Several months ago I did a post about how I wasn’t afraid of the story bullies.
In that post, I defined story bullies as the people who were always telling you how to write. Do this. Don’t do that. Follow these rules. Never make these mistakes.
While as a writer I’m not afraid of taking good advice or listening to other’s opinions, I hate the idea of general rules about how to write and people pontificating about how they have the wisdom that everyone else should follow. These are the sorts of people I think of as story bullies.
As I go about my daily life, I realise that the story bullies are not the only bullies around. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realise there are bullies everywhere. That’s why I call them the ‘everywhere bullies’.
The everywhere bullies tell you everything about how you’re supposed to live your life.
– They tell you what you should be wearing.
– They tell you what you should be eating.
– They tell you what books you should reading, what music you should be listening to, and what TV shows or movies you should be watching.
– They tell you where you should be going on holiday.
– They even tell you which suburbs you should be living in.
The everywhere bullies don’t want you to make up your own mind. They have this superior wisdom that enables them to push their ideas and opinions onto everybody else.
If we all listened to the everywhere bullies, life would be pretty boring. We’d all be watching the same things and eating the same things and reading the same things.
Which is why I choose not to listen to them.
Nobody is going to tell me what I like, except me. Nobody is going to make lifestyle choices for me, except me. I’m determined to keep an independent mind, and make my own decisions about how to use it. I’ll wear what I want, and listen to what I want and watch what I want.
Sure, the choices I make may not be cool. They may not correspond to the latest in whatever passes for fashion. They may not come up to the expectations of those everywhere bullies. But that doesn’t bother me one little bit.
Life is too short, and there’s too much of it to enjoy. And that’s far too important to leave up to other people.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as