Second post in my New Mom Writing series. Are you ready? Today’s post is about creative community.
Your Creative Community is not Homogenous
Writer friends come in different varieties. It’s really important to note where people fit into these categories. Why? Because they will mean different things to you in the long run.
- Peers – These are the people who you believe are on the creative journey with you, on par with you, and are facing similar challenges around the same times you are.
- Powers – Authors and writers in your industry who you look up to, in regards to skill, brand, speaking talent–whatever it is, you admire it about them. These are the people who push you striver further and farther than you’ve been before.
- Others – These people don’t help or hinder you. They can be perceived as more successful than you or not as successful as you. But their journeys don’t immediately connect to you, your author brand, or your process.
When you have a newborn, it becomes immediately apparent who in that circle knows how challenging it can be to have a newborn. They give and support you, either by sending a quick note of support or coming over to help keep you alive. These are your peers.
Then, when you have a question or need, or you have identified an area in your parenting that needs a boost, you look to the Powers. You contact friends who you’ve seen handle this aspect of life with ease. You Google your questions and read articles by influencers. These people have information to help you; are living a life you admire and respect; and/or have been there, done that, and are willing to guide you through the process.
The others… have no idea what parenting is like. Perhaps they have never set their alarm for every 2-3 hours round the clock, all through the day and night for several days. Perhaps they haven’t had an equal arrangement with their parenting partners. Whatever the reason, they don’t sympathize with your journey enough to reach out and support you.
Seek Support and Give Support
What does this mean for you as a writer, then?
It’s important to be wise with your effort. As a parent, your child is your priority. As a writer, your writing should always be your priority. Therefore, if you are reaching out to your community to give help, be wise where you reach. Help your peers, encourage your peers, and feel good about helping your peers. Strive to learn from the powers in your life.
The others? Check yourself to be sure that you are doing what is wise for you. I also enjoy giving back to my writing community in the form of organizations and conferences, between serving as a volunteer board member or presenting on various topics. But if you are giving and giving to people who don’t respect or motivate you, where are you really going? Be wise about the value you have and where your effort is being placed. Support your peers, strive to be peers with your powers, and save the rest of your energy for your writing.