Being Your Own Cheerleader When No One Else “Gets It”

I was expecting applause but I suppose stunned silence is equally appropriate.
– Dr. Sheldon Cooper
Big Bang Theory, The Thespian Catalyst

BazingaBeing a writer is often a solitary adventure. So when you share the milestones that come with starting out, brace yourself – you may not get the whooping response you wanted.

After publishing my first five blog posts, I asked my closest friends, “Did ya see it? Huh huh huh? Did ya, did ya?”

One mumbled, with her head down as she scrutinized her salad, “Yup, it’s got stuff on there.” All others were silent, afraid to squish my burgeoning enthusiasm but as clueless about what to say as Sheldon Cooper at a bridal shower.

*Deep sigh* Well, thanks for reading it. Or at least I think you did.

When I made my first submission to Writer’s Digest, my fiancé smiled and said, “You’re cute.” Then he kept playing his video game. (Poor timing on my part?)

Hey, I expect to be shot down [and I was], but it’s my first submission to a major publication. C’mon honey, work with me here.

When I finally avoided overextending myself, I called Mom to celebrate. After all, she’s seen me spend years putting work before my health and sanity. Her response? “That’s great honey. Guess what…I got new bookcases for half-off!”

Did I hear a “great” in there? I think I heard a “great.” Was that a “great”?

The fiancé has gotten better. When I first earned 100 blog followers, he patted my shoulder and his smile clearly said, “I hope I’m doing this right.”

Your loved ones may not mean to lack the proper enthusiasm; they just may not understand why you’re clapping and bouncing around the room yelling  “yippee!!”

And in all fairness, we may not always understand their milestones either. But we still cheer for them like they do for us.

If your loved ones are trying to be supportive, thank them. Appreciate your loved ones for the support they show. But don’t forget to be your own cheerleader, too.

But is it really a big deal? Or am I just being a silly noob?

Who cares? It doesn’t have to be huge. You achieved something.  So, even when it seems like you’re the only one cheering, cheer anyway.

And write down your milestones. Reading over your accomplishments and remembering how great they felt will help keep you going, especially when you feel overwhelmed.

Got a milestone you want to share? Leave a comment. I’ll cheer with you.

20 thoughts on “Being Your Own Cheerleader When No One Else “Gets It”

  1. We should all be proud of anything with accomplish. It is a great goal to be recognized and go accomplish something. Best of luck with everything and I can totally relate to the friends part in the beginning 🙂

    • Hi there – welcome to Rubber Ducky Copywriter!

      Yes, the beginning is usually the hardest. You have this shiny new toy and when you realize that only you know just how cool it is, it can be tough.

      But an accomplishment is an accomplishment all the same. 🙂

  2. Great observations. We do have to be our own cheerleader sometime (although I really don’t look good in a skirt). Sometimes people are being cautious, some are testing your seriousness, others don’t understand, but most creatives are misunderstood. I love how you were straining to hear the bits of praise that were there. Keep going and they’ll get bigger. Thankfully, I have a spouse who is a great supporter. I’m encouraged by your blog.

  3. My most recent milestones:
    ** Setting up a blog and writing posts on it fairly regularly
    ** Deciding what niches to write for & about as a living (clean air & water, food security, and art)
    ** Journaling at least one of my accomplishments every day
    ** Owning that I’m intelligent and that I don’t have to be afraid of being smart
    ** Walking away from a one-sided relationship

      • Thank you. It was the second-to-last thing that made the breakthroughs of the rest possible.

        I’d always been derided about loving knowledge for its own sake, so originally I dumbed myself down in school to be accepted. Of course, if you do something long enough, it becomes a habit. With the help of a genius of a counselor, I saw that old decision for the hang-up it was. I booted it into the trash. That action alone means I now make (and follow through with) better decisions for my life.

        • Good point! That’s a lesson we shall all keep in mind. If we want others to believe in us, we have to first. And the ripple effect is amazing.

  4. In this freelance copywriting game I’ve kinda learnt, Erica, to accept that no-one else really gets it (other than those we fraternize with in the online world).

    So whenever I reach one of those milestones, I usually get my head down and swiftly move on to my next objective without celebrating what I’ve accomplished.

    Maybe it’s because we don’t have cheerleaders here in the UK; maybe it’s because of some fear of resting on my laurels.

    Nevertheless, your words of wisdom still make total sense to me. And maybe I ought to crack open a bottle of champagne more often than I do.

    • While it is important to not rest on your laurels, it’s also important to take a moment to give yourself a little pat on the back. Otherwise you also risk discouragement. It’s okay to smile in appreciation of what you’ve just accomplished every once in a while. Promise. And I feel pretty comfortable saying that you deserve a few pats on the back.

  5. Can mos def relate! I also must come back to my previous accomplishments to pump myself up. I also think having a network of people who DO get it, even though they’re not our closest fam and friends, still helps out a lot.

    • Yes, having a network of fellow writers (or other matching professionals) helps. No doubt about that. But like anyone, sometimes they’re not there at that peak moment of enthusiasm.

      Mom’s on speed dial. A buddy on the other side of the world? Not so much.

      But yes, definitely a must-have nonetheless. 🙂

  6. Congrats on hitting all of those milestones! That’s awesome and I’m here rooting for you!

    I have to confess: I know/live/work with other writers so I have a constant stream of supportive people that understand the importance of what I do (and how one misplaced comma can ruin my whole day).

    Some days, I take it for granted then I read something like this. Thanks for the reminder to not only appreciate their support but to return it, too. 🙂

    My most recent accomplishment was getting my blog almost ready to go. I still have a few subtle tweaks to make before kicking it out of the nest later this month. But I’m getting so close!

    • Thanks, Savannah! I really appreciate that.

      Where I’m at now is the first time I’ve really had a collaborative, supportive group. And the difference is night and day. I love it. But still, sometimes they’re not available. And being your own cheerleader is a habit I think we should all keep up anyway. I mean really—when did being proud of ourselves become such a bad thing?

      Oh, and let me know when your blog is ready. I’d love to check it out. 🙂

  7. I’m fortunate to have a supportive family and hubby who are there to celebrate when I reach milestones. However, they don’t always understand the frustrating bits. Sympathy can be as important as cheerleading.

    My milestones are:
    * Finishing my free e-book and getting it up on my blog.
    * Recording my first youtube video to support my book.
    * Polishing a collection of short stories into a product ready for beta readers.

    My next milestone will be completing my next round of edits and then working with a professional editor to finish it all off. 🙂

    By the way, congratulations to you on receiving your first blogging award. 😉 Well done!

    • Hi Jessica – welcome to Rubber Ducky Copywriter! And thank you for the congratulations.

      It’s not that my family and friends aren’t supportive; they are. Extremely. At one point, a comment from one of my closest friends kept me from abandoning this blog. (Thank you, Sunshine!)

      But some things, only a fellow writer can understand. And when I let out a big WHOOP because I finally I finally figured out how to connect my blog with my Twitter account, I was a party of one. 🙂

      Good for you on all your milestones. Way to go! That is a pretty darn impressive list. 😀

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