Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Victor Meldrew has got nothing on me

I know we Brits love talking and complaining about the weather. It's just far too hot for me today and I have no interest in writing at all. Now that's bad coming from me - Mrs ultra enthusiastic writer. I have an article I should be writing, a short story I should be editing and posting off, but I can't. (Liam will be arrriving on my doorstep with his ducks in a minute shouting 'there's no such thing as can't!' at me. ) Moaning about the weather should be an official sport in the Olympics as we'd win hands down! I wonder if it's possible to become a professional moaner as some people seem to have it down to a fine art. You can imagine the scene at dinner parties can't you.

'And what do you do?'
'Oh I'm a professional moaner.'
'Of course! I should have recognised you. I absolutely adore your work. Can I have your autograph?'
'I get this all the time. I want a bit of peace and quiet to wind down and someone still wants a piece of me. I don't sign autographs after someone pinched my cheque book and copied my signature. Do you know how much money I had stolen? Honestly it was beyond a joke. Do you know what I hate more than people asking me for an autograph? People who don't ask me for my autograph! Theye are just being rude and there's no excuse for it. Then there's the people who ask me why I limp when it's none of their business and anyway had they bothered to read my double spread interview in Hello magazine they would know very well why I limp. Ignorance it is. Ignorance and rudeness ............'

You could go on forever couldn't you! It would be great if they paid you per moan! We'd all be rich! I think it's good to have a good old moan every now and then. But I do find that as I get older I seem to be finding more things to moan about! Victor Meldrew has got nothing on me! I noticed that most of the letters I've had published in the papers are moans and groans. There are a few positive 'thank yous' and observations, but mostly I'm carping!

I think it's therapeutic to vent our frustrations, get it all out in the open. I think it's cleansing and it certainly makes me feel better afterwards. As long as we moan in a positive way - ie we don't go overboard or annoy other people too much, then it can be helpful. Sometimes , when complaining about something, you can discover that other people share the same views as you. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that. But there is a time and place for everything and some people don't seem to be aware that what they are saying is making other people uncomfortable or that what they are saying is inappropriate for the situation they are in. Neither do they have an awareness of when to stop talking. They have this compulsion to be the centre of attention and make it their mission to get their message across and they expect everyone to listen to, and agree with them. They also wonder why people seem to avoid them - they just cannot work it out.

There are some people, however who love to moan and once they have an audience there's no stopping them. They will go on and on about their problems, about all the bad stuff that's happened in their lives. But whatever you do, do not mention, under any circumstances, any of your problems. And definitely do not say you know how they feel because they will never let it go. No one is as worse off as them. Oh and don't suggest that anything they say is incorrect or that there are things they should try that could make them feel better. You have to understand that that's not what they want. They want to moan and have people feel sorry for them. They are professional moaners.

That's not to say that we shouldn't have some sympathy for them. Undoubtably they do have problems and do need help, but some of these problems do seem to be invented ones, or exaggerated. (That should be an olympic sport too - exxagerating events - it was this big!)And I know I do go on a bit myself sometimes, but I know whan to shut up and just get on with it! But these people are fixated on one point in their lives and for whatever reason are unable to move forward. Their moans generally do not bring about change or enable them to see things as they really are

Now I am, of course, talking about the extreme here. Most of us just have a quick moan and let it go and get on with our lives - no matter how bad our situations are. But some people make a career out of telling people their woes. This can have a pretty destructive effect on their lives and the lives of those around them. So much so that other people will go out of their way to avoid the professional moaner for fear of being dragged down too. Remember the ducks at the motivational workshop I went to at my writers' group . These people are definitely Dysons! But if they'd just relax and get the proper help they need life would be so much better for them and those who encounter them on a daily basis.

The point is that professional moaners can provide an amazing array of writing opportunities for writers. You all must know someone or know someone who knows someone who is renowned for moaning. They can make fascinating characters with some interesting stories to tell. So next time you encounter a Dyson listen to them and make a mental note of any short story ideas, poems or articles that spring to mind. If you've got to stand there listening to their droning monologue then at least reward yourself with the possibility of getting paid for something you wrote that was inspired by them! Just remember to raise your negativity deflecting shields when they're talking or they will suck you in and spit you out a jibbering wreck on the floor!

Just a thought!

Happy writing,

Julie xx (mini moaner. )


Olivia Ryan said...

This is very true, Julie - and made me laugh. I agree, we all know people like this! I think there are people who moan about everything 'new'. In reality they are probably just nervous of change, or accepting anything different - and I guess we all are, to some extent, but the Professional Moaners can't ever seem to see the positives - only the negatives. Me - I like to think I'm a 'glass half full' person. Moaning about some things is useful and valid - but as you say, let's get it out, get it over and get on with it! x

Julie P said...

Hi, Olivia! I'm glad it made you laugh - that was the point! I thought about this post when I was watching and listening to a couple while I was waiting at the hospital and they were taking it turns trying to out do each other in the who had the most wrong with them stakes - it was very funny and was getting more rediculous as the time went on!

I mean I know I can moan for England - as my husband and the readers of the Shropshire Star newspaper will attest! But at least I don't rattle on and on and on (maybe I do! Oh my god! Maybe I'm a Dyson and a professional moaner but I don't realise it!) Quick, Olivia. Save yourself!

Julie ;0) xxx