I know I promised my next post would be on what I learned from the conference. Well, this is related, but not necessarily craft. I think this is something far more important for beginning writers, so I felt it was important to share what I’ve learned.Any goal no matter what it is has a higher chance of succeeding with a support system. I believe no one can achieve their dreams without the help of others. Everyone needs encouragement to keep going, to keep reaching for whatever they want to achieve.
So, what do you do when your family and friends don’t provide this needed support? For a writer, you are already fighting your own internal battle with doubts. I know this is my situation; although not all my family members are negative about my choice to become a writer. But the negativity from others is hard to overcome, and most often the negative comments hold more weight in our minds than the praise.
This leads me into my list of things I’m using to build my own support system. I know that it will help me to achieve my goals and make it much easier to achieve what I want.
Five ways to build a support system:
- Minimize the negative. If you have those who put you and your dreams down, avoid them. If they are family ask them to please not comment on your chosen profession. For me I’m finding some family members posting negative comments on Facebook. I’ve asked them to stop posting these negative comments with the proviso that if they don’t stop, I will take them off my friends list. Anyone who is on your list of negative people, NEVER, and I mean never share anything with them. Don’t read your latest writing. Don’t share any ideas you have or are working on. If they bring it up, change the subject. I’ve even had to excuse myself and either leave the room (the bathroom is a good excuse) or leave all together. If they persist, you can even tell them (nicely of course) that you don’t want to talk about it and that if they don’t stop asking you will have to leave. Be nice about it, but firm. This is your life, not everyone is going to agree with your choices. But that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them tear down your choices.
- Keep your supporters close. These people can be worth more than gold. If you have friends who keep you positive or encourage you to go farther than you thought you could, keep them close. Use them as much as possible.
- Join a writing group and/or critique group. There are a ton of opportunities to connect with others who are in the same situation you are and can provide a lot of encouragement as well as great feedback for development of your craft. Whether in a professional group or not, surround yourself with people who are doing what you are doing.
- Go back to school and take classes. I have taken classes that have started groups that continued on after the classes end. Connect with the teachers. They can give you good feedback and encouragement. They know what you’re going through, having gone through it themselves.
- Get spiritual encouragement. If this is something you feel God has called you to do, then pray! Ask God to encourage you. Pray every time you sit down to write. Pray every time you encounter negativity. Pray every time you feel down or discouraged. If God has called you to do something, He will equip you to do it. You can’t fail, unless you listen to the negativity and give up!
These are just a few I’ve come up with so far. I’m sure there are other things I could be doing to ensure my success. I plan to continue to search out more ideas because I think a support system is a big necessity if you want to be a writer.
If you have any ideas on this subject, please share. I really need all the support I can get! Thanks.