Posted on April 26, 2012 - by Shari Barr
Surviving life as a writer is tricky at times. This was especially true back in the early days of article writing. People looked at me funny when I told them I was a writer. It seemed as though no one actually knew a writer. A few people muttered shyly under their breath that “someday” they wanted to write a book, but essentially I was alone in my little world of Writerdom.
I knew I needed to spend time with other writers but that seemed impossible when I knew no one who wrote seriously. Living on a farm has way more advantages than disadvantages, but it can be a lonely place when looking for a writing buddy to share dreams and disappointments, especially in the pre-computer era.
Years ago, I realized that frustrations were going to get the best of me unless I had fellow writers to support me. I remembered a writer’s conference in a college town I had attended several years earlier. Fortunately I had saved the materials from that conference, so I dug them out of hiding and found some information about a woman I had met—Amy Houts. By this time, internet had found its way into our home, so I Googled her name and learned she still lived in the area. I emailed her and she readily invited me to her writer’s group. Driving an hour seemed a small price to pay for basking in the companionship of other writers. Finally I was surrounded by people who “got” me.
From that day forward, I knew I was where God wanted me. Not only did Amy become my cheerleader, she is now one of my best friends. She has rooted for me from day one and continues to do so. Without her I would have given up a long time ago.
Everyone needs a support system, not just writers. Anyone who has a job outside the norm would benefit from surrounding themselves with like-minded people, at least once in awhile. Though I know I’m writing for God, I still need earthly encouragement on a regular basis. The confident words of other writers who have walked the same path help me through those times when I think I’d be better off picking up pop cans and redeeming them for a nickel.
Everyone needs an eternal cheerleader. If you don’t have one, go where they hang out—conferences, classes, or specialized online groups. You’ll find plenty to choose from, many of whom need your support every bit as much as you need theirs.