Don’t underestimate the importance of the people you surround yourself with. I call these people my posse. I have a few different posses, but the two most influential in my life right now are my girl posse (women I LOVE that help me see the good in myself) and my writing posse (my writers’ group, Twitter friends, husband, and brother Jason). What’s the point of my posses?
In an interview I read today of Kathy Dalton (co-founder of Little Stinker, a completely non-related to writing company) she was asked, “With so much demanded of you, how do you make it work?” Kathy responded with a few items, but the one that stood out to me was this,
“Surround yourself with people that share your vision and want to be part of it.”
That’s the point of your posse. They are the people who share your vision… your desire to be a published writer. They are excited about your ideas and characters. They believe in you, even when you forget to believe in yourself and they truly want you to succeed. To this I’ll add that a GOOD posse will also call you on the carpet when you’re spouting crap. My girl posse doesn’t hesitate to let me know what’s what… even if their honesty may be a blow to my ego. My writing posse is the same. If a character is flat, they’ll tell me. If my plot is stagnant, they’ll hand me a clothes pin for my nose. If my dialogue is crap, well… you get the picture. I’ve surrounded myself with people that share my vision and want to be a part of my future in writing.
Writing is hard. It’s time consuming. It’s mentally and emotionally draining. And it doesn’t pay well up front. So it’s easy to see why so many “practical” people don’t think writing is a “real job.”
However, there are also LOTS and LOTS of people who see writing as the most fulfilling “job” they’ve ever had. I am one of them. For me writing isn’t a “job”, it’s a vocation and one I want to spend the rest of my life pursuing. It’s not paying the bills at the moment, but I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled than I am now.
And they only thing that has really changed from un-happy Deb to happy Deb is who I allow into my life. They aren’t I’ll-tell-you-what-you-want-to-hear people, but I’ll-tell-you-what-you-need-to-hear-and-then-support-and-cheer-you-on-in-you-desires people.
So check your inventory. Do your peeps share your vision? Are they supportive and honest? Do they want to be a part of your dream (whatever that dream might be)? If not, you may want to consider getting a new posse.
So a HUGE thanks to my writing posse… to my many friends–on and offline–who act as my beta readers. You make my dream possible because you help me to see that it is also achievable.