(To listen to the audio of this blog post, use the purple play button.)
· Peer Support ·
Despite all the people and animals residing in our home–gerbil, snakes, cats, turtles, birds, rabbits, horses, bull, elephant–visitors often remark how much they enjoy the peace and quiet.
But once our friends get introduced to the multitude of characters, they begin to understand how many stories are interwoven into our tranquil environment.
Thanks to artist and storyteller, J. Alex Potter, our home resembles a fine art gallery. The stories are everywhere!
I’ve heard about writers who can write anywhere, anytime, and about others who require the stars to be aligned properly before beginning an epic journey. For me, my most productive time for actual writing is in the early morning hours, generally around 5 a.m.
But ideas to further my writing materialize when I’m most relaxed. These occur when I’m outside cutting our so-called grass, when I’m about to fall asleep (picture old-fashioned note cards by the bed stand), and when I’m taking a shower.
Recently, I heard a famous author discuss his all night writing schedule. “When do you sleep?” must be the most common question he receives from his fans.
I recommend that anyone who wants to write find a kindred spirit who also has a deep drive to imagine. Having an ally in the home means there’s a peer who understands the process of creativity and productivity.
It also means a listening ear, free counseling, and free advice (whether you’re ready to listen or not).
I remain pretty isolated to any community of writers outside the home, but many inventive people are drawn to groups of like-minded artisans. They feed off the circle’s creative energy.
Today, ongoing support is relatively easy to maintain through the wonders of technology, but it still takes that initial moment of one-on-one connectivity before people feel mutual respect. When I sense care and understanding, then I’m ready to share.
I’ve been watching an indie authors group online. They offer a lot of advice and support to one another. There’s one thread that caused my eyebrows to rise. It’s titled, “Can I have a hug?” Group members ask for and receive electronic support. Hey, whatever works!
It’s vital that artists be available to help one another because being a writer can be a lonely place.
A few days ago I received feedback on a story of mine that I had shared with a friend. He closed with these important words: “Good luck with your writing.”
And just today I reminded a friend who is hesitant about publishing work on a controversial subject that her writing is a gift.
We agreed with Matthew 5:15: You wouldn’t light a candle and put it under a bushel.
Until next time, happy writing and reading!
I enjoyed the audio and your comments about writing. My struggle is writing an editorial for the Hutch News published every other Friday. I never thought of myself as a writer. I struggle just to produce a 800-1000 word article every two weeks.
Keep blogging, I appreciate your thoughts.
Jim Potter says
Thank you for writing. Encouragement is always appreciated. I hope you’re getting enough of it. I really appreciate your column because I know I’ll always find a thoughtful point of view.
How much is your struggle finding the next subject, and how much is it the actual writing? Usually when I’m on to an exciting topic, the words flow more easily. Are you having “writer’s block” where nothing spurts out, or wrestling with shaping the article the way you want it?
I can identity; for over a year I wrote a crime prevention column for local papers. Sometimes it flowed easily and I felt like Hemingway; other times it was like I was a dentist pulling teeth.
Could this be a sign that it’s time for you to: a) begin writing your biography? b) begin contemplating a novel? c) take a break from the column? d) find more encouragement for your columns? or e) none of the above? What do you think?
I’m sure we can continue this conversation if you think it’s “writer’s block.” There are books written on the subject! (I wonder if authors writing books on “writer’s block” ever get writer’s block while they’re writing books about writer’s block?)
I regularly read the “Ask Hutch” column in the newspaper. What I’d like to see is for you to have your own column of Q&A. It could be more universal or PHIL-osophical. It could be called, “Ask Phil.” What do you think about that idea?