Monday, April 30, 2012

Who Keeps You Going?

The creative life isn't an easy one. It requires a lot of discipline, strength, and determination. But there are times when quitting looks like the perfect solution. It's not, of course, because being creative is more than a job - it's who we are.

When the days get rough, when you look at your artwork or novel or musical composition and you think that nothing else has ever stunk worse than it has, we need encouragement. Most of the time, we need to find that encouragement from within ourselves. Other times, our well has run dry and we need to rely on others.

So who helps you when the chips are down, when you want to give up and chuck your manuscript down the garbage chute?

For me, I can always count on the support and encouragement of my family, and that is a true blessing indeed. They believe in me during those times when I don't believe in myself.

My two critique partners, who are also my good friends, are an amazing source of support. I also turn to the world of blogging, especially communities like Writer Unboxed, to keep me going.

And...I pray. I am a person of faith, so turning to the Lord is a huge relief to me.

What about you? Who keeps you going?

19 comments:

  1. My beautiful daughter-her outlook on everything is so positive that it really helps me to be around her! I don't know what I'll do in a couple more years when she goes off to college-except call her a hundred times a day:)

    And secondly-I am so inspired by my blog friends! I love you guys!!

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    1. My daughter is a big inspiration to me, too - and it helps that she loves to write. I love talking "shop" with her. Such a blessing!

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  2. Ditto to everything you said. My family is amazing, especially my wonderful husband. I have a great writing group that challenges me all the time. And my faith sustains me like nothing else.

    I've never heard of Writer Unboxed. I'll have to look into that as a source of support as well. I don't think you can ever have too many positive people pouring into your life. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Writer Unboxed is a blog - and they also have an incredible community on Facebook.
      www.writerunboxed.com I hope you check them out!

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  3. My critique partners and friends of the writing world. They keep me going. I think my family and friends might come on board eventually. After something is published... haha :)

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    1. I hope your family and friends come on board soon for you, too, Kelley. :)

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  4. My friends, my fella and my dog keep me going. And I keep a file on the computer of encouragement and thanks which I read when feeling wobbly!

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    1. Flower, that is an excellent idea, to keep a file for encouraging words!!!

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  5. Many years ago, a writing teacher from whom I'd taken several classes tracked me down at my work to tell me that my writing was good and that I should take it seriously. I lived on that one brief conversation for years until I was finally published. I'm also lucky in having an amazingly supportive boyfriend and writing network--even more important now than before.

    I thought being published would lay self-doubt to rest, but it's actually worse. But as my current writing mentor says: "This is what a writing career looks like." These days, those are the words I'm living by. :-)

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    1. How COOL that your writing teacher tracked you down! You obviously made a very good impression, both writing and personality-wise! ;-)

      It's interesting that you say the self-doubt is worse after being published. I wonder why that is? More pressure, maybe?

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  6. My family are really supportive: my kids are convinced I'm the next J.K.Rowling! Haha. But hubby is wonderfully supportive in practical ways. When I started out he made sure I had a laptop and a desk etc etc and understands if the writing gets in the way of housework.
    I belong to an awesome little critique group where we keep each other going and I have a very dear friend who writes and we know each others stories inside out and upside down, so there is always someone to talk about when we hit the hard spots.
    And faith - knowing that God gave me this gift and anything is possible in Him.

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    1. I'm so glad you're surrounded by supportive people! Having your hubby support you is huge - my hubby does, as well. I don't know what I'd do without him to lean on, especially when the rejection letters hit.

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  7. Reading articles like this help me. I dropped my writer's group as I felt I was dragging them down by not writing etc. I am ...only not a book right now.

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    1. Writing is writing. It doesn't have to be a book. It can be anything! I'm so glad you haven't given up writing, Terri, because I truly believe you have a gift!

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  8. Yep, praying always works for me, plus a good night's sleep (or two), and the support from my writing friends and online writer friends is amazing.

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    1. I love the writing community! We are so supportive of each other. A true blessing in this very solitary creative endeavor!

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  9. My family, a couple wonderful friends (one is also a writer), my church, and mostly, of course, God!

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  10. My writing makes me laugh, so that's always encouraging. The kind words of my readers gets me motivated and cheery, too.

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  11. My husband is my biggest safety net. He NEVER gives up on me and always believes I can make it. And like you, I turn to God. He's never given up on me either, even when I give up on myself.

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