Episode 3: Find Your Cheerleaders

Welcome back to Alchemy for Authors!

In today’s episode I talk about the importance of having cheerleaders in our life – those people who build us up and make us feel good about pursuing our writerly passions. I also talk about where we can find these cheerleaders and how we can play this role for others and for ourselves.

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Find the full transcript of this episode below.

Episode 3: Find Your Cheerleaders – Transcript

Hello, my lovelies. It’s so good to be back chatting with you today. So as I sit down to record this, I’ve been reflecting on cheerleaders –  those people in our lives that just spur us on to continue with our goals, our dreams, and our writing. And it also happens to be the weekend of my husband’s birthday. And so he’s not actually here right now. He’s out on a wonderful golf trip, but with me missing him while he’s gone, I’ve also been thinking about the impact that he has actually played in my writing journey thus far. So I wanted to talk to you about that a little bit today because I just feel it is so important for us to find those people in our lives that are really going to build us up and keep us enthusiastic about what we’re doing, those people who believe in us and find ways to support us.

We can do this on our own. Being a writer can be a bit of a lonely vocation. However, it’s not ideal. We need other people. We need other people to believe in us so that it’s easier for us to believe in us. And so that’s what I really want to get into today, is finding those people who are those people, and then also the people that we need to stay clear of, because there are going to be some of them. And sometimes they can be people we’re incredibly close to. But when it comes to our writing, we need to safeguard it. We need to protect ourselves and our creative pursuits by finding ways to just keep certain people at arms distance, just so that their negativity, their disbelief in us or misbelief is not going to impact upon what we’re doing.

So I’m going to talk a little bit about my husband because he’s the main person in my life, I guess. And what is really cool is we actually met working in a bookstore together. I was his boss. Back in Canada we worked for a big chain bookstore over there. And so I’m already off to a really good start with the fact that my husband is a book fan. He loves reading. He’s always loved reading. He appreciates the written word. So that’s really cool. When we first arrived or moved to New Zealand back in 2011, there was a time he even told me when we first got back into the country, why don’t you write your book now? I had been talking about writing for so many years and started stories, started novels, done courses, but never actually taking it to that next step. And with moving to what’s actually my home country, but moving back to New Zealand after several years abroad, he obviously just felt that with a new start, what did I have to lose? Why didn’t I just go for it? And that really touched me that he believed that I could do that. I didn’t even believe that I could write a book. At that point, I was very hopeful that I could, but my experience had never proven that that was true for me.

However, I didn’t take him up on that. I got a job, I went back to school, I got some teacher training. I moved on with life. And it wasn’t actually until I started teaching that I started to submit some of my short stories and that to literary magazines, and then that kind of went from there. But my husband never put my aspirations for a writing life or a writing career down. Since then, he’s accommodated me in every way possible, as I’ve been writing my first couple of novels and all the ups and downs and imposter syndrome and everything that that brought with it. He accommodated me when the house pretty much went to shit because I was deep into writing my book and trying to reach these deadlines to get my manuscript to my editor and everything else just fell to the wayside. I stopped going out with friends. I didn’t take too much care in my appearance at that point. It was track suits and sometimes stained shirts while I was just busy at my keyboard getting those words on paper. And I don’t necessarily advocate for that, but this is certainly how I will work when I’m pressed up to a deadline. And there was never any negative remarks from him, he just knew that I was really focused on what I was doing and that it will come to an end. It was just a short term thing that I was going through when I was trying to get my work done.

He let me off on my cooking days. I don’t like cooking at the best of times, so when it was my time to cook he would more often than not get takeaways. Just because I was in that zone of writing and everything, that kind of took me out of that zone just felt like time I could be putting together use. He was always, has been that quiet cheerleader in the background.

Over the last few years, I’ve talked a lot to him about my dream to be able to support us both financially through my writing and other kind of authorpreneurial pursuits. And what’s been really cool is that he’s not once laughed at me about that or thrown the starving artist concepts at me where you can’t make any money writing, which is still really out there in the world, and I’ve come across that a lot in my life. He’s always just gone with it. In fact, I have caught him talking to others about it, and whether it’s jokingly or not, there is definitely that seed of seriousness. Like he believes that in me; that one day that will happen. I can retire him if he wants to be retired. We’re not there yet, but the fact that he brings it up as if it is a probable future just means the absolute world to me. It really gives me that deeper belief in what I’m doing.

And what I want to make really clear, because it sounds like I have this just amazing, well, I do have an amazing husband, but who is just all in with my writing and books and everything like that, and he is in some ways, and he is an absolute book lover and loves reading and that, but not my genre. It is not all perfect unicorns and rainbows and star shine and everything over here. He likes space opera and more of the science fiction fantasy. I write Gothic literary fiction almost bordering on a little bit of horror. Not his scene at all. When I wrote Rest Easy Resort, my first novel, I actually gave him a copy and signed it and had hoped that he would read it and he got a little bit into it and then had to put it aside. It’s just not his thing. And that’s something that I think is really important for us to keep in mind is that your cheerleaders do not necessarily have to be your readers. I mean, it’s great. It’s great if they do. And I’ve got some cheerleaders in my life that do read my books, but not all of the people closest to me, the people that care about what I’m doing and how passionate I am about this journey, this writing journey, do not necessarily read my books. My writing is not going to be for everybody. And I have really held on to that understanding and not taken it personally.

So my husband can support me in all these myriad of ways, but reading my books, that’s just not going to be one of them. And I’m okay with that. He has also kept me really reflective on my writing journey. He has made me think really critically about what I want to get out of this and how I am best going for it. Like I said, sometimes when I get into that zone of trying to meet a deadline and that, my selfcare really goes out the window. And so he does try and keep me honest about is this really the best way? He has questioned why I don’t outsource certain things, like website design. I’m not that great with tech, to be completely honest. And I’ve spent a good deal of time over the years getting my website set up and playing around with that, and then my great old perfectionist tendencies come out with that. And so he has asked me the questions why I haven’t outsourced. And as somebody who’s just beginning on my author journey, that’s kind of an easy one. The money that I’m putting into my writing, I feel at this point is just better spent on editing and cover design and those kinds of things. I can outsource the website later on. And there’s so many great do it yourself website kind of templates and that out there that can be done by somebody with very minimal background. Maybe not the best use of my time, but I also on a personal level, like to understand how these things kind of work in the background as well. So he’s never actually been somebody who’s been swinging from the rafters shouting my successes to the world: My wife is an author! That’s not who he is. It’s a much more subtle, understated, but really solid and stable supporter of what I’m doing and what I’m endeavoring to do. And that is just invaluable. So I know that I am incredibly fortunate. I’ve heard from many people who are not as lucky as me and their spouse or their partner is not as supportive, in fact, might even kind of treat it as a hobby or a joke or why are you wasting your time doing that? And I can only imagine that that is incredibly tough.

 So I’m going to talk a little bit about some of my other cheerleaders in my life, because you might begin to recognize some of them as well. I do have a group of cheerleaders. They all kind of buoy me up in different ways. Some of my friends, some of my colleagues, some are people that I’ve never even met in real life. I’ve just kind of stumbled across on social media or other authors, people that I’ve met through podcasting. And they are just as important because every person that is in your court who is there for you is just a godsend, really. It gives you more of a purpose outside of yourself for your writing. And I think that’s so important because as writers, as authors, as poets, whether it’s nonfiction, fiction, in that we live in our heads quite a bit. A lot of it is that real imaginative thought or intellectual way of seeing the world. And so we can really get in our heads and forget that we are just one part of a much bigger world and that our words need to be out there in the world affecting people. And so therefore we need to be reaching people. We need to be including people in this journey with us.

Through this writing journey, I’ve had cheerleaders pop up from really unusual places. A friend I’d lost contact with for many years just stumbled across me advertising one of my books, I think, on social media or something like that, and had to kind of Google away because I changed my last name. I got married and everything since, and then reached out to me in an email to see if I was actually the Jo that they had known many years before. And this person has ended up being such an amazing cheerleader. They remembered me speaking about wanting to be an author way back when I was like a teenager and were just so excited for me with no reason to be, but so excited for me that since then they’ve offered their services as an arc reader. They just give the most amazing editorial feedback as well. I have a professional editor that I send my manuscripts off to, but guaranteed, once I’ve played around with all those suggestions, there’s going to always be more spelling mistakes or grammar mistakes, and that still sneak into my books. And she is just amazing at catching those things. So supportive. She buys my book, she gets them autographed. I don’t know what else I could ask for.

 I’ve had a few work colleagues who are always asking me about how my writing is going. It keeps me on track because at times I go through periods where I’m not writing. And so when they’re actually asking how’s the next book come along, it really motivates me to, oh yes, I need to really get my butt in action and get this going again. Just showing that interest means the world. We all want to feel like what we’re doing is important, that we are important, that we have a sense of belonging and just those small conversations of how’s your writing coming along. What are you up to now? Are you editing? Do you think you can fit me in your schedule to go out for coffee and tell me all about it? Those things remind me, too, that even though I’ve got a day job, yes, I am an author as well. This is part of my life. And to be seen by others as an author is so empowering. It is really empowering on this journey.

My parents, in their own ways, are also incredible supporters of what I do when I write my books. I always tend to think of actually my mother reading them. We have a very similar taste and the kind of books that we enjoy. And so she is like my ideal readership, my ideal audience for my books. And so what’s really cool is I know I’ve hit the mark when she’s saying that she enjoys it now. She’d probably say that a little bit anyway because she is my mom, but it’s still amazing. And the way that she shows support, not just enthusiasm and understanding of what I’m doing. But she’s trying to leave reviews for me on Amazon, which of course never goes through because Amazon doesn’t really like family members leaving reviews for you. But it’s the fact that she tried that she wants to go that next step. And if you’ve been in writing, you know that sometimes it can be quite tricky to get anybody, whether they love your book or not, to leave a review. It takes seconds or maybe minutes if they want to leave something more in depth. But trying to get people to do that in this busy world that we live in can be quite challenging. So the fact that my mother has tried to do that, regardless of the fact that it’s just not going to happen, just says a lot for her support and my dad, too. I don’t know that my stories are necessarily what he would prefer to read, but I think the fact that I’m pursuing something creative really appeals to him. And so he has gone ahead and purchased a bunch of my paperbacks. He’s still coming into the world of digital technology, but he’s gone around selling them to his small group of acquaintances and friends or giving them away as gifts and that.

I just really feel so blessed by my readers. I’ve got an email list and just hearing back from my readers that they will either have a comment you say about my newsletters so they’ve taken the time to read those, for starters, is always great. Leaving reviews, anything like that, or just getting those emails to say that they’re not just an email address out in the ether where you’re just not having any connection or interaction with them. When they reply to my newsletters that I send out or comment on different things or ask to be on my arc reader list or anything like that, it just shows that I’m hitting the mark with the right people, which is great.

And I really do want to talk up as well, Social media. I know there’s lots of negatives out there with social media, but wow, is there positives as well? I am a big introvert in my little world here in New Zealand. Where I’m at with my day job and everything like that, I do not have a network of other authors in my vicinity or even entrepreneurs or anybody who’s kind of in that world. And so I have found some of the most amazing connections, and that, actually through the likes of social media, particularly other authors. And the cool thing about befriending other authors, whether virtually or in real life, is that they understand exactly what you’re going through. They understand the highs and lows. They understand that imposter syndrome that can sometimes hold us back. They get all of that, and they can sometimes also be your biggest cheerleaders, which is just fantastic.

So now I really want to talk about the real value of having these people, these advocates for what you’re doing, these cheerleaders in your life. And it’s not just about money. They’re not just people who are going to buy your books. I mean, that’s fantastic. But it’s also about so much more. They’re the ones that are going to talk about your work to other people. They’re going to share it on social media. They’re going to bring it up in conversation with friends. And yeah, hopefully that converts to sales. That’s fantastic. But on an even deeper level, they can be what sees you through those real hard times that sometimes come along with being an author. Their confidence in you can empower your own confidence. It can help you overcome that imposter syndrome, that it can help you start to build more belief in your own abilities. I think we all fall off that wagon sometimes. I know I do. Multiple times when I’m writing a book, I go from, oh my gosh, I’m the best writer ever to, Holy heck, this is shit. What am I even doing? Should I just throw this entire novel in the bin? Oh, my gosh. And, you know, I spiral through that a lot. And I’ve talked to a lot of authors who go through that real up and down. And then when it comes to actually putting your book out in the world, to actually having it published, and that, that’s when my fear can sometimes kick in a little bit too. That, oh my gosh, what are people going to think? So having those people who are excited to read your work, who you know that even if, hey, maybe it’s not your best work, they will either cheer you on regardless or give you feedback in a delicate way, in a way that can help you grow and not send you crying in bed under the covers for weeks on end. That is important.

They should also be thought of as one of your reasons why you write, one of your whys. They should be some of that motivation, because some of your cheerleaders are going to be your ideal readers, your reader avatars. In a sense, that should be the motivation. One of the things that motivates you to write, to get those words on paper, is that you’ve got an audience whose needs you need to meet. For me, there’s something deeper than that for those people that cheer me on, that support me in other ways, like my husband, but don’t necessarily read my books. There’s something to be said for the fact that they are there, that they are supporting me. I want to write so I can show them that living your dream life, whatever that looks like, pursuing those things that bring you passion, it is a viable career option. It is something that you can find time in your life to do that you have permission to do it. And sometimes I feel I have to lead by example with that. I want to show those people in my life that life does not have to be just going to nine to five job that pays the bills but doesn’t bring you any joy coming home, cooking dinner, going to bed, repeat, rinse and repeat for the rest of your life. And I know a lot of people in my life who seem to subscribe to that, and I personally just hate that. My heart just absolutely breaks for them. And so, by me writing, I want to show these people that I care about, that I love, that support me and are cheering me on, that they can do this too, whatever their form of art or passion takes, whether it’s working with animals or becoming an artist or inventing something, I don’t know. But there really is nothing holding them back but them. And if I can do this, if I can follow something that I’m really passionate about, then why can’t they? And so that is another one of the reasons that these people are important. Because if they’re supporting me, then they’re just that one step away, I believe, from being able to support themselves in their own endeavors. And I want to see a world where people really are following more of their joy and doing what they love, whether it’s a hobby or as a career. I feel like so many of us believe that we need permission for that. And so by doing what I love, I’m hoping that I’m sending that sign out to the universe that other people also have permission to do what they love as well.

So one thing I really want to go into in regards to finding those people in your life who are going to support you and offer feedback and encouragement and all that when you need it is to be very particular about who you allow in your life to do that. Some people do not have the best intentions. Unfortunately, some people are not coming from a space of actually supporting you, despite whatever words come out of their mouth. And I think you’ll know this when you come across it in your own life. We as authors, as writers, as anybody in the artistic realm. We need to be very careful whose opinions we allow real estate in our brain, whose opinions we allow into our life, whose energies we allow into our life. Because not all support is the same, and it shouldn’t be. But the weight we put behind some of the opinions and feedback that we get from people supposedly supporting us is also not the same and should not be carried with the same amount of gravity. Really at the very crux of it, your cheerleaders, they want you to succeed. They’re not hung up in their ego of oh, but if that person does really well, then how’s that going to affect me? If that person is selling lots of books, well, then no one’s going to want to buy for me, because I  know those silly kind of thoughts that can sometimes go through people’s head when they’re dealing with their own issues. When we shine our light out in the world by doing what we love and we’re putting our work out there, it can really unsettle and trigger some people.

Now I’ve built it up that I have this amazing network of supporters and friends and family and all these amazing people in my life who are just 100% behind my writing goals and everything. And I do have a group of those people. I also have maybe even larger group of people who are not there, who see my writing as some silly little hobby I’m going to get bored of after a while and never return to or a complete waste of time. Some of the people even closest to me, people that I consider really good friends, will not even let the conversation go in the direction of what I’m doing with my writing or my books. I haven’t quite got it sorted what’s going on for them in regards to that. But there are people who in my family as well who will not engage in any conversation when it comes to my author life. They will not bring up my books. If I publish a book, they won’t mention it. There’s no congratulations. There is none of that. And I know there’s a lot of people out there who are in a similar situation, and that can be incredibly hard. It can be hurtful. We can take that really personally. And I think it’s so important to remember that it’s not actually about us. Yes, in a perfect world, those people that we love and care about, who are in our close circles, they would all be there cheering us on, encouraging us to greater heights. But that is not always the case. People are dealing with their own things, and sometimes when they see us living our best lives, doing what we’re passionate about, putting ourselves out there, moving through fear, it really triggers them and makes them reassess what they’re doing with their life and how they’re living. In a sense, for some people, our success can feel like a personal attack on them. And I know that’s not something that anyone wants to hear and it’s not even close to the reality of the situation, but it is the way that some people feel.

Just to give you some examples, I was really lucky in my last day job that I’ve always been very open about what I kind of do outside of work as well. And that was never an issue for management or anything like that. So when I did publish a book in that I was fortunate that I had some of my colleagues who are awesome cheerleaders for me would bring it up in the staff room at lunchtime and oh my gosh, have you read Jo’s new book? It’s so amazing. And oh, you should read it. Or, when’s your next book coming out? And just showing that enthusiasm and support, which I’m so grateful for. But when that happened, not everybody responded in a great way. Some people were like, oh, congratulations, a new book, great, and then never mention it again. And that’s fine. But I’ve also had a colleague opposite me who would just scowl and roll her eyes every time any mention was made in the staff room of my writing outside of work or my books being published or how somebody’s really enjoyed them. Not once did she ever bring up my books or writing or anything of herself. Not once did she actually congratulate me or anything. It was like she was disgusted that I was actually doing this thing. So some people are not going to get what you do. They’re not going to see the point in it, or they’re going to have their own judgments about it. But it is so not about you. You cannot take it personally. It is about them. Those people. They are not your tribe. So you need to be really protective of your writing life. I’ve also heard of so many people who have got lost in writers block or stopped writing, or anything, for that matter, whether you’re an artist or a musician or anything, because of the unsolicited feedback or opinions of others or reactions from other people. We can’t take these things personally. So before we accept any feedback or opinions from other people about our work, we need to really think about whether that person is worthy of giving an opinion. Are they actually doing anything with their lives? Are they actually out there trying to be better people themselves, following their own passions? Do they have your best interests at heart? Do they actually want to sit to see you succeed? Have they shown that in other aspects of your life, or have they not? Because if they haven’t, that could be a clear sign to stay away from them. And so that’s really it. You need to step away from those people who do not see the awesomeness of what you’re doing. You need to do that. You need to minimize your conversation with them about it. You need to build, resilience and get really clear and comfortable in yourself that it is not about you. Now, you might, depending upon who the person is, if it is your spouse or a close friend or something, you might want to sit down and have a conversation with them about it. What is it about my writing that you’re not comfortable with? I’ve noticed that sometimes when I bring it up in conversation, you change the subject or how can we work through this? And you might have some success with that, or you might not. Some people just aren’t interested in growing. And when they see you growing, there’s an indication to them sometimes that they need to grow a little bit too.

Now you don’t need a group of people to advocate for you and your writing and to encourage you and all that. It is amazing to have. And I truly suggest you get out there and start thinking about who your tribe are, those people that are supporting you and spend more time with them and have more conversations with them and get all that wonderful, good, glowy, happy feeling from them. But you don’t need that to do this journey. It’s a great to have, but it’s not essential. Even just having one person can sometimes suffice to remind you of why you’re on this journey or who your readers are. Even one person can sometimes just empower you when you’re really struggling and you’re ready to throw it all in. Because we all know that writing can be lonely. Like I’ve said before, and it’s nice to know that our effort will have an audience. At the end, we all want to feel that we belong. We all want to feel that what we do has purpose. But at the end of the day, I truly believe that there is only really one cheerleader that we need in our lives, and that has to be you. You have to be your own biggest cheerleader because no one, no family member, no friend, no reader, no agent, no publisher, nobody is going to advocate for your work, for your books, your writing life like you are. And that is absolutely crucial. I believe, particularly at the beginning of when you’re at the beginning of this writing journey, that you are your own biggest cheerleader. You can’t always rely on other people. Sometimes people’s opinions of you and what you’re doing can be really fickle. You need to find that commitment, that dedication to yourself, to keeping things as positive as possible for as long as possible. When it comes to your writing career and your writing life, no one is going to love or understand your story like you do. Everybody’s going to come at it from a different understanding and take from it different things. So you need to make sure that you’re able to cheer yourself on that you are celebrating everything. My recommendation is to celebrate everything. Celebrate those five star reviews, but celebrate those one star reviews too. Because like I said, it’s not always easy to get people to leave reviews. The fact that your book affected somebody or your writing affected somebody to the point that they actually took the time to leave a one star review, well that’s still saying something, that’s still saying that you made an impact, that you made people feel, whether it was pure happiness, ecstasy for what you have written, or they’re absolutely angry and appalled. Either way, you’ve made people feel, and that is a win. So celebrate that and know that lots of people have trotted this path before you. We’ve all experienced ups and downs. We’ve all experienced the imposter syndrome. You are not alone. Have your own back.

You have to remember that you are doing more than most people. I can’t remember what the stats are, but I have heard that there’s some crazy amount of people that have percentage of people in the world who say, I wish I could write a book or I want to write a book before I die. And there is a much smaller amount of people who actually do write. You are one of those few people. You’re doing something that a lot of people aspire to, but not many have the confidence to actually go ahead with. So particularly, do not let naysayers who have not written a book have any influence or impact upon your writing life. Their opinions are not that important. Your opinion of yourself really, really is. You need to remember that what you’re doing matters. So you need to really hold your writing, your books, your writing life, your goals, your aspirations. Hold them close to your heart, safeguard them from the opinions and feedback of others. Find those people that you can trust to share them with those people who will only encourage you along with them, who never bring you down with them, but only share it with those people. And make sure that the person who cares the most about this, who has your back, is you.

Now, finally, I just want to talk a little bit, I haven’t really said too much about how to go about finding these cheerleaders, these people in your life. And that also comes back to you. If you want people in your life who are going to encourage you, who are going to advocate for you, who are going to cheer you on, then you need to be a cheerleader for others. So like I said, I’ve made some awesome network of author friends on like Instagram and Facebook and that. And the way to be a cheerleader for them is exactly I mean, that’s easy. That’s exactly what you want back from them with your author friends, all these people that intrigue you on social media, or if you belong to an author group or anything like that, buy their books, give them encouragement, leave reviews, share on social media, share by word of mouth. You can do newsletter swaps with them, reach out for them for that, but make sure that you are giving to them what you hope to get in return. And it may not necessarily be from them, but often it is.

I’ve made some just amazing connections with people who are going to be on this podcast. That is simply through cheering them on in social media, commenting on their posts and keeping things positive, people. We just want to keep this positive. Life is hard enough. Following our passions is hard enough without dumping negativity out there, but not just for other authors and that, but for anybody that you come in contact with. Ask them about their passions, what excites them in their life at the moment. Offer encouragement when they’re going through hard times, be a friend, cheer them on. And it doesn’t matter what they’re doing, whether they’re changing jobs, starting the business, starting a family, getting married, connect with them, be there for them, encourage them, and keep it positive. Not only are people going to be just instantly drawn to you and want to automatically return the favor without even having to think about it, because you’ve built those connections, you as a person are going to feel amazing for it. And that in itself is going to show in the way that you dive into your writing and your writing life. You’re going to just be fueled up with all those positive feelings just from doing that.

So when you’re cheering on others, just as a matter of course. You’ll start to believe those things that you say about others in yourself. You’ll start to believe that you’re capable of success too, just as they will start to believe that because they’re hearing it externally from you. You’ll start to believe it because those words that we say the most, and this is a real law of attraction manifestation thing, those things that we say the most, whether it’s in our head or out verbally, are what we are going to create in our own lives. So even when we’re saying them to other people, that is what we’re creating for ourselves. If we are showing that strong belief that other people can achieve the things that they want to achieve, that success is theirs, then we’re telling the universe, we’re telling ourselves that success is ours too. Your brain will make those connections to the words that come out of your mouth. Those beliefs you have about other people are sure signs of what you believe in about yourself as well. We are who we believe we are. That is how we show ourselves in our world. But just even that just amazing goodness factor of doing something good for somebody else is putting deposits in the bank of good Karma. It’s going to come back to you. You’re telling the universe that this is what you want, you’re cheering on other people, and you’re pretty much putting it out there that you want this kind of goodness back to. And you’ll get it. We need to remember that other people are mirrors of ourselves. We feel crap when somebody criticizes our work because on some level maybe we believe it. So I just want to kind of leave you with that thought because we can come back to this in other episodes and that. But that’s a sure sign we may get offended or upset by somebody else’s comment. That’s a sure sign of things that we need to work on for ourselves, beliefs that we’re still harboring that are probably holding us back in some way. We also need to remember that the other is true. So just as people are mirrors of ourselves, when somebody says something crap about us, we only feel bad about that if it’s something that we deep down kind of believe about ourselves or think it may be possible. When somebody says something positive about us, when we hear that good stuff, they’re just mirroring back on some level the truth about us. I want you to really just sit with that, whether we at the time can take it in and digest it or not. But when somebody says something good about us, they’re just mirroring back a part of us that actually is that way. We need to get comfortable with accepting that too.

But just keep your focus positive. Protect your writing and your passions from naysayers is always going to be naysayers. But when we become our strongest advocate for ourselves when we become our own best cheerleader, when we believe the best in ourselves and we are out there cheerleading for other people and putting all that positivity in the world, those naysayers and that they’re not going to be able to affect us, they’re not going to send us into the spiral of writer’s block or resistance or anything like that.

So I know this has been quite a long time to ramble on my part in regards to the importance of cheerleaders in your life but I really just want you to take this away and think about it and think about who those people are in your life. Maybe give them a thank you. Maybe just give them some gratitude for being there, for supporting you because writing is not easy. Following your dreams isn’t easy. Doing these things that sometimes society looks down their nose at has not been real vocations or careers or anything like that. It’s not always easy. So give them some kudos for that. But take inventory, take inventory of those people you want in your circle. You want cheering you on and also take inventory of those people who maybe you need to step away from those people who actually aren’t offering you the support that you need. You don’t need to cut them from your life, but just put some distance when it comes to talking about your writing or sharing your writing with them. If it’s not making you feel good, don’t do it and just also take stock of how much are you being a cheerleader for other people in your life? Where can you step that up? Where can you offer to other people what you want in return?

So I hope that’s giving you some things to think about. I would love to hear who your cheerleaders are and how they support you in your life and I would love to hear how you support you how you are your biggest cheerleader leader when it comes to your writing life so you can connect with me in all the usual places and until then, keep shining on.

So here are some takeaways from today’s show.

  1. As a writer, we need other people. We need cheerleaders.
  2. Reflect on who your cheerleaders are. Who are these people? Where are these people? And who do we need to stay clear of.
  3. Your cheerleaders do not have to be your readers or shouting your praises from the rafters.
  4. Cheerleaders can make us reflect on our writing and our writing process. They can help keep us accountable, help give our writing the purpose beyond ourselves and boost our confidence.
  5. Be an authentic cheerleader for others, and they’ll often do the same for you. Treat other authors and people you come in contact with how you want to be treated.
  6. Protect yourself and your creative pursuits by choosing your cheerleaders wisely. Keep at arm’s length those who do not support your writing career or writing life.
  7. Choose wisely whose opinions you give weight to.
  8. And most importantly, be your own biggest cheerleader. Celebrate everything as a win and see the positive in all aspects of your writing life.