Support Systems

Nearly everyone needs a support system, and writers are no different in that. I couldn’t do what I do without people supporting me. I’m lucky that I have a robust support system, in my family, friends, critique partners, and soon, my editor (we haven’t done any work together yet, but my time is coming in the next few weeks). I’ve been in need of a lot of support this NaNo, as I’ve written about, and I’m grateful to have my support system in place to help lift me up where I need it.

My husband has been my biggest supporter, cheerleader, soup-bringer, idea-listener, and more. He and I have been together for over a decade, and he’s such a good sport about all of my harebrained schemes. He’s been patient with me while I planned (seriously planned) to hike the Applachian Trail, he tolerates my questions like “What if we moved to the UAE?” and he puts up with every silly plan I come up with. Honestly, he’s a saint. He’s been great about this whole writing process, too. There are nights when he comes home after working all day (and his job is physically demanding), and says to me, “How about you go to the library and get some writing done, while I stay home with the kid?” Or “Go lock yourself in our room and write. I’ll hold down the fort.” He’s amazing.

My friends are equally awesome. They may not completely “get” the writing thing, but when I texted them to tell them about my book deal, they all squealed in joy, asked all the right questions, and insisted on celebrating. They listen to my complaints, read my stuff, and love me for who I am, despite the fact that I don’t exactly write mainstream fiction. One has even talked to me about the possibility of recording one of the books in audio format, just for fun.

I also couldn’t live without my critique group. Spawned out of a NaNo experience gone right, we meet monthly and discuss our recent works. Some months we just sit together and write. Some months nobody submits anything to be critiqued and that’s fine – we write instead. Some months we have speakers, or we just talk through issues. They’ve saved the end of one novel I’m working on, we’ve collectively solved more problems than I can count, and they truly were instrumental in my current book deal happening. In fact, I hadn’t planned on submitting the novel at all until one of my writing buddies suggested it, and then, I sent it to just the one publishing house on a whim. I’m so pleased that I did, and I’m so grateful to the group for pushing me once I recieved a revision request, for working through the novel with me to solve the issues that were underlying, and for being there for me when the book was sold.

I couldn’t write without my support group. I’m not even sure I could exist without my support group. I’m so glad to have them in my life. Do you have a support group you couldn’t live without?

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