By Cait Collins
Recently a dear family friend fell and broke his hip. My sisters and I went to the hospital to check on him. He was in surgery, but the family was in the waiting room. We entered the room and there were the friends from our youth. After a round of hugs and “how are yous”, we settled in for a reunion. Other friends joined us. Even though we had lost touch over the years, being together was like old times. It was as if we had not been separated.
Writers need to have such close friends and associates. Our profession is a lonely one. We spend hours at our computers researching, writing, and editing. That is the nature of our business. But we desperately need that core group of companions we can rely on in all phases of our careers. These are the folks who celebrate our successes. Share Irish Coffee with us when we receive a harsh rejection. They praise our well written work, but will be kindly critical when we fall short.
I am fortunate to have people who encourage and support my efforts. They are honest in their critiques because they care. I have the best critique partners, wonderful Beta readers, and a family who reads my manuscripts and wish me good luck with the submissions. I could not continue in this business without them.
I hope all dedicated writers will find their own caring group. Look for folks who can honestly judge the effort, see the errors, assist with the corrections, and praise the good parts. Find writers who are not jealous; who want your success as much as they desire their own. Cultivate the relationship by taking a break from the job and sharing a meal or a cup of coffee. Surround yourself with positive thinkers. Reject the pessimists who will drag you down. Avoid those who tell you not to quit your day job. Their opinions don’t count. Hold fast to your core group. They are the ones who will not let you down.