Encourage or Convince?

How do you give an extra nudge to a creative person who is standing at the edge of the pool, thinking, contemplating, planning on jumping in, but just can’t get around to doing it?

Mind your own business may be your first thought. They will jump in when they’re ready. And you would be right. Kinda.

What do you do when your friend or co-worker or your cousin is really good at some form of art and they want to start “the” project but they just can’t get started?

Encouragement.

Everybody needs it, deep inside everybody wants it.

Creative people are no different.

Most artists have a knack for what they love, and love what they have a knack for. People who write usually love to write. People who mold pottery into vases or bowls or abstract art love the process of creating something from wet, soft, loose, earthy materials such as clay. People who lay out amazing gardens have a knowledge of color and depth along with materials and weather.

So when you see someone who has that love, that potential, to take the next step into creative awesomeness, how do you get them to actually take that step?

I have a very good friend who has had, shall we say, a colorful life. She is quite intuitive and magical and has had success with her own blog, along with a radio show and her private business.

Now she has an idea to write a second book, this time under the guise of fiction, about some unbelievable things that happened in her life. I myself think it’s a great idea. She thinks its a great idea.

But, like me and others, it’s hard to take this great idea and actually do it. Outline it. Write it. Publish it.

There is a line between encouraging someone to follow their dream and trying to convince them to go for it. All the reasons you have for wanting them to succeed might not be their reasons to succeed. You’re not in their head — you are merely a reflection of what they share with you.

Having said that, I think it’s up to all of us to encourage creativity whenever we can. Talk them through it. Listen to their hesitations. Their ideas. Ask questions. Get excited. Share your excitement! You don’t have to understand the process in order to encourage mutual enthusiasm.

My friend is going to write a whopper of a book. Just like you are going to make amazing pottery and popular Christmas wreaths and knit fashionable  sweaters.

Everyone needs encouragement. Don’t be afraid to share yours.

5 thoughts on “Encourage or Convince?

  1. I completely agree with you. My daughter showed signs of creativity at a very young age. She was making pottery and sculptures before she was ten. We encouraged her, built her an art room in the basement, sent her to pottery classes as a child and later helped her attend a fine arts program at college. I knew she would not be happy in an office job. She is now a self-employed potter and sells her work around the world. It is hard work and she struggles financially, but she thanks me every day for encouraging her. But it was always her decision.

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