I'm an optimistic, happy person by nature. I was a cheerleader in high school AND college, for pete's sake! But during a short time period when I'm getting ready for a show, I find myself easily annoyed, frustrated, and peeved. My (already low) patience level dips to near non-existent, and I have to consciously stop myself from immediately responding to comments and online posts until I take a deep breath and get my first impulse responses under control.
I like helping people, sharing knowledge, and watching people succeed. I get annoyed when I offer suggestions and helpful information that is either ignored or disregarded. If you don't want help, don't ask for it.
I belong to several online forums and groups. While some of the interactions are just mildly annoying to me, I got offended the other day when someone questioned my qualifications for writing health and fitness articles. No, I don't have any formal education; I've learned everything on my own through trial and error, listening to experts, and hours upon hours of research. I have nothing against education; in fact, I'm a huge proponent of college degrees. But I don't think they're a necessity in all situations. I've found that the most knowledgeable people are the ones who have put in the time to research and test theories, regardless of whether they're in a formal classroom setting, at their job, or do it in their spare time.
Before I responded to the question, I assessed my feelings.
- Was I over-reacting?
- Just because I read the question as offensive, was she really trying to offend me?
- Was she simply curious about my background? (That information can be found after a 2 minute search on Facebook and my blog, btw.)
- Was she implying that her formal education is superior to my personal experience?
- Was she implying that I'm not qualified to write health and fitness articles?
- Was I letting my crabby mood influence my perception of the question?
I realize that by writing in public forms, I'm opening myself up to criticism. I don't expect everyone to agree with me all the time; in fact, I appreciate it when people offer additional information or alternative ways of thinking. It's important to always be learning and open to new ideas and approaches.
Just because I choose to compete doesn't mean I need to make everyone around me miserable. I'm conscious of my attitude and my hair trigger temper, and I'm trying to just let things roll off my shoulders instead of focusing on the negative or on the things other people say or do. I need to keep my eye on the prize and stay focused on my goal. I'm pasting a smile on my face right now!
Do you get crabby, easily annoyed, or impatient during prep? How do you handle it? What are your thoughts on qualifications for writing articles?