined.

And guess what?

It wasn't about that at all. It seemed to be about people saying that they wanted to eat well, but then complaining about all the junk food they ate, while others would add comments that basically said, "There, there, it's not your fault." All of them blamed their bad eating habits on having "stressful" days.

Then one person said we cannot control what happens to us, but we are responsible for our response to what happens. Sage words. Or so I thought.

But then she went on to say that after she'd recently had a "stressful" day ( I use quotes because it sounded like just a normal day to me) she sat on her kitchen floor, crying while eating a whole packet of Oreo cookies (apparently she was crying because she didn't want to eat the cookies), but it wasn't her fault that she ate all the cookies because all the "stress" she'd suffered forced her to eat them.

So, stupidly, I responded by saying, "But you said that we are all responsible for how we respond to situations so doesn't that mean that it IS your fault that you ate them?"

And then I found out how painful lynching must be because I got so many hate comments all telling me how wrong I was and that they all weren't responsible for all their binge eating because it was out of their control.

What I found surprising (or not) was that they seemed to be of the collective opinion, that because they were all doing the same bad behaviour, it somehow made it not wrong to do. It was as though they thought that if others were doing it too, then it was justified.

And you might be wondering by now, what this all has to do with writing?

Well, I see this same attitude when it comes to negative behaviours about writing, like blaming procrastination or writer's block. It seems people go to forums and do Google searches and find a ton of information about how others waste time procrastinating or saying that they can't write because they have writer's block.

And that's enough to justify their own lack of writing. "I'm not the only one who can't write because I've got writer's block, so it's normal to not write at all. It's not me. Blame writer's block. We all have it. So it's not my fault. Not writing is clearly out of my control."

Well, I'm here to tell you that it is your fault. It doesn't matter what others are or aren't doing.

If you're not getting your writing done, it is completely your fault.

Can you imagine trying this same excuse in a courtroom? 

The prosecution barrister would say, "So why did you rob the bank?" And you say, "Well I looked online and others were doing it too, so it's not my fault!" And the barrister responds with, "Oh, I had no idea others were robbing banks too. Your Honour, we can't possibly jail this person for robbery if others are doing the same thing. Clearly, it's not their fault. They cannot be held responsible for their actions."

It wouldn't work in court, or anywhere else.

We are all responsible for our actions (or inactions).

No matter how you feel, you always have a choice.

Blaming something else (writer's block, procrastination) is just weakness and laziness.

And weakness and laziness are not virtues.

 But they are things that are within our control.

Writers write.

Whiners whine.

I'm not saying it's easy to write when you don't feel like it.

But you are a writer. 

So if you're not writing every day, it's your fault.

Take back control.



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