Skip to content

K is for Killjoys – How to Protect Your Creativity #AtoZChallenge

I love encouraging others!

Since I love encouraging others so much, I’m sharing Creative Encouragement Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. The quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s today’s featured letter:

Protect Yourself from Creative Killjoys

Some people get so frustrated with their own creativity that seeing you enjoy your creative projects pisses them off. I call these people Creative Killjoys. The world is full of them, alas, and they come in several flavors.

One type of Creative Killjoy will regale you with facts and figures about how few artists “make it” in the world. They’re not trying to discourage you, they’ll claim, they just want you to be informed. Gee, aren’t they nice? For example, if you’re writing a novel, they tell you how few people make the New York Times bestseller list – but in a way that makes it seem like that’s the only way for a writer to measure their success.

Another tactic Creative Killjoys use is to compare you to someone who is more successful at the same thing. Perhaps they’ll show you a YouTube video of a 5-year-old piano prodigy effortlessly zipping through a rendition of a Chopin piece you’ve been struggling to play for several weeks.

Of course, in this example, a lot depends on the motivations of the other person. Maybe they truly thought you would find inspiration from seeing the 5-year-old piano prodigy.

It’s tricky because Creative Killjoys like to pretend they have your best interests in mind. “Oh, I just thought you’d like to see this,” they’ll claim, or maybe, “I told you these facts because I didn’t want you to have unrealistic expectations,” or whatever. Here’s the key: Your gut feelings will let you know if the motives behind this sort of thing are coming from a place of kindness or not.

So pay attention to how you feel. Even if a Creative Killjoy doesn’t want to admit they are trying to sabotage your creativity, if you feel like crap after their “well meaning advice” then there’s a good chance they are trying to discourage you for one reason or another.

My advice? Weed out the Creative Killjoys from your life. And if you are forced to live with one, find ways to insulate yourself from them when you work on your projects. Surround yourself with people who will support you. I don’t mean “yes, men,” either. There’s a time and place for editing and supportive critiques. But good editing and supportive critiques leave you feeling good about yourself rather than ashamed for letting the world glimpse your creativity. There’s a big difference!

What about you? How do you deal with Creative Killjoys in your life? Have you ever given up on a project after a Creative Killjoy bombarded you with “helpful advice”?


Follow me on Instagram & I’ll follow you back!

If you are on Instagram, I’d be delighted to follow you. Simply follow my photo feed (@TuiSnider) on Instagram and I’ll follow you back! Isn’t Instagram fun? I’ve gone from turning up my nose at the idea of cell phone pictures, to being an avid iPhone photographer. I even had my first gallery show last summer!

What is the April A to Z Blog Challenge?

Each April, bloggers from all over the world participate in the April A to Z blog challenge, and you can too. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to meet other bloggers.

To play along, all you do is make a blog post for each letter of the alphabet during April, then visit as many other bloggers as you can. In addition to my personal blog here, I’m also writing A to Z posts for the the Story Dam writing community. You can check those out by clicking here: Story Dam’s Writing Quotes & Encouragement 

Hey, you! Want to come along for the ride?

No matter where you live in the galaxy, Tui's books can take you on a FUN adventure!
No matter where you live in the galaxy, Tui Snider’s books can take you on a FUN adventure!

FREE NEWSLETTER: For updates on my offbeat travels, books, & other fun stuff (such as postcards from the road!) subscribe to my newsletter using the form below.  You can also mix & mingle with me by clicking this link & “liking” my Facebook Author Page:

Tui Snider
Follow me:
Published in#TuiSnider #Texas #author #musicianA to Z ChallengeBlog on Writing & LifeBlog Posts


  1. Jennifer Murnan Jennifer Murnan

    Such good advice! Now I just need to listen to it! ha ha!

    • I know what you mean, Jennifer! There are some lessons in life that I tend to learn over and over! Thanks for dropping by. :)

  2. It took me awhile to realize that not everyone who gave me “helpful advice” or wanted me to have “realistic expectations” had my best interests at heart. My rule of thumb is if you can’t or won’t tell me what I can do to improve, then you’re not really helping.

    • Oh, that is so well put, J.S.! And your rule of thumb is a good, clear way to sort through the mess of “helpful advice” that can be so confusing at times. Thanks for dropping by! :)

  3. Good advice! Although if the killjoy lives in your family or is a close friend, it’s harder to ignore their killjoy advice. Sometimes it’s better not to share your creative endeavors with those types. Another term for a killjoy is a “wet blanket.”
    Maui Jungalow

  4. It’s not just creative killjoys. When, as a 60 year old widow, I decided to sell everything and buy a small RV to see the country – naysayers everywhere!

    Same thing when I learned to ride a motorcycle at age 55 – everyone wanted to tell me about someone they knew who had a bad accident. When I toured the country at age 58, as a widow, more naysayers.

    Deep breaths, and do it!

    L: Las Vegas & Leesburg
    DB McNicol, author & traveler
    Theme: Oh, the places we will go!

  5. I avoid Killjoys at all costs. But I do enjoy Killdeer… they are nice, make a beautiful sound and they let you be creative.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.