The Nine of Pens, today’s pull from the Lunaria Tarot deck, perfectly illustrates Zombie by the Cranberries….
In your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie
What’s in your head, in your head?
Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie-ie, oh
We’ve all experienced it, right? That one critical comment (or maybe it was a few?) that pierces our heart and sends us spinning down the rabbit hole of “why am I doing this? Have I wasted my life? Maybe I’m not cut out to be a writer (artist, musician, etc.)…” Sometimes the arrow comes from close to home (“It’s just not the kind of book I like to read,” says Mom.), but often it’s a less than favorable review left by someone we’ve never heard of before.
The problem is never the comment though, it’s our reaction to it. Our ego gets pricked, we respond in a perfectly human way to the pain, then get embarrassed for responding humanly, and then suddenly we’re cutting ourselves off from everyone we’ve ever known because they all must think the same thing about us and we should never create anything again to avoid this horrible embarrassment and pain… (just me? anyone else do this too?)
The Nine of Pens says:
Whatever pain you’re experiencing, it can’t be that bad. You might have gotten a bad review, or had an unpleasant encounter with internet trolls. Don’t spend time dwelling on it and withdraw. Things are always worse in your head than they are in real life. If you continue to spiral, you’re only going to feel worse and possibly make the situation worse. Snap out of it. Find your way back to joy and harmony. And get used to being comfortable with not pleasing everyone. It’s your job as an author to ruffle feathers. Don’t let them ruffle yours.
Key Words: dark visions, anguish, drama, be proactive
We all need that friend, the one that will give us a reality check when we need one, who will remind us that we were never going to be liked by everyone, and that that doesn’t mean we should stop creating. Building that support network of creative people we trust who will come find us and drag us out of the hole we’ve gone down… it’s an essential component of the creative life. So who is that person for you? If you’re not sure, the Nine of Pens will stand in for them until you find someone.