When we maintain negative feelings about our creativity as adults, it’s likely that we are merely mirroring what we learned before. We may seek out friends or mentors who duplicate the judgment and criticism we received as children. We might find people who don’t criticize, but also don’t engage with our creativity, and therefore we may feel similarly lonely or rejected.

As you seek out creative peers, do you find yourself surrounded by people who rarely share a good word? Do your friends actively support and encourage your writing and goals, or do they ignore them?

Building on yesterday’s thought exercise, think about how your current creative relationships might be mirroring your past hurts.

This one hits close to home for some of us. It might be a tough topic to contemplate.

I’ll go first:

I expect to be criticized or mocked for what I do, so I avoid creative relationships altogether. When I do connect with other creative people, they tend to be so busy with their own lives and projects that we don’t discuss our work, trade feedback, or share advice or resources. Almost exactly like the example above, I trade criticism for invisibility.

Today, let’s all commit to finding healthier creative relationships. Commit to identifying breaking bad patterns. Seek out what you need today, not what satisfies your past self. Commit to taking responsibility for finding the relationships and connections you need.