Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Who Loves Ya, Baby?

Ugh.  Haven't been feeling the writing lately.  I want to.  Sometimes the characters and the scenes do that awesome thing where they come to me just as I'm falling asleep, or when I'm driving or taking a shower, and say and do these amazingly clever things that I try to remember until I can get to a pen or a keyboard and take them down.  We know how that always ends, right?  I've also had some Life getting in the way: a wedding out of state where I had my credit cards stolen and then got a head cold.  So, lots of excuses not to write.  And who's going to notice, really?  Writing's a solitary gig.  Who cares if I don't get it done?

Then, Julia Quinn shared this story the other day on her Facebook page from romance writer Elizabeth Boyle, a writer I'm afraid I'm not familiar with.  It's about her first sale, and the lengths that she, and more importantly her husband, went through to get her manuscript where it needed to be.  I don't want to say anything more specific than that, because I really want you to read the story and I think giving you the rundown of it here would diminish some of the impact.  I'm a cynical bitch, and I was crying all over my smartphone when I read it Monday.  So just go read it.  I'll wait.

Anyway, at the end, her husband says "Don't ever say I don't support your writing!"  And Boyle ends the article And I never will.  Awwww.

It got me thinking, largely about how writers, especially those of us who have yet to drop the "aspiring" prefix, really write in a vacuum.  There's no publication contract, no agent, no NOBODY pressuring you to get it done, so it's really all on you to write.  It can be kind of liberating, but it can also get really lonely.  And it can be easy to put the writing aside, because Real Life is in the way.  It's not bringing money into the house, there's no fame and fortune in it, so it's not really worth any extra effort.  Not from you, and especially not from anyone around you. (Can you tell I've really been feeling like this lately?)

It's easy to get into that mindset, and fall into the trap of thinking that I'm in this alone.  But I'm not.  Much like the excellent Mr. Boyle, my husband is there for me.  He shoveled out the third bedroom in our house (the designated storage room crammed with stuff) and carved out a writing space for me in there.  He talked me into getting myself a comfortable laptop to write on (so my manhands aren't always cramped over my wee netbook) and a nice chair to sit in.  (I have a hard time justifying purchases for myself, so his help was necessary here.)  He reminds me every so often that I haven't finished my book yet, and I really should get to work on it.

I'm so not alone.  I have such a good friend and cheerleader in Vivien Jackson, who, despite her own crazy busy life, drops what she's doing to read my incoherent drafts and tells me that they're awesome, even though since they're at the Shitty First Draft stage I know they're anything but.

So, to the two or three people out there who have read my blog, think about it.  Think about those people in your life who love and support what you do, even if they don't go to Mr. Boyle-size lengths to show it.  Let that keep you going when you don't really feel like it.

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