Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Importance of Support

I just finished reading my friend, Lauren's book, called: The Evil Overlord Society's Guide to Becoming an Evil Overlord! And besides having what I think is an incredibly cool name, the EOS (which Lauren has dubbed it for short) is a quirky, snarky, fun novel with a new twist on what it means to be a superhero (yes, costumes, alter egos, masks and all!) It'll be on the shelves in... oh... I don't know... say a year or two? I'm not sure when--Lauren and I are both anxiously waiting replies for agents who may or may not decide that we're worth their time. But someday, people, S.L. Hennessy and her Evil Overlord book will be sitting on the shelf at your local Barnes and Noble, and guess what?
Yup, that's right, I'll be able to say I read it before you!

Of course, being a part of a writing group, I have the opportunity to get sneak peaks at a LOT of books that will undoubtedly make it on the shelves someday. But Lauren's is the first manuscript--besides my own--that I've read from start to finish. The opportunity to read Lauren's book not only provided me with a bit of fresh, new literary entertainment, but it also gave me the chance to support a friend and fellow writer, something I've been thinking a lot about over the past few weeks.

Since graduation, and with a tinsey bit more time on my hands, I've started to make a greater effort to reach out and become involved with other writers--both in person and virtually... [*waves* to all my virtual friends!]. But this wasn't an easy decision...  

I entered the virtual world of book blogging and my real life circle of writers with a fair amount of trepidation, wondering what I would find. Would I be liked? Would others scorn my efforts at writing? Would it be a cut-throat competitive world? Would people try to tear my writing down in order to bring themselves up? At the prospect of extending myself to other writers, I had so many questions, doubts and worries floating around in my head. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea... I wondered if it would be better to simply go about my writing in private, and remain disconnected from other writers.

I am SO glad I decided against that option!

After joining a writing group and becoming more involved in the book blogging world, I was met with a staggering amount of encouragement, empathy and what seemed like instant and endless support. Its incredible... like one massive cheer squad... or--as the nerd in me would prefer--one massive pep band!

Of course, I've found a few negative people amongst all the positive. But to say I'm surprised by the amount of loving support would be an understatement.

And I'm so grateful for it!

This is what we writers need... the excitement and encouragement from other writers going through the exact same thing we are. You are the best kind of support. You understand me. I understand you.

We "get" it.

So, THANK YOU, my fellow writers [and non writer supporters too, of course!], for your camaraderie and "go get 'em" attitude... for empowering me to meet my potential, and for laying a foundation of confidence for me to blast off of. Its been much needed and much appreciated as I've marched my way through this "writing journey." I truly hope that I've been just as good to you as you've been to me! We're all in this together, and I sure hope I've been that kind of friend and support you've been to me.

You're all awesome! And as editor and author Chuck Sambanchino would say: Rock on!

Or just: Write on. Which is so much better, right?!


S. L. Hennessy said...

Julie, I love being able to share my writing with you, and to get to read yours. I am so thankful that you joined the writers guild everyday. I couldn't love you and be more proud to be your friend if you were published - but you will be soon (I can feel it) and I can't wait to tell everyone I knew you before!

Terry Lee-Rosing said...

Jules, You said it so well. We're all in this together. Support, support, support is SO important. Writing can be a lonely career if we don't dare to step out to venture into new/real friendships/relationships with other writers.

I'm old enough to be a mother to both you and Lauren (as you know, I refer to you as my daughters), and I couldn't be more proud to call the two of you true friends and allies:).

Julie said...

You two are so sweet! I love my adopt-o-family!!

Lauren: SO glad I joined the guild too!! And thanks for the vote of confidence, girl... its much needed and ALWAYS appreciated!

Terry: I heard someone (a published author) say in an interview one time that writing could be a lonely business. I think that's true... until you step out into the world and realize just how many writers are there waiting for your friendship and support! It doesn't have to be lonely! And now that I'm extending my wings into the world of other writers, I'm finding it anything but!

m. christine weber said...

Love the title of Lauren's book! I'd totally read it :-).

And I strongly agree about the whole writer community thing. I hate to think about how different my writing would be (read that as "pathetic") without my critique group, editor, and online blog friends!


Julie said...

M. Christine: The first thing that caught my eye about Lauren's book was the title! I think its just so stinkin' clever! Luckily, the story is equally as fun ( : Hope you have the chance to read it someday!

Also, "pathetic" is right! I can't even count how many little writing nuiances I've picked up on since joining my critique groups (online and in person!) There are so many things I never even would have thought of, that have drastically improved my writing! Woot, woot for support!