This has been a busy blogging week for me. I think I’ve blogged, like, three times!
Is this procrastination on my novel? Nah. I don’t think so.
Rather, I’ve had so many thoughts (and conversations) around the completion of my novel’s first draft that I’ve felt compelled to write about it.
And here I am again!
This time I’d like to quote Matthew Reilly, author of Temple and other grand adventure books.
I remember reading Temple years ago (go read it, it’s a fun read) and there was quote it in (on the first page? the intro? an interview with the author?) that stuck with me.
Anyway, I looked the quote up online and it is as I remember it, from years ago. He said:
“To anyone who knows a writer, never underestimate the power of your encouragement.”
This is so, so true.
I often talk about writing being a ‘lonely road’. It happens in your head. A novel in particular is a long, long project that requires fortitude and resiliency–and the ability to spend long, long moments alone at the computer/notebook working with whatever comes up in your mind.
And the successes are often internal. Nailed the dialogue? Fixed that nagging plot problem? Had your character do or say something deliciously outrageous? Your inner delight shines. Happy dance time!
Same goes for the (perceived) failures. Blocked? Plot holes? Character not doing what you want, being a pain in the behind? Poor little writer rages inside! Hangs her head in frustration!
I’ve had these moments happen, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’–and then gone out into the world (job, store, school) and acted like a ‘normal’ person who hasn’t had their inner landscape seismically shifted.
You can feel like a split person: writer/human.
The writer toils alone, deferring the gratification of ‘being understood’ for when the work is ‘ready to be read’.
Meanwhile, the human person drives the car, goes to the ATM machine, runs errands, picks up the kids, converses with people and generally functions in a civilized manner, as though the creative froth weren’t chomping at the bit in delight or grumpily nipping the insides, which ever the case may be.
You can feel, quite frankly: WEIRD.
‘Writerly Weird’: It’s an affliction difficult to bear in silence…
…which is why I agree it is essential that writer’s come out of their shell and proclaim their writing proclivities to the world–to both writers and non-writers.
Looking back, I can see how blessed I have been (and still am) with the number of people in my life (writers and non) who have offered encouragement, from my hubby, family, friends and co workers to Tweeps and FB connections.
It has taken courage on my part to declare my writing rites of passages to others, but their positivity has sustained me through dark days, and I’m not sure they are aware of that.
So I’m saying: thanks to you all for investing in me ‘the power of encouragement’.
I’m also saying: writers, come out of your shell (if you haven’t already)! Open yourself up to the power of encouragement!
And it’s something we need to pass on. Keep passing it on!
PS I recently read this article “the Importance of Community for Authors” by Book Baby and found it to be so true, I immediately signed up for meetup.com and found a writer’s workshop in my area….something I have never done. Still coming out of my shell, bit by bit! I’m getting there!
PPS Writers, how have you been influenced by the power of encouragement? I’d love to hear your stories!