Nov 28, 2017 · 2 minute read

By: Colleen Valles

Convincing people that taking time to write is worthwhile has always been an uphill battle for me, and I used to be a reporter. I made my living writing stories.

But when it’s not for your job, people tend not to value it. After all, everyone can write to some extent; it can’t be that great of a skill. If you haven’t had a book published and sold in a bookstore, then a lot of times they just can’t fathom that you’re a “real” writer.

I plugged along for many years, not telling anyone I was a writer. I found it easier to avoid the topic altogether than to defend myself.

After years, growth in confidence and a lessening in caring what people think, I started calling myself a writer again.

I think if you say it with conviction, people don’t question you as much. Instead, they do things to let you know they don’t think much of you being a “writer.” Things like calling you during your writing time. Talking to you while you’re at your computer, typing away. Responding to “I’m going to do some writing” with other plans entirely that they expect you to come along on.

All these things and more have happened to me, and I’m sure to every other creative who’s just trying to make the world a more beautiful, interesting place.

My solution came about two years ago, when I signed up for Jeff Goins’ Tribe Writers course. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by people who wrote. Maybe some of them made a living from it; others didn’t, but everyone valued it.

Before I knew it, there was a furious exchange of ideas — so many that I couldn’t keep up with them all and actually felt a little overwhelmed (easy for me) and got a little paralyzed from it all.

But it blew my mind. There were people out in the world who saw value in what I do because they do the same thing. They supported my efforts; shared my frustrations; showed me things from a different perspective.

If you can, I recommend signing up for a class, joining a group online, going to a conference — whatever it takes to meet the people who will boost you up when everyone else laughs you down.

You can call them your tribe, your support group, your safety net, whatever. These are the people who get it. Who get you.

These are the ones you can reach out to with questions or concerns and their answer won’t be “why don’t you just do something else?”

These are the ones who will keep you from feeling so alone.

I’m trying to pay that mind-blowing experience forward. I want to support creatives, and have been trying to do it in the best way I know how: by helping them slow down and simplify so they can make time and space for what they love.

If I can help you, through simplifying or even just offering emotional support, I’d love to. Comment below and let me know what I can do for you.


Image: Climate KIC
Colleen Valles
I'm Colleen, a writer, mother, knitter, pet mama and tiny house enthusiast who truly believes that everybody should slow down and simplify to make room for the things that are most important in their lives. I'm on a journey to do just that, to be able to spend more time with family and friends, riding my bike and working in the garden. Sign up to get awesome content right in your inbox, or follow me on social media.