Proving Yourself

One of the most difficult tasks for a up and coming writer or other creative type is proving yourself to your loved ones. Proving that you are creative when talking with co-workers and other acquaintances is much easier. If you say something like, "I'm also a writer," they are likely to say something along the lines of "Oh wow, what do you write?" If you say, "I want to be a writer" to your parents or close friends, they may be more likely to say, "Since when do you write?" or "Don't quit your day job."

While it's weird that people you barely know would be more supportive of your creative drive, it does make a little bit of sense. The people that know you the best and love you the most are looking out for you. They don't want you to make an impulsive decision like starting a creative career because they want you to be secure. Most people in the world believe that security is getting a steady job doing work you can stand to do (even if it's just barely) for the rest of your life. I'll admit, a creative career is more than likely going to be taxing financially and emotionally, but spiritually (purpose-wise) it's going to be a lot more fulfilling.

At first, that is probably the angle you should try with your loved ones (dropping the "love" bomb never hurts, i.e. "But this is what I love doing."). Eventually though, you're going to have to truly prove it to them. Showing them your writing or your creative pursuit is certainly a start to proving yourself, especially if you're not half bad. The real proof, however is going to come from you earning a little bit of money from it.

The secret to earning money from your creative pursuit is to market yourself. You don't even have to be in the top 50 percent of your field as long as you're in the top 10 percent marketing-wise. Creating a website, making cold calls and networking with businesses or individuals who might be able to use your particular genius are essential to making some money from your work. You could be the best writer in the world with a large body of work, but if nobody knows who you are, you'll likely be broke and your family and loved ones will think you're crazy.

Personally, I didn't gain the respect of my loved ones until my books started to sell. When I was able to drop some numbers on them like a certain amount of money per month or a number of copies sold, it impressed them more than statements like "I just finished my novel" or "My book is getting good reviews" ever could. And my book didn't start to sell until I was confident that it was good enough to spread the word about it. Hmm...

So when it comes down to it, proving yourself to others starts with proving your value to yourself. Start inwardly and work your way up to everybody else you know. Before you know it, your mom will be saying, "My son is a published author!"

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