I recently reconnected with a woman (Allison) I used to know back when we were both nonprofit executive directors. I had no idea she’d written one book and had great ideas for two others. I asked if she wanted to be part of a writers’ group and she hesitated at first.
Seeking support can be scary because we’re putting ourselves out there, in the big wide world where criticisms can feel harsh even when given with the utmost care and respect. She’s not alone in her hesitancy. One of the women in my writers’ critique group is going through a crisis of confidence – and almost wanted to give up writing. And she’s written three books!
Writers (and other creatives) can lead isolated existences. We can fall into troughs of self-doubt and struggle to reach those creative heights that used to bring us such joy.
Allison finally gave in and is ready for a writers’ group and to “expose her guts.” She wrote: The joy of writing is one thing; the act of being an author is another.
How right she is! Being an author is very different than writing. It entails seeking constructive criticism, refining our craft, growing as writers, understanding the publishing industry, slogging through writing even when we feel like never writing again.
The great thing is we don’t have to do it alone. All it takes is trusting that the women in your circle have the same fears and dreams you have -- and that they won't kick you in your exposed gut.
Have you found the support of others important in your life?