Freelance writers tend to be folks who are comfortable with long stretches of alone time. Even when we write in coffee shops we tend to do so with ear buds so we’re not distracted by people.
Which is fine, for the most part.
After all, writing requires our full attention if we’re to do it well. Although people have learned to write in noisy press rooms or even combat situations, having some real silence and a minimum of visual distractions can be hugely valuable.
Every now and again, however, we writers need a support system – a network of real people.
In fact, I think we need two kinds of support:
The most obvious is who will feed the cat while we’re on vacation or get the groceries if we’re laid up for one reason or another? Who can we call when the car stops running?
People we can call in an emergency or something close are an important part of our support system. Often they are family members or other people we’ve become close to through spiritual programs or in other ways.
The folks in our emergency support system may not know a thing about writing, and that’s just fine.
Writers also need, or at least I do, at least a few people who understand the creative process, with all its joys and frustrations.
Finding other creatives isn’t always straight forward. One of my closest friends who helps in emergencies and understands my writing I met in a 12 Step group of all things.
I’ve met other writers simply by saying hello when I spot someone writing in public. I quickly hand off my business card and once and awhile that person becomes part of my writing support system – a person I can call when I’m frustrated. I’ve also found them in classes I’ve taken and classes I’ve given.
I also work with a Master Mind group. Although the members have changed since I wrote that article, the principles are exactly right.
What’s fascinating to me is that in every case, the people who I call on in emergencies, are the same ones who call me when they need help. This extends somewhat even to families.
The kind of support that means the most to me is mutual support – not the score-keeping kind, but the mutuality of true friendship.
Whose in your support system?