“The flame of creativity doesn’t go out.” — Jon Acuff
At BlissDom I learned that writers, bloggers are supported by three circles of people:
1. Spouse or significant other.
2. Family and friends.
3. Other dreamers you know.
Writing is a solitary, sometimes lonely profession. As a writer, as a blogger I depend on my husband, family and friends for support. I bounce story and blog ideas off them. I share my plans and dreams with them, hoping to get constructive feedback. I keep my fingers crossed that they read what I write. Their support is a tremendous confidence booster. Their lack of it a harsh reality check.
Jon Acuff, author of the upcoming book Start and the Wall Street Journal best-selling book Quitter, said it’s critical for your first circle — your spouse or significant other — to support your work, your dreams. Or you’ll look to someone else who “gets you.” Jon breaks people down into two categories: Wow people and How people. Jon said he is a “Wow” person — he bubbles over with ideas and tells his wife about them, all of them, often many at a time — and his wife is a How person — a “tell me how you’re going to accomplish it” practical thinker. After some couples counseling (he’s a believer) and learning better listening skills, Jon said he and his wife developed a two-week rule: His wife listens to Jon’s ideas without commenting for two weeks; and if at the end of two weeks Jon is still talking about the idea, then his wife asks him when he’s going to stop talking about it and start executing to achieve it. I think it’s brilliant to give a Wow person creative space and support to brainstorm, and I think it’s awesome that at the end of a definable period, the How person can ask the Wow person to execute, to stop talking and start producing. Are you a Wow person or a How person?
Support from family and friends, your second circle, is also important, according to Jon. He said bloggers often ask him how they can get family and friends to understand their blogs. Unfortunately, not everyone in your second circle will understand your dream, no matter how hard you might try to explain it to them. And you have to give them grace, according to Jon. Give them grace to not understand your dream. Jon said that the best way to get support is to give support. Support your family and friends and their ideas and dreams. Give your support to someone else, including those in your third circle:
Fellow dreamers. The people in your third circle are often the people you’ve met through your writing or blogging. They are the people who will help you celebrate your writing accomplishments and challenge you to become better at it. Be very deliberate about who you support. Jon said writers/bloggers often only focus on the negative, what we did wrong, but this group — fellow dreamers — should focus — deliberately — on celebrating accomplishments large (a book deal) and small (finishing a blog post on a topic you love). Meet regularly with fellow writers/bloggers for breakfast or lunch; call it the brag table. Celebrate your accomplishments. Support each other.
Looking Forward: “How to Be a Creative Writer and Blogger”