Monday, September 17, 2012

Who's Got Your Back, Baby?

Today I'm going to discuss something I don't see bantered about often. Your personal support group and the importance they hold in your life. I may refer to writers in general, but this can be true of anyone.

First, what about you? Family, friends, online buddies and social networks? Do any of these think what you're doing is the greatest job in the whole wide world? Those who would buy your book no matter what - just because you poured your heart and soul onto the pages? Those you can count on to raise a toast in your honor because you received a new contract? A great review? A best seller?

Now, as with everything else in life, there is the flip side of the coin. Yes, I'm talking about those out there who labor and sweat and maybe even sneak around to put their writing out there for the public eye. Unfortunately, when these people raise their palm for a high-five, or turn with an ear-to-ear grin, no one is behind them. Why, how can this be?

Let's see. Perhaps they are embarrased by what they write? Maybe their closest friends and family are super-critical, causing pain instead of support? Or it could be they are ridiculed because writing is not a "serious" career? Only those without a support system can answer these questions, but it's made me think about passion and freedom and suffocation.

This topic struck me because at first, I'd think the writer who has the pats on the back to be in a better position. I mean, there's recognition, acknowledgement, smiles and congratulations. Those who sneak - for lack of a better word - can not safely, or comfortably, tell anyone of their accomplishments.

The first group has the freedom, if you will, to write, but I think sometimes it may become suffocating as well. Uncle Joe calls fifty times a week to see how the new book's going. Your sister nags your head off wanting to know when you're going to name a character after her. And Grandma is constantly trying to figure out who your characters resemble in real life (isn't that Rachel just like your cousin Bee?). Yeah, suffocating.Then again, there are those who couldn't write without everyone knowing about their job. Hmm...

On the other hand, does writing in secret mean the person contains more passion for their work? I mean, no sane person would work at a job where discovery could be monumentally bad - unless they're a writer. :) And unless they loved the heck out of what they were doing. Are these people all mousy on the outside yet seething with resentment on the inside? Or maybe they get a secret thrill that they're doing something great that no one knows about? Hmm...

What about you? Are you in one of these positions or somewhere else I didn't mention, and does this excite or aggravate you?


  1. I have two fabulous support groups---family and critique group. Sometimes, I think, my family wonders why I haven't sold more than one book. Me, too! The critique group is supportive and have become long time friends.

  2. That's great Darcy! Definitely count your blessings. :)