The other day I was cruising around Facebook and came across this picture:
I thought it was very cool and very appropriate and it amazed me how many people (good friends, family, etc) will NOT show you any support. I mean, what does it take to offer a word of encouragement or to click a button?
Tonight I had something very cool happen. Again, I was on Facebook (maybe I should find something else to do in my spare time?) and I saw that I had a message from a friend from high school. We haven't seen each other since graduation I'm thinking and yet she took the time to send me a note (and not for the first time!) to congratulate me on my writing and for following my dream. I teared up. I mean, I cannot get people who are RELATED to me to show me any kind of encouragement and here was someone who I haven't seen in 25 years writing me a note of kindness. When was the last time you did something like that?
Being kind or supportive doesn't have to take a lot of time or energy. So up there is how to support an Indie author but the same goes for any writer. How about a friend? How do you support a friend? I am blessed with some truly exceptional friends; the kind of people who will drop you a note to make you smile, or send a text just because they're thinking of me. People who will listen to your hopes and dreams and that I would do the same for.
How about your kids? We may not always agree with their decisions as they get older but it's how you show that approval or disapproval that makes the most difference. Frank and I are hotheads; we yell first, THEN listen. We always apologize for going off the handle. We had a situation recently where we were in MAJOR disagreement on a choice our son made. We yelled, we screamed, we threatened...it was bad. Then, when everyone's temper cooled, we talked. We expressed our concerns and in the end, it all comes down to the fact that we love him and we have to trust in him. I never want our love to be in doubt.
How about your spouse? We have had a long marriage, Frank and I. We've been together for 23 years and while our love for one another has never been in doubt, there have been tons of struggles over the years and many, many, MANY disagreements. At the end of the day, we each want the other to be happy and sometimes that means taking the backseat while the other branches out a little and takes their turn in the spotlight.
Frank is a drummer in a rock n roll band. I love that. Is it time consuming? Yes. Does it cost a lot of money? Sometimes. Does he love it? Absolutely. He deserves to have something that is just HIS that he loves and that brings him joy.
I have my writing. I can sit for hours...days...in front of the computer. When I'm in book promotion mode I come home from work, make dinner and then sit in front of the computer until I am practically unconscious. And still my husband loves me. He doesn't berate me or make me feel bad for not paying him enough attention. He understands my needs and my dream and he supports them. Love that man!
You know what DOESN'T support someone? Ignoring them; belittling their dream. Demanding something of their success when you have done NOTHING to support them. That one gets me the most. People who have talked down about my writing, not shared my work and certainly not even spent a DIME to purchase my work...but they want some of the glory now that I'm starting to make a little money at it.
That's not support, that's just greed.
If someone you know and love is pursuing a dream, encourage them. If someone you know and love is working hard to reach a goal, let them know that you are proud of them. If someone you know and love has even a minimal amount of success with something that makes them happy, celebrate with them.
You have no idea how far your words of encouragement go.
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