No one in my life – as far as I know – has ever laughed at my dream of being a published author. In fact, they’ve been incredibly supportive, not trying to distract me from that goal with negative comments or physical distractions, and the first question people now ask is ‘how’s the writing going?’. And I get the feeling none of them is hoping the answer is ‘Oh, I’ve given up on all that’ – they know me all too well!
Imagine my surprise therefore to read an article on the Write to Done blog by Leanne Regalla in which she talks about how to deal with less than supportive friends and relations. Do people really do stuff like that? I know that sometimes people can be resistant to change or jealous of someone who was actually trying to achieve their goals and making things happen for themselves. Perhaps they fear that this personal development will leave them behind, or they’re jealous that they either have no goals or have done nothing towards achieving them.
I don’t really understand this thinking. Why would you be so afraid of your friend, someone you care about, doing something they enjoy? Yes, they may be setting themselves up for criticism or rejection but they are fully aware of this fact and it’s actually part and parcel of a writer’s job. Instead of your criticism and negativity, they need your support. Writing can be a lonely business, and self-doubt about your work is a popular emotion (which I think all writers have), so what your writer friend needs is your support – and occasionally a shoulder to cry on and a slice of cake when things aren’t going well. Yes, they might never achieve their goal but isn’t it better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all? (Or something like that).
So, to all you writers, if your friends and family are being negative Normans, take no notice. Talk to your writing community – we’ll give you all the ego boosting you need!
As insecure writers we all know how difficult it is to keep going when all around you are losing faith and echoing the doubts you already have – share your stories below of how you cope when friends and family are having a bit of a wobble about your career as a writer…