Move Along… Crappy Support Not Taken Here

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.

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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…

10 Comments

Filed under February 2015

10 responses to “Move Along… Crappy Support Not Taken Here

  1. In my experience, it’s like being a veteran. I rarely talk about my military life with civilians because you have to live it to understand it. Of course, most groups feel like other people don’t get them. I’m a computer programmer and I find most people react to that the way they do to me being a writer: like I’m a priest of some strange, mysterious religion that grants me special, somewhat fearful, powers. In both cases, it’s like those who don’t practice the craft are pretty sure we lock ourselves away and consult with entities no one else knows about or really *wants* to know about. Demons and devils, maybe.

    I have found that there are a few ardent readers who are interested in the process, but I suspect many are writers who just don’t realize it yet.

    Finding Northwest Arkansas Writers’ Workshop was the best thing that ever happened to my writing career, so I’d say joining a writing group is one of the optimum answers.

    • I’m going to seek out some writer groups here in South Carolina. I know the support and critique would take my writing to another level. Sometimes, I just wish, people (friends) would respect my need to talk about my passion.

  2. I think almost every writer can relate to this, at least on some level, Amy. You nailed the point to a tee! Why should certain professions be taboo, or restricted, for conversation or support, whilst others seem to be talked about freely, and with no holds barred, till the cows come home? I agree with Gil, though. Meeting Velda, and, through her, finding NWAWW is also the best thing that happened to my writing. Next came OWL.
    I’ve been to the Ozark Creative Writers, (OCW), conference once too, last year. However, NWAWW and OWL to me stand out as extremely special. As you stated, the camaraderie, the non-judgmental attitudes, and not least the unlimited support I have personally experienced from both organizations are second to none.
    It’s just a shame our non-writer friends or family cannot give we writers the same consideration as they do, say, their office worker friends or family, with regard to some support or just a listening ear. Maybe that is why, when we all do get together, we writers lavish each other with all these things 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Alice White Author and commented:
    My friend and fellow author, Amy Weaver, had a great point to share.

  4. I can’t believe that you wrote about this on the very day that I was thinking along the very same lines. I had an incredible weekend of inspiration, learning and support with fellow writers and came home to complete blankness and lack of support. I just felt very alone. There were no friends I felt like calling either, because I just knew they wouldn’t understand.

  5. Lisa

    Heh you can run your ideas by me any time. I love reading and writing both!

  6. Shelly H.

    As a reader, I haven’t really stopped to think about what the writers go through to create such amazing stories. The stories that allow us to take a vacation away from our daily humdrum lives in the characters shoes. I just know I can’t wait to pick up the next book either from the same author or venture off to find another one. In my job as a librarian, it is always such a treat to share a new author with a patron. And I am so looking forward to sharing yours

  7. You know, I love sharing my writing ideas, triumphs and excitement and I’m so lucky to have a supportive family, who get excited with me! We all need support, and the worst thing is to be shot down. I adore my writing community who, as you say, are the most supportive people I know, and I wish so much, that my day-to-day friends were as supportive!

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