Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.

― Charles Spurgeon

Hold that thought. Really, I mean literally, hold that thought. Sometimes we fail to realize how our environment affects us. The other really big thing we often ignore is how our attitude affects others.

Because as writers we are in the position of being “solitary” in our work, the social impact of workplace drama is often lost on us. As individuals, we lose the resonance of dealing with social groups on a daily basis. It certainly does not affect those who still remain at the day job, but for this purpose, as aspiring writers we suffer in our solitary confinement.

During our office/daytime hours we learn to deal with the interaction and drama of the group and to minimize (or not) the effect it has on us as individuals and as it relates to our work. When the drama quotient is high we learn to protect ourselves by mirroring or reflecting the temperament of others as is necessary to each situation. It is often referred to as survival instinct. Through this type of behavior we absorb the energy of others and often adopt the temperament of others in our shared situation. This is also possible when we interact with our writing groups.

In these shared situations we need to pay attention to how we are seen by the people around us who we influence with our words, our behavior and our actions. When the value we project is not consistent, the message we send is not only confusing but often misinterpreted.

When we take the time to “adjust” our attitude for the task at hand (writing /working) we have an opportunity to assess how we are perceived by others, and if the encounter is a positive or a negative to the others involved in the encounter. To do this affords us the opportunity to see ourselves as others see us. The value here is simple, if you took the time to share a smile will it lighten someone elses dreary outlook? Will a reassuring pat on the hand be the touch that ignites a spark of kindness multiplied as it is passed on? We fail to realize that sometimes a simple word of encouragement can transform bitterness to hope.

That transformation is a writer’s gift.