Kingdom of Containment: Creative Snipers

sniper by Dunechaser on flickr
sniper by Dunechaser on flickr

I’m supposed to make a list of “creative snipers” i.e. people who, due to their own creative blocks, shoot holes in my creativity. This is nothing new to me, and in fact, these people have been my personal pet peeves in many other areas of my life. I’m not sure there are that many left in my immediate circle, but I can certainly think of examples from the past.

  • When, upon first initiating some projects for the Urban Wicca exploration, I posted a series of suggestions for activities including “drive by magic” in difficult neighborhoods, I received an extremely patronizing response about “why not volunteer for x organization, isn’t that magic enough?” Well no, that’s not magic, that’s volunteering. Volunteering is great, but that’s not what we were trying to do. We were looking for ways to add magic. It was fear of practicing magic under the guise of being “sensible.” Treating me like I was flaky made these jerks feel superior while they themselves were doing nothing (notably none of those who proposed it did volunteer work either.)
  • Various people more or less wishing me failure in various business ventures.
  • “You’re too old/too young/ too involved / too distant / don’t know enough about ….. to do/create/write x.”
  • “Don’t write that, or y (some random awful thing) will happen!”
  • Those people who absolutely can’t stand the idea that I just did something great – had one of those in high school. I think she started bullying me because I was an easy target; even teachers were unconcerned for my well being and acted like I deserved it (fat kids apparently don’t have feelings in Crown Point.) But when it turned out that I actually had some talents come to the fore, she would actually put up quite a whine about why she or her friend – both who came from a much more entitled place – weren’t getting the recognition I had earned.

Anyone who asks me not to write does not belong in my life. Anyone who asks me to censor myself is also very suspect. It’s one thing to call me on it if I’m stuck dwelling on some part of my past and it’s preventing my creative development – it’s another to complain because my comments make a person uncomfortable or it in some way holds up a mirror. Also, they must think I’m an amazing writer if they’re convinced the publication of my ideas will lead to Armageddon.

Are these people still in my life? Mostly, no. In fact, a good chunk of my time since 2002 has involved weeding people out who stood between me and my creative trajectory. Thankfully Julia Cameron’s work is giving me words for what was happening to me – I just knew I was angered and confused, but since I couldn’t understand why certain people wanted to block me, I couldn’t quite connect what exactly was happening in my head.

I have a hard time understanding why it’s so difficult for some folks to be happy for people. Yes, we all want and can’t always get certain things for ourselves, but when you rejoice with someone in their own good fortune or their difficult accomplishment, your own capacity for joy – and thus possibility of joy for yourself – increases. The more you do it, the more likely you are to have some happy moments of your own.

Still, if I had to do a wall of shame:


2. KL, though it’s been scaled back quite a bit

3. R – but that was taken care of rapidly

4. L – probably still bitching, but at least I’m not present to hear it

5. M, L, M – grouped. Essentially female bullying/dominance crap. I can’t believe the behavior that gets excused as “maternal.”

I’m very fortunate in that I can’t at the moment name ten people who are snipers, and of the above named more than half are in no way part of my life at this time.