A while back, I was talking to someone about something I was struggling with in my writing. This person is not a writer, but I thought that was okay. I figured they would at least listen, and maybe (hopefully), give me an opinion or an encouraging word. I was wrong. Here was the response:
“Well, you have your writer friends for that.”
This perplexes me to no end. Do writers have to only go to writers for help and support?
I was at a writer’s conference this past weekend and it felt so good to be surrounded by people who understand the passion, the struggles, and the love of the written word. The camaraderie was palpable and the support never-ending. Judgment? That word doesn’t exist among this group and I have to think that would be the case for most writer conferences and groups.
Here’s the thing– we (writers) have to leave those conferences. We can’t put all those wonderful writers in our pockets and take them home with us.
Does that mean we can only reach out online, or by phone, to those writers we’ve met? We can only get support from attending writer groups in our area? Shouldn’t we be able to speak about our profession, share our concerns about our work, and vent just like everyone else does about their jobs and/or passions?
There have been times when I’ve talked about writing to friends, and they say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about” or “I don’t understand how all that author and writing stuff works.” Or they slough me off and I feel like I should just shut up.
Well, guess what? I don’t know or understand a lot of people’s jobs, but they can still talk, rant, and go on and on about the shit they’re going through day to day, and I don’t make them feel bad for it. I ask questions to try to understand. I try to engage or at least lend my ears to listen.
Does writing really have to be such a loner profession that we can’t reach out to those around us– our friends, our family.
What if I want to (or need to) talk out loud about a scene or character? What if I’m excited about something that’s stewing in my brain and I want to share it. Do I have to save these moments for the mirror as I get dressed? Or do I dare chance talking about it and hope I don’t get an eye roll or “you have your writer friends for that.”
Maybe so. But, in my honest opinion, support goes both ways. Maybe the response should be, “Yes, you’re right. And next time you need to talk about your job, go to your coworkers, not me.”
No. I can’t do that. That’s not who I am. I don’t have that response inside of me.
Can’t we all respect, love, and support each other’s work and passions? Hmmm… that would be too perfect– make life too easy.
I guess, in the end, we need to hold dear and hold close those who love and support us with true caring and interest. Those are the people who matter the most. Those are the people who will be there to get us through the rough patches of our passions and celebrate the successes of our work.
Love, peace, and happiness to you all.
Until next time…