In honor of my upcoming wedding anniversary this Saturday, today’s post is about support systems. My husband and I will have been together for 12 years this weekend, married for 8 of that, and for nearly a decade he was the only person that even came close to reading whatever I was working on at the time. He’s not a reader himself so I was pretty safe most of the time that he wouldn’t have the time or the energy after a long day of work to sit down and struggle through whatever crap I was currently spewing out. No one else was allowed to even touch my work, much less read it.
Whenever I would get frustrated with a project, which was often, he would encourage me not to delete it, get frustrated for me when I did and urge me to continue working. When I spent years (literal YEARS) putting my writing energies into RPG boards rather than my own work, he reminded me of what my goals were and that I would never reach them if I didn’t work for it. When I finally decided I was ready to branch out from my shell and let my writing out into the world, he supported me 100%.
And now, here I am — I have a publisher, an editor and I am not only working on several short stories for an anthology with my fellow Blysster Press authors but I’m working on the novel that I’m planning on releasing next year. I doubt I ever would have done this without my husband’s encouragement and support.
But he’s not my only source of support – my family and my friends have all been incredibly helpful and supportive … WHEN I actually open up and talk about what I’m doing, which is not often. I still feel foolish most of the time when I talk about my writing, I feel like I’m a kid playing pretend and at any time someone is going to call me out and shove me back out into the playground where I belong. Believing that isn’t going to happen while believing in myself is INCREDIBLY hard for me.
But the friends who’ve volunteered to help by being test readers and peer editors, the ones who ask how the writing is going and who don’t mock me or make fun of me, the ones who share their knowledge and insight and opinions — those are the ones who make the hard parts just a little bit easier. And I will be forever grateful to them.
I know I need to stop second guessing my own talent. I know I need to be confident and assertive and stop blushing and stammering when someone wants to talk about my current project. I KNOW I need to stop nearly having a heart attack when the books containing my short stories are brought out.
I’m working on it. That’s the best I can offer at this time. I’m slowly getting better – thanks to my support system.
Who is in your support system? How have they influenced your and your writing career? Leave your story in the comments and share your experiences and thoughts. I’m interested to know.