The effect of nurture… in a landscape, on a writer


When I’m struggling through a bad writing day I’m always amazed at what happens when someone unexpectedly blesses me with a bit of encouragement. It’s nurturing. It’s like irrigation to a barren landscape.

Nowhere is the impact of water more evident than in arid locales near Cache Creek in south central British Columbia. My recent vacation trip took me along a highway that paralleled the Fraser and Thompson rivers. The water was there, racing through deep slices in the dry and rocky mountains. Only where industrious farmers had installed pumps, waterlines and sprinklers, accessing that water and transferring it to their thirsty crops, did the dusty brown soil support lush green growth.

A lot of nurture happens in the writing community. The pursuit of publication is often likened to a challenging climb up the ladder where aspiring novelists receive advice and assistance from more advanced writers above them, and in turn pay it back by helping those who are less experienced on a lower rung.

But have you ever considered those more experienced, successfully published authors might also need nurturing in the way of support and encouragement? A little praise, recognition of editing or scheduling stress, perhaps commiseration over an undeserved bad review, all can raise spirits and help someone move forward in their writing career.

Remember, just like the effect of irrigation in a desert, a little colour in a day’s mundane landscape can makes a big impact.  In what ways could you add a bit of colour to an author’s day? Or what kind of encouragement would you welcome?

~  ~  ~

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God … So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?” [Ecclesiastes 3:12-13, 22 – NIV]


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6 thoughts on “The effect of nurture… in a landscape, on a writer

  1. Good post – changed my perspective. I am used to thinking of successful writers as having adoring fans who provide encouragement. (Maybe I have been watching too many episodes of Castle…)

  2. I think encouragement is vital to every human being, no matter how established they are in their careers. You have only to say something with sincerity, see their faces or voices light up, and you know you did something good.

  3. Shari Green says:

    Good post! It’s important to remember that everyone needs support and encouragement, no matter where they are on the journey (and that doesn’t just apply to writing!).

    I find I’m more likely now than before I was an “aspiring author” to email an author or send a twitter message to let them know I enjoyed their book. (Ack… and with sentences like that last one, it’s no wonder I’m still “aspiring”, lol.) I guess I understand now how difficult writing can be, and I’ve been around writers enough to know it doesn’t magically get easier when the first book deal comes along.

  4. The key to getting the support and encouragement we need is to stay connected with each other. I love blogging/commenting. It helps me keep my finger on the pulse of those I follow in the writing community.

  5. Darlene says:

    The writing community is so supportive and I have been amazed at the encouragement I have received since I started to write seriuosly. It certainly has been the “irrigation” required to keep me going. Growing up in the arid regions of southern Alberta I know about the importance of irrigation. Thanks for the sagebrush picture at the end, it represents the tenacity of prairie folk to me and it always makes me a little homesick.

  6. I’m enjoying your comments today! It seems we agree on the value of support within our writing community. I know I’m very blessed by all of your encouragement. 🙂

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