What’s in a cup of tea, honeybee? 

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What’s in a cup of tea, honeybee?

Does it send me the message that you support me?

Are you telling me that you understand how much my work means?

Are you trying to make my goal easier to achieve? 

Finishing a book, you have been writing for a few months is priceless. I was just adding some final touches to “The Authentic Author Recipe,” when I had the sense that my loving husband was standing somewhere nearby. Sure enough, I looked up into his smiling eyes and grinned right back at him because he held that prize-winning cup of tea I needed after a hard day of work. “Tea? He asked, his eyes full of concern. “Yes, thank you,” I grinned, gratefully accepting the wonderful gesture, my respect and love increasing for his generosity and thoughtfulness. It reminded me of Recipe Number 8 in my book, where one of the main ingredients is the inner circle. According to Leadership laws, the inner circle usually refers to those people who work closely to support executives in areas they don’t quite have the skill for. But what about our spouses, children, and extended family? Don’t they form a part of our inner circle too? No one can deny the significance of the roles they play in supporting, loving, and making sacrifices while we work on our dreams. In return, don’t we owe them an abundance of love, gratitude, commitment, and effort in nurturing our relationships and responsibilities? In an ideal world, that is how it should work. However, I coach a number of authors who increasingly confess their struggles to secure support from their inner circles. Some had fought such furious battles that they gave up before they even started. From the Nasreeniology perspective, the answer is to “buck up rather than give up.” Every challenge has a solution, and every solution requires 3 C’s –
  • Commitment
  • Creativity
  • Communication

Communication

One of the first lessons I learned as a married woman is that we don’t exist in a communication vacuum. Nobody should be expected to know what is needed from them miraculously. Communication between partners about expectations, needs, and support mechanisms is key in sustaining an authoring career. Communication provides much-needed clarity, and unless we share our visions and reasons, we cannot expect anyone in our inner circles to support us in the way we need to be supported. Sometimes ,we need to have those difficult conversations to iron out a path that becomes smoother and easier to navigate as time goes along. Be inclusive and share information, milestones, decision making, and achievements with your inner circles. Their support for what you do will increase with inclusivity. What is imperative is that the middle ground should always be reached. Neither party should expect the extremes. No one should be expected to give up on their passion for writing. By the same token, no one should be expected to make all the sacrifices either. Strike a balance in all things. A wholesome, home-cooked dinner in return for that cup of tea is not such a bad swap, is it?

Creativity

Children don’t arrive with built-in radars for “do not disturb me” time either. Some authors find the need to lie to their children about what they are doing and use every trick in the book to keep them “entertained.” It may work, but just for a day or two. Children can be understanding “adults” if they feel included. My favorite example is an author coachee who showed her five-year-old his favorite book and told him she wanted to make one just like it. Excited, he asked if she could make one that was better than that. She said she needed his help to draw the pictures for the book. He didn’t need inviting twice. Every day, he went to her study with her, drew pictures in his makeshift book, and compiled a picture book of his own. This bought her two hours of writing time every day. She eventually rewarded him with having his pictures compiled into a book and presented it to him on his birthday. Everyone told him how talented he was and ordered copies at $1 from him. He continued to draw until he was eight and now writes a journal daily. Sometimes he accompanies her to publisher meetings and comes with a list of book titles he believes are correct for her books. One positive move in communication has introduced a little boy into a young author mindset, a legacy she leaves with him, well beyond her passing. That’s what we call creativity.

Commitment

Authors who face “pressure” from family to give up writing, have to understand that the “pressure” they face isn’t pressure unless someone forces them to give it up. Sometimes, a little rumble in the jungle is all it is until the inner circle, too, settles into the idea of you becoming an author. You can make your passion for writing count without dropping the ball on your relationships and responsibilities, and this is what we call commitment.

5 Tips for Writers and Authors

Try these time management tips to help you along:
  1. Wake up an hour or two earlier. With a household that is asleep, you are consistently writing to meet your goals.
  2. Plan your household chores and family responsibilities in advance if you can and work around it. If, for example, you planned your menu in advance and pre-prepared it, you could halve your cooking time.
  3. Prioritize your activities and events and remember that urgent matters need to be dealt with first. Learn to say no to what isn’t important or learn to negotiate when you will be available to help. Keep your spouse and children on the top of that list always.
  4. Set aside time for self-care. Don’t drop the ball on yourself, and you won’t drop the ball on others. Health and wellness are not negotiable.
  5. Put project plans in place so you feel a sense of achievement every time you reach a milestone. It helps to keep the momentum, and your family can feel included in your milestones.
Finally, please don’t resent your inner circle for not supporting you. Only you know and understand that warm feeling you get when you visualize holding your book for the very first time. Everyone doesn’t have the same dream. Resentment will only dampen your joy when you finally publish your book. When that time comes, celebrate, and share your joy with everyone alike. Continue writing in the hope that, if not immediately, someday, your detractors will appreciate your talent and drive. Financial and verbal support is not the only kind of support we can give to those trying to achieve a lifelong dream. Sometimes, the simple things that money can’t buy are priceless.

So Yes! 

What’s in this cup of tea you ask?

It’s all my love and compassion poured into your glass,

I understand, cherish and adore the author in my life,

Whether I am your husband, or you, my wife. 

(Note: If you enjoyed this story, then please like, share, and let our guest author, Nasreen Variyawa, know your thoughts in the comments section below.)

About Nasreen Variyawa

Author Coach Nasreen Variyawa has 4 Amazon best-sellers to her credit. An editor and ghost-writer too, she is the creative force behind many other best-sellers. She is also among the Top 20 authors shortlisted for the Golden Door Awards being hosted in Singapore in September 2020. Her niche is helping other unknown aspiring authors achieve their dreams of becoming published in as short a time as possible. First-time authors can look forward to Nasreen, helping with realizing their vision, strategy, and book finally. A post-graduate in education leadership and management, Nasreen has also inspired, motivated, and elevated thousands of corporate learners through workshops she has conducted over the years. Nasreeniology, the name of her business, is derived from her name and is symbolic of the unique perspective she expresses whenever she writes and speaks. Her best-selling titles include Ignite the champion within and inspire others to begin, Aspire to inspire: poems that elevate your speech, Ignition: Answer your calling and Coach Wisdom 2. Her forthcoming work includes a book tentatively titled The Authentic Author Recipe and she will soon host a Mastermind, the 12 steps to becoming a published author. Interested authors can contact or follow her on: Website: www.nasreeniology.com Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/authornasreenv Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/nasreen.variyawa LinkedIn: www.linkedin/in/nasreenv Email: nvariyawa@yahoo.com

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