An eagle dips and soars in the ocean breeze, his white head tinged amber in the sunset rays. He brings to mind a cyberfriend, now gone – a friend I never met in person, whose exquisite photography often featured his beloved eagles.
Jim Dubois, “Garnite”, died last week. Thanks to a lung transplant three years ago he enjoyed bonus years, but couldn’t conquer this latest lung infection. I first encountered Jim on his Flickr photo pages, where he shared his love of nature in wonderful photos and words filled with wisdom. At the time of his transplant there was a massive show of support from the Flickr community, with prayers, good wishes, and healing thoughts sent his way. Those friends were there again for him during his recent battle.
This week as I stood on the very beach where so many of Jim’s photos were taken, I was acutely aware of the value of supportive friends.
We say our writing is a lonely pursuit… not lonely in the sense that we’re lonesome, but we are alone with our words, dredging them from inner places. No one else can transfer those specific thoughts onto the page except us. There are “writing hermits” among us – people who can’t or don’t share their writing challenges or their work – but many of us benefit from supportive associations.
- Family and Special Friends
- Writing Buddies (online and offline)
- Critique Partners (individual or multiple within a writers’ group)
- Class and Workshop Instructors
- Online Forums
- Mentoring Authors
- Agents and Editors
A support system provides stability during difficult times. I’m not one who enjoys the sway of suspension bridges. It’s easier to go the distance when the structure beneath my feet is held firmly in place. Like Jim, I have appreciated encouragement during my journey, in the stormy times of life and writing.
What’s your most valued form of support?