Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Poisonous Playmates

Poisonous Playmates: that's the term used in the Artist's Way. I've also heard them called frenemies. What are they? In the broader sense, they're friends who don't make you feel good about yourself. Maybe they make snippy remarks about your hair or look down at your choice of job. In the Artist's-Way sense, they're friends who don't support your taking your artist work seriously. Maybe they tell you, flippantly, that "everyone has a dream job that's impossible to actually live on." Or they interrupt your creative work to make you deal with an "emergency" that never seems to get solved, like a bad relationship that they stay in forever and need you to bail them out of constantly.

In reading this chapter of the book, I thought: I have no poisonous playmates! I thought of you all, my lovely blog friends (both those of you I know in-person and solely in the Ethernet). I thought of my Bug, who is just as supportive as I could hope for. I thought of my parents, who are proud of what I'm doing (though I doubt they think I could live off of it, but hey, they're half-way there). I thought of the co-worker friends who ask me about my work and actually listen as I blather on.

And then I thought about it further and realized that I probably do have Poisonous Playmates, but I don't share my work or dreams with them. I don't tell them about this blog. I don't tell them about my writing. And the weird thing is that even though they know I'm in an MFA program, they don't ask! As my work becomes more and more a part of my life, these people are going to be more and more left out. I guess it's like an organic weeding system of sorts...

But cheers to you, my Fabulous Friends!

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TI said...

I love this post. We don't need frenemies because we are members of the Mutual Inspiration Society. Let's have a Mutual Inspiration Society lunch in January.

Anonymous said...

I agree, CJ! It is like natural selection...
The more important something becomes to you, the less important the people become who don't support you regarding it.
Darinism at work in the writing/art world!!!

Repeater said...

I've had friends like that & eventually had to leave them behind. That kind of attitude is actually poisonous and can stop you from moving forward. Good riddance!
See you at the Chinese restaurant.

FatCharlatan said...

I have some family members like that...and like the old saying goes, you can't choose your family but you can choose your friends...I've had friends like that, too. Notice the past tense. We creative folks need to surround ourselves with people who "get it." It ain't always easy to find 'em, but they're out there, and I'm incredibly grateful for all of you! :)


GoGo said...

So true. I've had to let go of a few of these, but I've also confronted those who are important to me, the ones who can hear my needs and be honest where their disdain comes from. So, I guess I've been blessed to know those who lower my worth are out, and those who "didn't realize their actions" and could see me in the end get to stick around. I only hope this from my friends, before they boot me.

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