All of us need support systems, but the writers in the crowd may need more than most. As I was considering some of my favorite go-to people for support/ideas/inspiration/hugs, it came to me that we could categorize the types of support writers need in our lives.
First, you need your writing support team. This is obvious and these folks are the gems who read very rough first drafts, who provide endless critiques, who listen as you drone on about motives and character insights or let you steal the name they planned to give their firstborn for your main character. Yes, we need our support people and most writers are pretty good about gathering these people around us and cultivating them. Writing support folks can be family and friends or they can be people you find at writing groups, at meetups, at conferences or even book signings. Most of my book/writing support people are fellow writers for whom I also provide support but that’s certainly not all of them.
Secondly, we need personal support. Our family, friends, significant others are the usual suspects here. For those down days, those days when the writer’s block seems insurmountable or when you just need someone to keep you supplied with Nyquil and hot tea, our personal support team is just what the doctor ordered.
And finally, we all need those people who remind us to find the balance between our writing work and our personal lives. If you don’t have a support person or team to give you those reminders, it might be time to cultivate one. There are always days (weeks, months, longer?) when we writers can go off the deep end and lose perspective. If you have someone who can wave their hand in front of your face and bring you back to reality, this is the time you need it.
With National Novel Writing Month coming up (it’s November for those who are not already aware) and I know I will be calling on all my support teams. If you are a writer, or if you are like most people these days, you need these three support teams. And don’t forget to show your appreciation. Our support systems deserve our thanks for all they do for us!