Writing can be a lonely pursuit. When it comes down to the actual writing process, there’s usually just you and the page.
But in the process of learning our writing craft, and making progress with our stories, there are often many people who help us along the way.
They may be:
- Partners, spouses, roommates and/or children who patiently allow us to bury our heads in our manuscripts day after day.
- Friends who ask us how our writing is going, and genuinely listen to the response.
- Beta readers who take time to give their feedback, even if it’s not what we wanted to hear, so that we can fix story problems and reword awkward sentences.
- Fellow writers who share tips and encouragement on their blogs, in person or through e-mails.
- Editors who invest in our stories and go over them with an eye for detail, fixing all the tiny little mistakes that turn a manuscript into a finished product.
- Cover artists who take our rough ideas and turn them into eye-catching imagery so people will be intrigued enough to read our words.
- Support people who answer our questions and fix our problems, be they problems with websites, manuscript files, uploading, formatting or any other of the numerous technical issues we may come across.
- Readers who express their excitement at our releases and take time to leave reviews or pass the word on to others who may enjoy our writing.
I’m sure you can think of many more to add to that list.
How often do we take the time to stop and say ‘thank you’ to those who have helped us along the way, to take more than a moment to actually explain the impact that person has had on our writing life?
Now’s your opportunity. This month’s creative action is as follows:
- Think of one person who has helped you (they may be on the list above, or they may be someone else).
- Compose a message (be it verbal or written) in which you tell the person specifically how helpful they have been to you and what you have appreciated about the way they have provided that help.
- Send your message, or find an opportunity to share your thoughts in person.
Why is this important? Because it not only makes the person you chose feel a little better, but it reinforces in your mind that there are people who care about you and your writing.
This month I took the opportunity to write to Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch to thank them for the wonderful information they generously provide on their blogs. I received a really lovely reply from both of them telling me how much they appreciated my message.
So who have you chosen? Leave a comment below and let us know.