Monday, June 6, 2011

The Energy We Spend

Okay, so I've been thinking a lot about where I spend my energy. My time. My brain cells. See, my time is getting more and more pressed, and I have to be very careful about using too much of it on the wrong things.

And I have decided that the "wrong things" are anything that brings negativity into my life. There are better things I can devote my energy to. That's why I write only positive reviews on Bookanista Thursday. That's why I leave as many encouraging comments on as many blogs as I can. That's why when people ask for help, I give it if I can. To anyone. Agented or unagented. Published or unpublished. Homeless or Homeful. It matters not to me.

I just think there's enough negativity, enough tearing down, enough scorning and scoffing to bring even the most optimistic person into a downward spiral of depression.

I refuse to add my voice to that.

I choose to spend my energy on those things that are uplifting. For me, for my family, for those around me, for my interactions on the Internet.

Just because there are screens between people doesn't make the words we say to one another any less hurtful.

The Internet is a public place. You can have your opinions; I have mine. I choose to only make the positive opinions public. The negative ones my husband hears all about. *wink*

What do you think? Where are you spending your energy, and what do you think people take away from what you say and do?


Also, the winner of a book of their choice from #IHeartIndies day is Theresa Milstein! Email me, T.

58 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I also so agree that being positive and supportive is so important. That's one reason I follow so many blogs. And help when I can.

Don't forget your interview with me and the big giveaway at Literary Rambles today for your book.

Julia Karr said...

Definitely agree, Elana! It's sometimes tough, but I steer clear of the negative, too (for the most part.) My cats & dog hear all the rest!

Laura Pauling said...

I agree. No negativity about yourself or others. Not worth it. Save the depression for close friends. And on a more positive note - I think there's a certain book coming out tomorrow or maybe even today? Hmm. What could it be?

Jessica Bell said...

Totally agree. I try and spend my energy where it matters most. My family, my writing, my friends. Anything negative come last. But I DO express it. I can't let it all bottle up. But there certainly is a time and place and it's NOT on the internet. Of course, there are exceptions, sometimes someone might need some moral support for a tough time they are going through. I totally understand the need to do that.

Miranda Hardy said...

I feel the same way. I surround myself with positive people, and I am so much happier for it. This is a reason I don't read the news, too many negative stories. I'm not blind to the fact negativity exists, I just choose to be positive.

Heather Kelly said...

I think that the kind of energy you put out is the same kind of energy you get back. Don't piss off the universe. :)

Trisha Wolfe said...

You summed it up for me. And my hubby hears all that I can't say in 'public' too ;) Whether he wants to or not. Do unto others, baby =D

SPinneo said...

I'm with you. I'm already there in terms of spreading only positive vibes around the internet. I just wish I could figure out a way not to even READ the negative stuff. Whether or not I jump into the fray, it still infects me.

Matthew MacNish said...

Amen, sister.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This is a very Yen post. Love it!

Christine Rains said...

I agree, too. Even a little positive energy can go a long way. There's too many people out there who use the anonymity of the internet to say negative things. I very much appreciate those that give out good energy, and I'm sure there are many others who appreciate that as well.

khashway said...

I agree. I don't post negativity on the internet. We have enough negativity in the world. Why add to it? I complain about things--like everyone else--but not in public. No one else (other than my family who has no choice but to listen) wants to hear me complain. I'd rather be positive and help others, if I can.

Suzie F. said...

Absolutely! Great post, Elana!

Jennifer said...

I couldn't agree more. I know there are people out there who get their kicks on hurting other people. I don't get it. When I first started blogger I received a few mean spirited emails telling me that my blog was terrible and random. We were both members of book blogs and she said I was misrepresenting myself. At first I was mad. My irish was all kind of up but then I just decided to ignore it. And I am glad I didn't fall into being angry like her.
Thanks for this post....and 15 hours until Possession hits bookstores...GET EXCITED!!!!

Lindsay said...

I totally agree, Elana. Words are our tool. They are powerful. I try to use them in a positive way, too ;)

Slamdunk said...

Well said Elana, and I like your litmus test.

We certainly choose how we make an impact in this world--not only on ourselves, but in interactions with others.

Carrie said...

I think it is very important to spread positive energy around the internet and the writing community. You are an awesome example of positive energy.

So excited to wake up and read Possession on my Kindle tomorrow. Congratulations.

Eric said...

Great post, Elana. This is why I keep visiting your blog. If there's one thing we can never get too much of, its positive vibes. And you are such an awesome provider of positivity (I hope that's a word LOL).

John Sankovich said...

Thanks for the reminder. I think I've been spending too much time on the negative. Especially the "my novel sucks" syndrome. Took a break this weekend, hope it refreshes my mojo.

Kelly said...

What a wonderful post and outlook, Elana. I try to do the same.
And I think you are positively wonderful!!!

Christine Fonseca said...

Couldn't agree more...and this is part of the reason why we love you.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

thank you for this! I completely agree and also try very hard to not add to any sort of negativity that is already out there. It just takes too much energy to be negative about things

Deana said...

So right, negativity is like a disease and it spreads if you don't quickly wash your hands of it. Thanks for putting this out there. It never hurts to have this reminder:)

Jenny Lundquist said...

I agree. I might adapt this post to be my private "Writing Manifesto." It amazes me how cruel people can be on the internet sometimes. And as a reader, I never want to waste my time reading a negative review, at least, not on a blog. I check the Bookanista's reviews and the MMGM reviews for new titles to add to my TBR list.

Congratulations on your release week! I've been reading your blog for a long time and have learned a lot from you.

Laura Marcella said...

It's way easier being positive anyway! Happy, encouraging thoughts and words is energy well spent. :)

Happy Day-Before-Your-Novel's Release, Elana!!!!!

Emily White said...

I like to wallow in depression, spewing negativity around the world. :P

Actually, I think I might like making jokes. I don't know if I've ever pulled one off, though. :)

Mary Ann said...

I think this is what I admire most about you.
Choosing to be positive is a moment-to-moment struggle for me, but gets easier as I practice.
I have to say though--the writing universe as a whole, is the most supportive, positive place I've been. Thanks to people like you!

Kelly Lyman said...

I totally agree with you! It is all about choices- we can choose to be positive or we can choose to be negitive. And, whatever we choose have to remember and know that it will effect everything and everyone around us. We can choose to build up or knock stuff down.

Kelly Lyman said...

Oh, and Happy almost release day!! So excited for tomorrow!

Stephanie McGee said...

Ditto a thousand times. Lovely post, Elana.

Carrie Dair said...

Agreed! My parents raised me with the old adage, "If you can't say anything nice..." Well, NOT talking was impossible for little ol me (still is) so I tend to lean heavily towards the optimistic side of life. In fact, I've been known to drive some people absolutely nuts by such an attitude, but only because they want to be sad and, well, happiness is insanely contagious. :)

That's not to say that I haven't been sad before, because I have. But bar none, a positive word from a friend or stranger has been known to completely change my mind and attitude. Likewise, arguing or belittling on social media turns me off. Especially since it could be me someday that somebody complains about. And that would hurt. Big time. People are powerful! Let's use that power for good. :)

Melanie said...

I'm also trying really hard to stay positive. With 5 year old twins that only have school for 2.5 hours a day and are very demanding of my attention and time, i have to be careful in how I utilize my limited free moments in the day. There simply isn't any time to dwell on the negative. If I receive a form R on my query, I revenge query or revenge write to cope. Whining to my writer friends about another R was not making the R's stop and I felt like a broken record and decided that I'll just wait until I have something positive to say :D

Brenda Sills said...

How wonderful! I love this post - what an incredible chain reaction it would be all over the world if we made kindness our mantra! Thank you!

Cynthia Lee said...

I loved this post! I've been relentlessly positive for the past few years now and it had made a HUGE difference in my life.

I've had a few friends (and a now ex-husband) ask, somewhat contemptuously and rhetorically, how I manage to be positive when the world is so mad and bad?

My response is "How can I NOT be positive when the world is so mad and bad."

If I sat around and waited for reasons to be positive and happy and joyful - I might still be waiting, honestly. I made a choice and I started doing it. It gets easier as the years go by.

Colene Murphy said...

AAAAAAAAAAMEN! Positivity FTW! Agree with you wholeheartedly. Being negative is a nasty infection people spread all over the place and what does being such a downer really do for people? Why not be positive!? :)

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

And this is why I love coming to your blog. It's so nice to have a goal of positive impact in an increasingly negative world.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I think there's a balance. I mean, being positive is great - and congrats on knowing yourself well enough to make that decision - but honesty's important too, you know? And where's the line?

Susanne Drazic said...

Stop by my blog to pick up an award I've nominated you for.

Christina Lee said...

AMEN sister (And friend)!! Exactly what I've been thinking about lately!!!!

tomorrowtomorrowtomorrowtomorrow!!!

HEE!!!!!!! xoxoxoxo

Donea Lee said...

Life's too short to waste your energy on negative things. TOO SHORT! It inevitably creeps in sometimes, sadly.

But, I love this blogging community. I can honestly say that it's VERY rare to come across a blog here that doesn't inspire me or make me smile/laugh on a daily basis. LOVE it. :)

Jenn Johansson said...

Totally agreed! I'm all for positivity. I think this is one reason you are such an appealing person. You ooze a kind of positive energy. Yay for oozing! :)

Laura said...

Your post caught my eye in my Reader and made me smile. I'm with you on all of it. More times than I can remember a positive comment or little encouragement from someone online has completely turned my day around, and this spirals outwards as I am able to spend this rush of positivity on more people, and it expands out in a huge web. Like you say, why add your voice to anything negative.

Great post - I will try to act accordingly!
Lxx

Jen Daiker said...

AHHH! I wish I had more energy to get more work done throughout the day. I find that if I make a plan for myself I can follow and feel more accomplished than when I just wing it.

Lately I've been winging it and I have to say it makes me feel less accomplished and frustrated.

However if I breathe, plan, and do, I'm much more efficient and relaxed.

Not if only I could have a person work at my day job so I could have enough time to both blog and write I'd be in heaven.

Leslie Rose said...

Here, here! Negativity is a blight on creativity.

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm all about cutting the negative out of my life. It will overwhelm me, otherwise. Besides, one little candle in the dark can help light other ones. =]

Marsha Sigman said...

Exactly, being negative is a waste of time! Now disagreeing is a different matter because that can be done in a positive way. But everyone should remember what happens in the Blogosphere doesn't stay a secret.

This ain't Vegas.

Liesl said...

I totally agree and this is one of the reasons that I had to back off from goodreads. I was posting a lot of negative reviews on books that just weren't my taste and I realized that it was feeding me negative energy. (Serves me right, huh?) I wanna be a lover not a hater! So I decided I'd talk about things I like and ignore the things that just aren't for me. They're likely loved by someone else and that's a good thing. Plenty of love to go around.

Krispy said...

I admire your positivity. :)

Natalie said...

I <3 you, Elana. I love your positivity and your kindness and inclusiveness. I want to be just like you when I grow up (or now). :)

Taffy said...

Great post! Your are awesome at positivity. I think I've offended a few people when I say no. I value my time and where I want to use it. And in positive ways.

*waves hands uncontrollably in the air while squealing* Tomorrow your day!!

Julie Musil said...

Amen to that, Elana. You ARE a positive force, which is one more reason why we LOVE YOU! Keep doing what you're doing. You're an inspiration :D

Nisa said...

I agree that we should definitely be uplifting and positive. I do believe we have an obligation to warn people when things aren't uplifting though. If I wasted time and money on a book full of swearing and smut, I feel like it's my responsibility to let others know what's in it so they don't have to wade through it.

E.J. Wesley said...

Hey Elena, hadn't had the chance to pop over and say "HOLY CRAP POSSESSION IS HERE!" :0)

Seems like I've been following your blog for ages, and I couldn't be more excited for someone. I'll be looking for it on shelves this weekend!

Best of luck!

EJW

Jemi Fraser said...

I try to follow the same kind of philosophy. I've seen what a kind word can do for a kid, and I've seen what one nasty word can do to a kid. I'd rather be on the side where we're building each other up and helping each other out.

Lydia Sharp said...

Beautiful. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks, guys. It's always so great to come here and read your comments. You make me feel all fuzzy inside.

Bethany Elizabeth, I think being honest is right up there, probably above being positive. I am brutally honest in what I post here, and what I tweet and Facebook. I choose to only blog/post/tweet about those things that I can be brutally honestly positive over.

Do I love every book I read? No. I just don't put it on my blog or give it 2 stars on Goodreads. That's not being dishonest. It's keeping my negativity private.

Theresa Milstein said...

I try to stay away from negative debate too. I'm not perfect about it. And I do read what I write carefully before I hit "send" if I think it can be negatively interpreted.

Thanks for the win! I'm excited!

TL Conway said...

Hi, Elana. Massive congrats on the success of your launch week! I've been reading your blogs and living the dream through you. But I got to this one and just really felt compelled to comment.

Thank you for putting this out there. Maybe it's just the day I'm having, or maybe it's a trend I've subconsciously been sensing, but it's refreshing to read about your positive posts. This one blog moved me more than the others combined. You are right--there's enough negativity out there and as a "new kid" on the blog block, I appreciate knowing there are such kind voices out there.

Again, congrats and may you have continued overwhelming successes!

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