Negative Self Talk for Writers: Fairesy

Fairesy occurs when you feel angry or resentful because you think that someone (or the world) has treated you unfairly. This happens frequently in the writing world when you feel that someone is benefiting from your work without proper credit or compensation. It also happens when you feel your work is being rejected or condemned for seemingly arbitrary reasons or when you believe that you are being held to a different standard than someone else.

Here is an example of fairesy:

Poor self talk: It isn’t fair! I just picked up the latest copy of Magazine X and they are running an article about the benefits of water aerobics. I queried them with that exact same idea six months ago. They ripped off my idea and they are running it as if it’s their own. They took my query and assigned it to someone else. The editor knows it was my idea and he rejected it because it was “not right for their audience”. What a bunch of lying cheats.

Realistic self talk: I just picked up the latest copy of Magazine X and they are running an article about the benefits of water aerobics. I queried them with that exact same idea six months ago. They didn’t like the idea at the time, but I guess this proves it wasn’t a bad an idea after all. I may have caught the editor on an off day. It would have been nice to land that article, but I’ve got better things to do than dwell on it.

Some ways to avoid fairesy:

  • Accept that sometimes you won’t get the things you deserve
  • Ask yourself if an issue is worth getting upset about
  • Ask yourself what the appropriate response to the situation is
  • Try to determine the most positive step you can take to improve the situation
  • Move on

Note: The terminology I am using from an excellent textbook called Stress Management for Wellness by Walt Schafer.

8 thoughts on “Negative Self Talk for Writers: Fairesy

  1. John,
    This is common throughout our society-not just among writers. Everybody seems to think they’re entitled to … whatever they think is “fair.”

  2. @ Dave

    Perspective is a powerful tool.

    @ Lillie

    All of these problems can be applied to people in general. Everyone has some form of negative self talk that they have to get past.

  3. I see poor self talk and realistic self talk both as natural and reasonable responses but at different stages. It’s perfectly fine initially to get angry and feel cheated. That is, after all, the truth so why deny it? What’s important is what you do next and how you handle your emotional reaction. That’s when it’s vital to stay positive so that you come out on top eventually and not to let unfortunate experiences drag you down. It may start off as bad luck but the eventual outcome is in your own hands so take responsibility for it.

    “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”

    George Bernard Shaw

  4. @ Ewan,

    It is certainly true that many people talk themselves out of their negative thinging after a little time. The key is to stop the negative thinking as soon as you can.

  5. It’s true when you don’t get proper credit of your efforts then you start think negatively about yourself. This always happen with me. And not only me i hope that in world there are many people who has this character. But quick learner is which, who faces these things with very positive frame of mind……………………

  6. @ Jeanne,

    There are plenty of good reasons to get upset about something, but there are usually just as many good reasons to let it slide.

  7. @ Ewan,

    How true! Negative emotional responses to unpleasant circumstances are normal. But, while it may be OK to “go there,” it’s definitely not OK to “stay there.” To get ahead, we must move beyond that first, turbulent emotional reaction and take positive steps to make the best of the situation — or create an entirely new and better one.

    @ John,

    Great points! There are many reasons why Magazine X might have decided to go with another author for that piece. Perhaps the editor didn’t like the initial querier’s treatment of the topic or (for whatever reason) simply wasn’t convinced that he or she would do it justice. (Producing an effective query letter is an art, in itself.) One never knows exactly what’s in the mind of a given editor; and, as angry as it makes us to have our ideas stolen, we all know that ideas can’t be copyrighted — which means that anyone can use them.

    Love your advice for avoiding fairesy!

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