What or who supports you in your writing?

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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?

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10 thoughts on “What or who supports you in your writing?

  1. Hi! Great Blog, as a closet writer seeing this inspires me step out and write! Thanks!

  2. karen evans says:

    My writing/critique buddies and faith. Good post.

  3. Brooke says:

    Great post…something I’ve been thinking about lately. And it’s an area I’m just venturing into. I’ve tended to be a “hermit” with my writing. I started to blog to break out of that. One person whose opinion I value has not read anything I’ve written! That surprised me. But I’ve received input from other bloggers and Facebook friends which has encouraged me to keep going. I recognize now how important advice and encouragement are. I’ve also taken classes where fellow students and the instructor have given invaluable help. Learning, learning 🙂 And thanks for the link to beautiful eagle pictures!

  4. This may sound like it’s not true, but it is true. The Word of God is my main support. Without the encouragement of scripture, I’d be a quivering mess. Besides the Bible, my second support is my husband, his presence. I can count on him to be here. He’s 26 years my senior, so I can count on him to be here until God takes him home. Then, there I’ll be again, leaning on the Word of God, alone, waiting for Him to provide the obvious sustenance I will need to continue my journey. He’s never missed a transition in my life yet. He can catch a falling star and hang it back in space. Blessings to you, Carol…

  5. Carla Altland says:

    Like Carol Ann in the last post, I get great support from the LORD and His Word!! But also some who are encouraged by my writings. But many times the ones we thought would be able to read and comment on our words, do not . But take heart… we still keep on writing and mentoring others too.!!

  6. joylene says:

    You introduced me to Jim’s work and I visited often. I’m so sorry for his loss. And a loss it is.

    I have too many to mention that have and continue to support. They’re all a blessing. Including you, Carol.

  7. Hi, everyone. Thanks so much for sharing your comments on this. I hadn’t thought of Carla’s idea that there is support gained from just knowing others have been encouraged by our writing. Interesting thought!

  8. Shari Green says:

    I love the “suspension bridge vs solid structure” image!

    I love and appreciate my writing group. They’re a support system as much as a critique group, for sure! I also find great support from my online writer-friends. And I’ve got this great mom/beta-reader/cheerleader who gives pretty awesome support…. 😉

  9. Jenn Hubbard says:

    My husband is my primary support, even though he doesn’t read my work. But by taking care of the household and yardwork, and keeping my computer running, and by remaining a sane influence in the face of my emotional ups and downs, he is the #1 enabler of my writing habit!

    There are many other wonderful people who help in various ways, including fellow writer/bloggers like you!

  10. I’m with Carla. Knowing that my words (or a photo) have touched someone is a great encouragement. And my husband–though he never (almost never) reads anything I write supports me 100%.

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