Recently, a friend said to me that she understands how much work it is to move often because she had a period in her life when she moved a lot. Her empathy – understanding because you've been there – almost undid me.
Sympathy – compassion for others despite not having been in their situation – is a great gift to give and receive. But when someone really knows what you're going through, it feels like you're not alone. That's why we humans create support groups!
So it's important to remember that we can give sympathy and empathy to the other writers around us and help them get through tough times. From a welcoming hello to a first-timer at a conference to supporting a friend through a rejection or bad review to helping someone who feels they can't write anymore, there are a myriad of ways to extend care for others.
I hope you're finding people with whom you can share both sympathy and empathy. Be willing to open up about the difficult things you're facing when you're in a safe environment. It may take time to find the right people, and some people will be good for sharing this situation but not that one. In the end, it will be worth it when you find people you can share with. 🙂