I read Mindy Holahan’s newest article, Becoming an Accidental Creative: Building Relationships, this morning. She discusses the need for a support group of creatives that wrestles with the same creative issues you do. Your friends and families can be supportive but they may not completely understand where you want to go creatively. Two separate incidents from the past week have reinforced the idea that I need to take more risks and find a support group that fits.
Saturday evening I was talking with an acquaintance about a story I’m working on. I was describing some of the plot and my reasons behind wanting to write it. Later I was sharing my excitement that Todd Henry had commented on my article about discipline. It was during this second exchange that she asked a question that made me stop. “So it sounds like you enjoy this writing thing?” I thought about that the rest of the evening. I do enjoy writing. So hopefully her question will spur me to find my own support group that will provide that continual encouragement.
The other conversation happened on Monday. I was talking with a close friend. After some small talk, his tone shifted and he got serious. He was concerned about me. I tend to focus on how I do not measure up in different areas of my life. He was concerned that I focus so much on what’s wrong that I forget to see the good and enjoy life. I had to agree with him. I had been going through a rough patch and my focus had veered toward the negative. I was sharing with him the changes taking place in my life. I was telling him about the story I’m working on. I slipped and called it a book, but quickly backpedaled. I told him I didn’t really know what it was. This is where the encouragement came in. He asked me what did I have to lose. He told me to go for it. I hear similar things, but those statements rang in my ears the rest of the evening.
As a developer, I have countless conversations with people where their eyes glaze over after I begin discussing my work. People understand writing but if they aren’t passionate about it, they can only encourage for so long. So if I want to continue pursuing this then I need to find like-minded individuals. They will be able to offer wisdom and encouragement and push me to risk when I’m scared.