Who Holds The Writer’s Hand?
You’ve been writing for hours and it feels like you’ve hit a wall. Still, you realize instinctively that if you stop now, there will be so many other demands on your time that you may not get back to writing for a while. Most of us are alone when we write. And truth be told, most writers at one time or another have wished that there was someone there to tell them whether they were going down the right path.
So, who holds the writer’s hand? For all but a very few of us, writing is not our primary means of making a living. We may also have significant others, friends, and families who would enjoy spending time with us. This is the very same time that we are now reserving for our writing. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get these folks who may feel that they are losing a piece of us to actually hold our hand through the often challenging process known as writing?
Building Your Support Team: 5 Quick Tips
1 – Let them know how important writing is to you.
If you can’t imagine your life without writing, let your support team — friends and/or family — know how much this means to you. It may seem like this is simple, but believe it or not, many of us may not be aware how important a dream is to someone we love unless it is expressed to us.
2 – Set boundaries, but be negotiable.
One of the most challenging parts about writing is that many times it can take hours to produce work. It often doesn’t just flow as if you are turning on an imagination spigot. We will discuss time budgeting for writers, but for now, it is critical that you map out how much time you feel you can reasonably put into your writing. Remember, you need to be flexible with your time to accomodate the needs of those supporting you.
3 – Involve them in the process, but do not suffocate them.
Okay. You have identified your support team. Great! Now, gradually involve them. Let them know when you are making progress with your writing. Bounce ideas off of them. Read sections out loud to get feedback. Share your enthusiasm and yes, your disappointments. After all, they are there to support you. But try not to overwhelm them with your writing.
4 – Take breaks from it.
The road to becoming a professional writer involves honing your craft and that requires hours of practice. No one can dispute that. However, perspective is a really good thing. Besides, when you take time off, you are probably fueling your creativity. This is so because you often will use that time to reflect on your prior work and gain new sources of inspiration for your work whether through travel, hanging out with loved ones, or just sitting outside and soaking up some sun.
5 – Support them back.
Your support team needs you as well. What is it that they are doing that is important to them? Remember, they were there to listen to your writing. It’s your turn. Listen to their dreams and whatever those happen to be, be as supportive of them as they have been to you!
Your words matter!