Wednesday, May 25, 2011


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.


  1. So true. No matter how introverted, a writer needs all the support he/she gets. That's why I love cruising the blogosphere. It's got a great community of awesome people.


  2. It's just as you say. I quit writing through the hardest years of my life, and never thought I would pick it up again. I'd really forgotten what a lot of it was like: the community, the instant rapport you can have with someone even though you know NOTHING about them other than that they're insane enough to sit at the keyboard for hours trying to tell stories, which means they're just like you in at least one way!

    Close to seven years of not-writing was undone in less than a month at the Compuserve forum. What a _great_ place. I'm writing again now and I feel like I got a chunk of my soul back.

  3. Hehehe, I must admit the bra caught my eye. LOL. Pretty!

    I guess writing can be lonely, and yet if you're good mates with your characters as I am, it doesn't feel too lonely :D

  4. I love my online critique group♥ I actually have a group of people who "get me" and have the same issues and passions! It's awesome to have that support. ☺

  5. @ Misha - amen to that! I think the writing community is an awesomely supportive place, on the whole - it's really kind of special.

  6. @ Jill - ah, that is SO awesome to hear! The Compuserve forum is a wonderful incubator for our particular version of insanity, isn't it? ;-)

  7. @ Trisha - it wasn't meant to be an eye-catcher, no, not at all ....

    coughcoughsplutter. ;-)

    Absolutely true, what you said. But for those times when you're not actually at your desk immersed in your fictional world, it's still nice to be able to reach out to others who *get* how cool that is ... rather than looking at you sideways. :-P

  8. @ Amanda - sounds like you've found the absolute right group of writers for you. Don't let 'em go!

  9. Great post Rachel! I don't know where I'd be without the Forum. DH is very supportive but doesn't like to talk writing and sometimes I just need those marathons and houseparties and threads about word count worries.
    Glad to hear you're moving forward on the story!

  10. @ Deniz - Absolutely. My DH is very supportive, but his eyes tend to glaze over when I start talking about openings and acts and character arcs ... (g) Great to have people with similar obsessions ... erm, interests ... to chat to, isn't it?

  11. Great post, Rachel. Without feedback, a writer is writing in a vacuum. How can she know what works and what to improve?

  12. @ Susan - Absolutely. Perspective is very hard to muster when it comes to your own work. That old forest and the trees thing ... :-)