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Peeps Aren’t Only for Easter

Chicks wearing graduation caps [1]

I know Kathleen and Therese meant well when they asked me to offer my best writing advice, but I gotta tell you, the idea that I could presume to do so after being here less than three months? With the pedigree of you folks? Oy. The very concept made me break out in hives.

Fortunately, as a parent I’ve built up my tolerance for irony poisoning. Also, besides Therese and Kathleen, I have a small cadre of people who believe me capable of rising to the challenge.

A posse of possibility, if you will.

Hence the basis of my suggestion: Find yourself a supportive writing community (or communities), acknowledge your membership for the privilege it is, then pay it both forward and back.

Here’s my rationale: Sooner or later, everyone who writes will feel as if they are failing. It might be as simple as a bad day in the chair or as complex as being cut loose by a publisher mid-series. We all have our own literary Achilles heel.

Challenges are quite simply easier to endure when surrounded by good people. They don’t have to be writers, but it helps. (And it’ll take a load off your partner and/or family, who by now wish you would dangle by your own participle.) It’s just important they can genuinely hear you, validate your experience, then, after allowing you sufficient time to mope, shove you back into the world with hopeful expectation and resources.

As Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.”  The right group will help you build a repertoire of both hows and whys faster than you can do on your own.

A few things to consider:

By the way, for those of you who geek-out in this stuff, as per research from the Hope Foundation of Alberta [2], these things form The 7Cs of Hope: coping, committing, caring, communicating, creativity, celebrating, and community.  

Now it’s your turn. Got any requirements you would add? Anything with which you disagree? ←This is me, doin’ my respectful modellin’ in one of my places of hope. (The list of writerly places and individuals who have helped me is enormous. If I could name only one as a starting place, outside of Writer Unboxed, it would be the forums at Absolute Write [3].) 

What communities tolerate embrace you as their member? Let’s build a repository of names for those who haven’t yet found theirs.

About Jan O'Hara [4]

A former family physician and academic, Jan O'Hara [5] left the world of medicine behind to follow her dreams of becoming a writer. She writes love stories that zoom from wackadoodle to heartfelt in six seconds flat: (Opposite of Frozen [6]; Cold and Hottie [7]; Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures [8]). She also contributed to Author in Progress, a Writer's Digest Book edited by Therese Walsh.