I don’t think I talk enough about how important it is to have backup in this career called
melting your brain writing. At its core, writing is a solitary endeavor, but in the hours when we’re not literally slaving over our keyboards, we writers need all sorts of different people to stroke our ego, hand us tissues, slap us back into reality, dish out ice cream, lecture on comma usage, and tell us that agent didn’t know what the heck she was talking about.
I’ve been on both ends of things – the comforter and the one needing comforting – occasionally within the space of a few minutes.
I’ve been writing for a long time, but I only started taking it very seriously in the past five years, and in that time I’ve amassed a lot of writing friends at all different stages of writership, from toying with the idea of writing something to big, bad, and published, and we all struggle with different things.
Some writers are struggling with chapter one. Think back to Day One of Writerhood, when you’d written absolutely nothing. And now you’re about to embark on the scary novel journey, and your first obstacle is chapter one. Do you remember how daunting that was? As you can imagine, the writers taking their baby steps need a lot of encouragement, like a cornbread crumb in front of their faces…. wait, that was how I taught my youngest brother to walk. Scratch that part!
Moving on up the line, there’re the writers who want to go back and edit what they’ve already written instead of forging ahead, and you have to yell at them through Skype that SO HELP ME GOD I WILL COME AND FIND YOU IF YOU EVEN LOOK BACk, and sometimes you have to bribe them with stuff. But as long as you keep ’em moving, it’s all good, even if it’s at the cost of your pride.
I don’t even have to tell you how much encouragement querying writers need. They’re facing rejection and defeat every time they send out an email or letter. It’s an emotionally exhausting process, even when you only do it for three-ish months and then pretend you forgot you were querying (I don’t know any Gabrielle’s who would do that… nuuh).
You get the picture, right? So as you’re struggling along with your daily writing quota and telling your novel it’s an absolute horror for not making any sense (there’s no way I’m the only one who does that), muster up some enthusiasm and send an encouraging email, tweet, FB message, text, etc to a writer you know, ’cause you never know if they might need it.