How Much Closer

Badge for Insecure Writer's Support Group

I’m part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. it’s a fun group of writers and bloggers who share how things are going with their writing and encourage one another. You can find out more about these awesome (and sometimes insecure) writers,  HERE.

One of the things we do on the 1st Wednesday of each month is to write on a specific topic or question. July’s question is:

“What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?”

I only had to look back a couple of weeks in my memory…

I recently published a book called, Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone who has Cancer. No. This isn’t just a shameless plug for my book (although, I do recommend it). At first, because I hadn’t properly organized my launch, it was like pulling teeth to find reviews. I was getting discouraged.

Then, I heard what a friend of mine thought of the book after reading an advance copy. She’d always struggled with how to talk to people who had cancer. Would she say the wrong thing? Should she even “bother” them? Her own husband was diagnosed with cancer and she felt insecure about what to say to him.

After she read my book, she said her whole outlook on this changed. Now she knows what to say, and what she can do, to be a good friend to people in a difficult time.

This meant everything to me. It meant that my book, the words I wrote, made a difference in someone’s life. Since that day, it’s been far easier to toss discouragement aside. I think about why I am writing what I’m writing. It’s worth it.

In one of the many author interviews I’ve been watching lately, I heard someone (and I apologize for forgetting who it was ) say that there are two kinds of people who try to become successful at something. One looks at how far they are from the goal and the other looks at how much closer they are than when they began.

The first person will become discouraged because the goal will always be far away. In fact, as we grow in whatever it is we’re learning, the goal moves farther away because our aspirations grow as well.

The second person will succeed. Even though the goal may be a long way off, their focus is on how far they’ve come. They can celebrate the small successes along the way. This gives them encouragement. And, courage is what you need whenever you set out to do something that you could fail at.

I can easily get caught up in discouragement because of goals that I haven’t yet achieved, disappointment along the way, mistakes that have set me back. This is why I need to make a conscious effort every day to be the second person.

When insecurities whisper words of doubt in your ear, you will hear them. That’s when you must choose to swat them away and set your eyes on the road you’ve been walking. When you do, You’ll see the hurdles you’ve gone over, the ruts you’ve avoided, and the paths of the footsteps beside you, left by those who’ve walked the path with you, cheering you on.

Remind yourself that your dream is too important to let your insecurities dash it. Choose, instead,  to focus on how far you’ve come rather than how far you have yet to go.


My book, Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone who has Cancer, is available on as a paperback or Kindle.

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2 comments on “How Much Closer

Loni Townsend

That’s great to hear you’re helping people! My father-in-law died of cancer not long after me and my husband got married. It was a rough time. A lot of the time, I was at a loss as to what to say too. Ten years later and it’s still hard to talk about.


Hi Loni, It really is difficult to be faced with something like cancer. It can be so overwhelming that it’s hard to know what to say. I really hope that my books can take the curtain away and enable people to be comfortable in the presence of someone’s pain. That’s a hard thing to do. Bless you, Loni!

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