Recently a fellow blogger, who is a writer, commented that 9 out of 10 friends who say they want to read your writing never do. She wasn’t complaining, just acknowledging that that’s how things are. Mostly she wanted to make the point about how much we should value that 1 who does, and we really should.
Whether we are writers or not, we’ve all experienced that same thing in one scenario or other – those 9 out of 10 people who say they will support something we’re doing, and then don’t. It’s natural to feel let down, but actually, if we flip it around and are completely honest with ourselves, we’ve all been that 9 too. Probably many times. Each of us, within our circle of friends, family, friends of friends, colleagues and neighbours, we all know people who play in a band, or act in plays, or compete in sporting events, or sing in bars, or make and sell crafts, or organise fundraising activities, or make films, or recite poetry, or paint, or yes write. The list is endless. We all know many people who each really need those in their circle to step up and actively support them in their endeavours.
When these people tell us about their thing, it really is so easy to say “Well next time you’re doing X, let me know and I’ll come to watch!” or “Hey, I’d love to look at that and give you my opinion when you’ve finished it.” And we mean it at the time, or hopefully we do anyway, but do we follow through on it every single time? Chances are we don’t. We can’t. In our desire to be supportive and encouraging to people we know in their endeavours, we can over-commit ourselves with these promises. The reality is we all have busy lives and we just don’t have the capacity to actively support everyone in our circle, in all of their endeavours, as much as we would like to. Maybe we should think more carefully about our words if we’re not completely sure that we can commit. Maybe it’s better to just say “That’s great, I really hope it goes well”, rather than “That’s great, I’ll try and come along”. We’re not letting them down with the first one.
Many times of course we are actively supportive, we are the 1, and it feels good doesn’t it. We’re pleased to be able to actively support. But we just can’t do it all the time, and that’s what we need to remember when we’re the ones on the other side wanting active participation and support. So as well as greatly valuing the 1 who supports us, we should remember that we’re really all the same. Sometimes we’re the 9 and sometimes we’re the 1.
Just some random musings on a Friday. What do you think? Agree? Disagree?