A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The trouble with words is that you never know whose mouths they've been in.
Dennis Potter, dramatist (1935-1994)
Morning all. It's sunny here in Cornwall at the moment and my washing is dancing on the line like contestants for Strictly....
As we all know, writing is a solitary occupation, and having all the requisite insecurities that come from being one, I find that a support system is vital.
When I first started writing, a group of us met once a week and worked our way through thousands and thousands of typos, errors, plot inconsistencies and dud characters. That group petered out – I'm the only one still writing, to my knowledge – and there were other groups over the years, but they too petered out.
So my main support system now is my dear friend Nancy who, having taught Psychology, is extremely adept at Structure (one of my many weaknesses), as well as being a very talented writer herself. We've added two more ladies recently – we've only met once so it's early days yet – but I came away with a good feeling. Their comments were helpful and intuitive, and they are both avid readers which can only be a good thing.
I have recently been admitted to the Society of Authors (I can call myself a Real Writer now!) and found to my delight that there is an active group that meet regularly in Cornwall, so I will go to their first meeting at the end of this month. To have more support from published writers would be an added bonus.
My other, non-writing support system is my husband who, despite claiming not to like women writers (NOT a comment that went down well in this household), is staunch in his support of my small successes, and endures my sleepless nights and wailing over rejections with fortitude. He is quietly understanding, in a non-understanding way, and I don't know what I'd do without him.
I am also indebted to my mum in Devon and my sister in law in Vermont who proof read my articles before they go out and are ace at providing the sort of feedback I need. (“What a cow – send that out again straight away.” “Love the new title!” as well as “You've got sky in twice – and do skylarks do that?” and many others.)
My other non-writing friends are ace at providing support in the form of (in no particular order), walks, glasses of wine, trips to the cinema and lifts to yoga. All vital.
This is sounding like an Oscar tribute here, but I must also mention Mollie Dog who accompanies me on many walks, gives me such joy and laughs and when she snuggles up to me on the sofa, a bad day becomes a good day.
I hereby raise a glass – or mug of tea – to support systems. What are yours?