I’ve Got Your Back

Writing is often a solitary endeavor.  At some point, no matter if an author has critique groups, mentors, editors and readers…there comes a time when it all boils down to you and the words on the page.

I have a love/hate relationship with those times.  When the words are flowing and my fingers can barely keep up on the keyboard, I hoard those moments of isolation.  When the blank page is staring at me and I can’t seem to come up with the next sentence or the next, picking up the phone to call my mother and talk about what her Westie did that morning seems a better option than being alone with a blinking cursor.

But the most important thing I learned in 2009 was that I’m never alone.

I have a network of friends and colleagues that is always with me even when it’s just me and my pen.  At any given time, I know Suzanne Rock is getting great words on the page, whether they’re flowing or creeping, and I also know she can tell me anything I want to know about what’s going on in the world of publishing.  I know that Sandra Sookoo is hitting send and inspiring me with her work ethic and her heartfelt stories.   I know that Dawn McClure’s heroines are kickin’ ass and making readers smile.  I know that Susan Blexrud is sharing heat and laughter with her loyal fans.  I know that Amanda Vyne is rockin’ the hot vamps (and  making me LOL on Facebook).

Yes, writing is often a solitary endeavor, but it’s a solitary endeavor being undertaken by many. 

I discovered strength in that knowledge in the past year.  Strength and encouragement and inspiration.  No matter where you are in your writing journey, there are others out there who are right there with you.  Whether you’re picking up a pen for the first time or typing The End on a completed manuscript;  whether you’re getting ready for your first book signing or covering the UPS man with hugs and kisses because he just brought the copy of your first book to your front door…we’re right there with you! 

I’ve chosen to blog about inspiration time and time again simply because I have been inspired by others time and time again.  You might have heard the expression “Pay it Forward” and it’s an expression I like.  I like the concept.  But the phrase that resonates more strongly with me is “I’ve Got Your Back”.

In 2010, I’d like to make it my promise to you.  I can’t make your words flow or make an editor love your manuscript.  I can’t take each and every one of you out for cappuccino and sympathy when things go wrong.  I can’t buy every author who sells a glass of champagne.  But, here, at EtS, I can offer up the knowledge that you aren’t alone.  Ever.  Even when it feels as if it’s down to just you and that blinking cursor.

I hope it helps!

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Comments
12 Responses to “I’ve Got Your Back”
  1. Thanks Barbara! You inspire me with your sales and awesome reviews. I’d love to have a piece of that, but I’ll keep trying 🙂 Actually, the ladies from ETS have been all kinds of supportive and helpful. My rule of thumb? If you don’t write it, you can’t sub it; if you can’t sub it, you can’t sell it; if you can’t sell it, you can’t move on to the next one.

    Power forward 🙂 Have a great day!

  2. Dawn McClure says:

    Loved this post. Yesterday I called my friend Liz and told her I needed to edit 70 pages that night. She got in touch with other writers, and from 7pm to 11pm last night I was in a chat room checking in with other writers every hour on the hour. We posted our word counts, page counts, pages edited…chatted a bit about six-pack abs (Yes, I had to go there), and it felt great. I got the pages edited, entered them into my document this morning, and I’m ready to move on to the rest of the book.

    You’re right Barbara. This process can be as lonely as you make it, or you can connect with others who understand why you can’t go to bed because your characters are talking. LOL If you’re a member of RWA’s chapter, FF&P, there is a water cooler feature…a chat room. Just email the loop when you need that bit of motivation and ask others if they’d like to sprint with you. It’s a blast!

  3. Diana Duncan says:

    Great words of inspiration and encouragement! Facebook literally helped keep me (somewhat) sane through one of the toughest patches of my life last year. I don’t know what writers of yore did to keep going (oh yeah, I think a lot of them drank). *G*

  4. Yes! Power forward:) I love that about you, Sandra. Dawn, I did join FF&P, but I haven’t checked out the watercooler chat room yet. I’ll give it a try. Diana, was so glad to “see” you today. Missed you while you were taking a holiday break:> Facebook just wasn’t the same without you.

    Makes me realize that humor is a big part of not going it alone!:D

  5. Suzanne Rock says:

    Great post Barbara! It’s so true. I know I wouldn’t be even half as productive if it wasn’t for all of the other writers I met online.

    Dawn – where were you last night? I had the house to myself – perfect for finish that final chapter of my proposal. I had to draft 2.5 words. Instead I wasted an hour on twitter and then read a book. Sigh. I really need to get my but in gear, but catching up with the day job after vacation is leaving me exhausted. :/ Hopefully things will calm down soon…

  6. Dawn McClure says:

    Suzanne, whenever you need some motivation, IM me. tormcclure on yahoo. I’m always up for a sprint!

  7. Suzanne Rock says:

    Got it! I’m planning on joining ff&p eventually. Just trying to free up the funds so I can sign up. Hopefully next month I can join you and BJH, then we can use that forum you talked about. Sometimes you need someone to hold you accountable, ya know? 😉

  8. Amanda Vyne says:

    Excellent post, Barbara. When I saw your ranking on Amazon, you not only had my back but you had my front, the top of my head and my face because I was rubbing myself all over the screen in the hopes of some of that success rubbing off on me.

    So far, all I’ve gotten is strange looks from by hubby and my kids. But, hey, I’m writing and pushing forward like a good little soldier and its because of listening to you guys. 🙂

  9. Amanda Vyne says:

    Okay…I can’t not say it…and I tried…

    If you had my back this last year, why didn’t you tell me it was getting so large?

  10. Suzanne Rock says:

    LMAO Mandy. We were just being polite.

    PS – I’m sure mine is bigger than yours. :p

  11. Barbara, thanks for your inspiring post. Must admit my kick-ass critique group keeps me inspired when I don’t think I have another word in me. Meeting with them every week keeps the pressure on. I look forward to more of your words of wisdom in 2010. Proud to be associated with you.

  12. I can almost guarantee mine is bigger than anyones’! But I am starting a major new diet on Monday so it will hopefully be smaller soon. LOL

    Thank you so much, Susan. I’m also very proud and happy to have you with us!!

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