Good afternoon! Ah, the sun is shining brightly above a frozen pond – what a beautiful January day! Writers, I want to send a warning your way today…to inspire you to intentionally protect your creativity from cynics. Webster’s definition of cynic is, simply, “a cynical person”. Further defining the actions of a ‘cynical’ person to be “denying the sincerity of people’s motives and actions”. Think about that – to deny – ‘deny’ is “1 to declare (a statement) untrue, 2 refuse to accept as true or right, and 4 to refuse to grant or give”. Wow – I heard “refuse” in two of those definitions. Now let’s throw in some of Webster’s synonyms for emphasis – for cynical – “scornful and disrespectful” are just a few. Webster also maps this word to ‘critic’ defined as “one who finds fault”. Further defining the act of being ‘critical’ as, “of or forming a crisis”. — Isn’t that interesting! ‘Crisis’ – meaning – “a decisive or crucial time, stage, or event”. Keep in mind that cynics are clever, they will make negative comments in a covert manner-so be careful to listen to negative comments made in a generalized tone because cynics have been known to entice one to laugh at a joke that is aimed directly at the person who is laughing. Hmm…you might not realize that the joke was aimed at you until the laughter has settled and the meaning of the words rise and smack you in the face – having you toss around questions such as, “Wait a minute — was she referring to me in that joke?” This a perfect tactic that cynics use to persuade you to believe that it could have ‘possibly’ been you they were referencing – known as the ‘doubt’ trap! When these seeds of doubt are planted in your mind, the goal is to decrease your belief in your ability to write creatively and produce a high word count. The writing process happens in stages; creativity being a critical stage — doubt tends to hit this stage the hardest — therefore, it is essential to protect this stage of your writing process from the negative energy that cynics bring. I challenge you to create a cynical character and allow them to interact with your non-cynical characters. This is an eye-opening exercise that will help you to identify cynics in your real life. Your observation of a person’s intent will empower you to protect your creative writing process from cynics who refuse to believe that you can succeed. Prove them wrong – by exercising your creativity, doubt-free, and producing a high daily word count!