I have a dear writer friend with whom I talk everyday. We don’t always talk about work, but yesterday she told me it was time to “stop messing around” and finish my proposal for the novel I’ve been dithering with for the past two months. “You’re out of time.”
“But…but…my daughter’s wedding! Ordering things! Cleaning! And what about taxes?” I whined. Except I knew she was totally on target. I’d been resisting, fretting that this novel couldn’t possibly match the promise of the one I’d just turned in. She didn’t respond that I was being foolish, or that I could also get those other important things done. “This is your job,” she said. “If you don’t do your job, you get fired.”
Damn, the truth can hurt. But truth it is. If I don’t write consistently and spend time imagining, plotting out, and writing at least one book and a story or two every year, I get wound up in my own head and go a little crazy. Also, publishing could very well leave me behind. It happens to professional writers all the time. It’s happened to me. Once you have hold of the train, you have to keep moving to stay caught up.
Resistance–real and imagined–provides me with plenty of excuses not to get down to my work. It’s an old, tired story. Writing is my true love, but I can only get it done if I work in spite of my resistance. (This is our theme song.)
I feel awfully fortunate to have someone in my corner who understands what I care about. She focuses my attention on reality instead of standing by and watching me substitute busyness for business. Writing can be such a lonely endeavor. The isolation and the living-in-one’s-own-head can put us at risk for depression or make us twitchy with neuroses. When you spend a lot of time in places that aren’t actually real, the boundary between reality and daydreams blurs.
Having a friend who keeps it real–at least when it counts–can make all the difference in the world. And sometimes you get the privilege of doing the same for her.
If you don’t have one already, make a friend of a another writer. Support that writer and you’ll be helping yourself.
So, TKZers. Where do you get support for your work? What can you offer another writer?