For those of us who enjoy writing, we've all encountered doubters. Most are passive doubters, those that will scoff and say things like, "You'll never make it," and then they'll move on. It's easy to deal with those kinds of idiots. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of very hateful people out there who will actively try to discourage you.
What brought this on was thoughts of a person I used to work with. This person is a limited individual who rarely reads, and even then only reads a specific genre and claims that all others are "for pussies" when what's really going on is that he lacks the imagination to even understand, much less appreciate, anything outside of a narrow band.
When I went to work with him, I didn't discuss my hobby. I knew early on that this person would mock my dreams, so it wasn't worth telling him about. That doesn't mean that I didn't tell anyone at my work - several people were very well read and expressed interest in what I was writing about, so I let them have a few sample chapters. When this guy found out, he was livid.
He's one of those people that believes work is everything in life. If you aren't thinking about work, then you're a slacker. That I did something different than work in my spare time when I was off the clock meant nothing to him. "You need to stop this stupid shit and focus more on work instead of trying to write a damn book." I was apoplectic.
Everything said about my novel, which has since turned into several, was negative. Some people would have been discouraged by such taunting, but not me - I'm too stubborn. All this person's inane prattling did was push me to become successful. I promise to make it now just to spite him.
Thankfully, I no longer work in that environment. My co-workers and I described that time as living with an abusive alcoholic stepfather. The level of stress off my shoulders is gone, and I no longer wonder if people discussing something they liked that I produced when I wasn't at work will cause someone's head to explode.
How many people out there have encountered such hateful people? I'll bet I'm not alone.