Tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. my phone will ring. I’ll know without looking that it’s “Writer J,” one of my writing accountability partners. We talk every week at the same time. She’s been through the hard times with me when my words wouldn’t come. So two weeks ago when I typed THE END, we celebrated.
Rewind to last year. Summer of 2016. I was in a rocky place with the same work in progress. Not only was I considering abandoning the novel, I was thinking of giving up writing altogether. I muddled through the daily act. Most days I wrote something. On the others, I either lied to myself. It’s not that bad. Or I despaired. I will never finish another book.
I was signed up to go to the Writer Unboxed Unconference last November, but I felt like an imposter, embarrassed to let on that I was in the middle of a novel I hated. But I went because Writer J and “Writer L” held me accountable, encouraging me to go since I was already signed up.
They were right. To say the UnCon was writing-changing is an understatement. More like life changing.
I met a group of like-minded writers with whom I became close friends. And I met an invaluable writing coach—WU’s own Cathy Yardley. I set goals with Cathy, but she also told me, “All writers write alone, but no writer succeeds that way.” Reach out, she said. We need support as writers or simply as creative people.
We All Need Support
I took her advice to heart. (I take all her advice to heart.)
One of the writers I met at the UnCon (I’ll call her “Writer D”) started a private critique group on Facebook and invited me to join. This is a safe place to talk about writing, to encourage one another, to check in and elicit feedback. To talk about our fears and dreams.
Writer D is now a close friend and new accountability partner. We text almost every day: first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. I’m not sure how I ever got through the day without her, to be honest. She’s supportive but she also challenges me to be my best. Through good and not so good days, we hash it out. “Onward,” Writer D texts me at the beginning of the day. “Onward,” I text back. [Read more…]