One of the best ways to enhance my creativity that I have found over the years is to surround myself with positive people who support my work.
Sounds like a no-brainer, right?
When it comes to actually doing it, though, we often struggle. Sometimes it is hard to let go of friendships with people who are unsupportive of our creative dreams. So often, I have heard people say to me:
‘Oh, its so hard to get published, and there are so many people out there trying to do it. Why bother?’
‘There’s no money in the arts. You have to get a proper job.’
‘You need to get serious and grow up.’
‘Are you still writing your little stories?’ (This one is the most patronising I’ve had!)
None of these remarks have anything to do with your creativity, or mine. They are all excuses from people who are afraid to take the plunge and do something creative for its own sake.
Truly supportive friends are enthusiastic. They want to hear about your work. They offer helpful and supportive comments. They will offer to read your writing in a loving and constructive manner (rather than just telling you how they would have done it). They will take your efforts seriously, and understand that you are doing what you love because you love doing it. They will never point out how there is no money in it (not true) because they know thats not why you do it. They will joyfully share your dreams.
Keeping positive is difficult enough in these dangerous and depleting times. Keeping positive in the midst of a gruelling creative project is even harder.
Yes, we need to be part of a creative community of fellow practitioners of our chosen arts.
We also need to surround ourselves with friends who are willing to cheer us on. They don’t necessarily have to be people who pursue the same creative arts as we do. Their creativity may lie in the sciences, applied crafts or in the natural world, or in any other area.
What supportive friends do is share our enthusiasm.
Take the time to cultivate the people in your life who make you feel good about your creativity and yourself. Find friends who are willing to get out there and cheer you on. Cheer them on in your turn. You will find so much creative energy in this simple lifestyle change, and I guarantee that it will enhance your world and your creative practise.