I'm sitting here typing my post for Wednesday on Tuesday night. Very organised of me, isn't it? Well, not really. It's only possible because of my husband.
I’ve been a little, shall we say, testy these last few weeks, trying like the dickens to get this draft of my novel done in the dribs and drabs of time that appear between all the other things in my life. Husband, sensing said testiness (would’ve needed to be blind and deaf not too, and I bet the poor man wishes he was at times) and being a bloody good bloke to boot, got himself out of work early today to take over the afternoon shift for me - transporting one child home from school debating practise, supervising the homework, cooking dinner for five, making school lunches for three, throwing on a load of washing so the kids will wear uniforms to school tomorrow instead of their pyjamas, throwing food in the cats’ bowls, enduring the torture that is washing Miss Six’s hair. All in aid of giving me a little bit more time to write.
Legend, he is.
And it’s what we all need as writers – support. Now, you might not have a partner to lean on – and if you do have a partner, he or she might even resent the fact that you write – but still, there’s support out there to be had.
Backspace, Compuserve’s Books & Writers Community, Absolute Write, writing-focused blogs (check out our side bar for some of our favourites) these are the places to frequent on the web for this support. And in real life (why do we call it that? The web is my life!) there are writing groups galore, or even book clubs, where you can find people of a similar mind set to you, people who you can vent to, share your work and your fears and aspirations with. We ladies at ATWOP have recently re-instated our weekly snip-sharing fiesta after a bit of a hiatus – just for fun, no critiquing required - and it’s done wonders for our inspiration and enthusiasm.
Because let’s face it, writing can be a lonely gig. Just you, your keyboard and your imagination. Heavenly, most of the time, but even I, your classic introverted thinker who craves - CRAVES - solitude, can go stir crazy and start thinking all kinds of unhealthy and dark thoughts without the encouragement of others to spur me on.
So screw up that courage and go put yourself out there. Comment on a writer’s blog, ask a question on a writing board, turn up at that writing group with your manuscript in hand. For no matter how bad you think your writing is, no matter your nerves, if you find support for your passion, your writing can only get better … and this can only be a Very Good Thing.