2016 was the year I started listening to those around me. After spending the first part of the year dismissing advice and top tips from my creative friends (as I thought I knew best… sigh!) I thought I would do something different in the second half of last year.
So I listened, took advice and almost immediately started squeaking “oh my goodness you were right!”
As you can imagine readers I received a lot of eye rolls last year and the 🙄 emoji was well used.
Here are 10 things my creative friends have taught me:
- As a romance writer I should read Jane Green. For months I pulled a face at this and claimed her books wouldn’t interest me. After reading one of her books I am now totally hooked. I now hold the belief that Jane Green is a literary legend at writing romance and my creative friends look away…muttering.
- Adding in a ‘read more’ line into my blog posts will improve my blog stats. For months I shook my head, pulled a face and mumbled stuff under my breath about how I know best when it comes to blogging. After two weeks of adding in a ‘read more’ line I can say that my stats have improved significantly – sigh!
- You don’t need to blog everyday. You can achieve more by blogging less. For months I waved my creative friends on and told them I knew best (whilst frantically writing a zillion blog posts). Last July after forcing myself to listen to my creative friends I reduced my posts to 3 a week. It transformed my life. My blog stats actually improved when I blogged less. I was also able to write more of my books.
- Saying negative stuff about my writing results in a word count punishment. They warned me about saying negative stuff about my writing and….I didn’t listen! When they first started dishing out word count punishments (after I wailed ‘I am the worst ever writer to have ever existed!’) I ended up writing my first draft super fast. Every time I said something negative – a message would appear ‘1000 words from you or else!’ I watch what I say now and the other day awarded myself a word count punishment because I knew my comment was negative.
- Don’t listen to inarticulate trolls who leave hurtful comments on my platforms. This was a biggie for me as I used to take everything to heart, despite my friends telling me to get a grip! My creative friends have helped me grow a thicker skin.
- Don’t listen to non-writers who make negative comments about my creative life or projects. There is a fabulous quote from Brené Brown ‘if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.’
- Star Wars does not need romance. I am still learning this one after being disappointed with the Star Wars series.
- Set challenging goals. They have taught me to aim high no matter what.
- Stop seeking external validation with writing. Still learning this one and this year will be about stopping this.
- It’s ok to be a creative person. The most important thing they have taught me is that it ok to be a creative person. I don’t need to hide or feel ashamed about what I do. It’s who I am!
I hope some of you will also find these useful.
I am so glad I started listening!
Much blonde love to my creative friends…
Have a great day!