It’s a valid and very important question.
What do you need? What is that thing that will push you to keep going? To do more? To succeed? It can look different for each writer and after contemplating what I needed as a writer, I discovered some very interesting truths. So… here are five ways I need help as a writer. I’m sure you can relate to at least one or maybe all of them.
First of all, I realised that…
I need help.
There. I said it. Ouch! It’s probably the hardest thing to admit. As an introvert and as someone who likes to do things myself (because it gets done and done right), it feels like I have failed on some level if I ask for help. But there is only so much I can learn from ‘How To’ books or seminars etc… Sometimes I read so much about writing that I don’t actually get any writing done.
“Writing is a solitary act.”
It can be. If you want it to be. But how much better will your writing be if you ask for help?
I need help to manage my time.
I really helps me be more productive. (Procrastinating with a good book or watching TV is so easy.) This is where your family, friends, room mates etc… can help. And yes. You DO have to ask. They can’t read your mind and understand by the look on your face, or by your dark mood, what you need. (I think sometimes we can be a little scary when we get frustrated with a piece.) They probably, most definitely know that you need help but just not what kind. So speak up! Have a meeting. Send an email. Make a phone call. You may be surprised at just how willing they are to help you and what ideas they have.
I need help getting the story right.
Notice I didn’t say perfect. I have learnt (and it’s not easy) to be happy enough with my story. It’s good enough. I’ve done all I can with it and I have to let it go. When I get stuck, I need a second or third or fourth opinion before I can move forward with a story. Waiting on others can also be a lesson in patience ( I suppose). But it can make the world of difference to my sense of achievement and mood when I get feedback, good and bad. Do choose the right kind of people to read your work though. A young adult story read by your grandmother probably won’t get the feedback you really need.
I need constant encouragement.
“You can do it!”
I know I can’t do it on my own. I know I need to ask for help. I know I need help with my time management and feedback but I think the most important need for me is constant encouragement. My love language is ‘Words of affirmation’. I need to know that I’ve done a good job and it’s like someone has just given me a medal or I’ve won the lottery. It just feels so good! I crave it. I need it to be a good writer.
What’s your love language? What kind of encouragement do you need?
READ – ‘The 5 Love Languages‘ by Gary Chapman. It’s a game changer and not just when it comes to writing.
I need quiet.
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” Stephen Hawking
I’m the kind of person that hears everything. All. At. Once. When I’m in a crowd, I find it difficult to focus on one person talking over the many. When it is quiet, the slightest sound can interrupt my train of thought and therefore hinder my productivity. Sometimes I can write with a little background music, usually rain or soft piano, but most of the time, I need absolute silence. My mind is working overtime and I need to sort things out, get it out and get writing.
What does your writing environment look like? What things distract you or prevent you from getting work done?
To recap I need these things to be a productive and successful writer:
What do you need? Do you know? If so, I’d like to know. Please comment below.
If not, now may be a good time for some contemplation. Let me know what you have discovered. Please comment below. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope it has encouraged you.