A Writer's Personal Cheer Squad

by Marg McAlister

 

We all need a cheer squad.

We all need people to say 'Good on you!'; 'Way to go!'; 'You've done a great job'; 'You're really on the way.'

We need people to say 'Don't worry, this is just a temporary setback'; or 'Of course you can do it' when we encounter obstacles. (Hey, you think nothing of putting plenty of hurdles in your character's way-why should you get through unscathed?)

Writers tend to get depressed and give up when nobody appears to care whether they write or whether they don't. Sure, it's really up to us if we feel that urge to create-in one way, we shouldn't have to rely on the support or approval of others. But let's get real. Most of us do care. We feel so much more inspired to go on if there's someone who believes in us; someone to urge us to take the next step.

Most of us are lucky in that we have supportive families or partners. They might groan at the idea of extra responsibilities - or seeing less of us because we're hiding away tapping at a keyboard - but they know how much it means to us. They rejoice in our successes. They commiserate when a rejection arrives or when life gets in the way and we can't write for weeks (or months). It makes a difference to have someone who's in your corner.

Unfortunately, not everyone has a 'cheer squad' like this. What if your family couldn't care less if you never wrote another word? What if they resent the time you spend writing, and create obstacles rather than help you overcome them?

First, you have to decide to claim that time for yourself-even if you have to leave the house to do it. Find a corner where you can write undisturbed. (More than one writer has penned a novel over long-lasting cups of coffee in a restaurant.)

But the most important thing is to get yourself that cheer squad.

Find someone who does care about you and your writing.

Someone who will buoy you up when times are bad.

Someone who will break open the champagne when you succeed.

It could be a friend... it could be the owner of the coffee lounge... it could be someone from a writer's group you join or establish. There's someone out there who cares.

Make it your mission to find that person.

(c) Copyright Marg McAlister

 

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