This last week was a trying one for me, and yet through it all I had immense support and help from writing friends, family, and even a professor or two. It's amazing the power people have to uplift one another. That's why I spend so much time on Twitter, connect with buddies during NaNoWriMo and love commenting on people's blogs. Not only do I get to let them know how much I appreciate them, but I get the chance to share my own thoughts and remind myself just how good life is and how many experiences I've had.
I was insanely optimistic as a child. I mean, so much so that people would sometimes get mad at me. They'd ask me why I was so happy all the time, but I couldn't really explain it. Only that I was. Each day in life was filled with new opportunities, and each day was one that I could let go of what happened in the previous one.
I remember when I first entered the writing world seriously and how disillusioned I was. I thought writers were in competition with each other, because of course each one wants you to buy THEIR book. I kept surmising how incredible it was that they were so supportive of one another; going so far as to encourage the purchasing of one another's books.
I thought, "Wow. I guess that's one way to do it. Encourage people to buy someone's book and in return they'll plug yours." It's important to keep in mind that while I was having this skewed sense of the publishing world I had been going through a difficult time of life. One in which I was working out through my writing. I was down. A little disheartened by life, and had lost a bit of that smile I was so admired for in my youth.
Writing brought me great joy, but the lessons I learned from others brought me even more. I got to know other writers, joined groups, and found a world of immense validation and understanding. People weren't plugging one another's books just for sales or out of expectation. It's because they each loved writing and loved EACH OTHER.
It was like awesomeness in it's most...well, awesome form. I found courage I didn't know I had, and met fantastic people with a true understanding of what writing is and what it can do. That we're not in competition with each other, only with ourselves. Like I said....awesome. What a great opportunity for writers to use the power of their words to offer support for one another!
Just last week I was recording a passage in Spanish and when I was through my husband commented, "Wow. You're really good." I thought I was going to float away. He'd only heard me speak Spanish in little snippets before, but for some reason this longer segment allowed both of us to see how far I had come in the language. I felt rejuvenated. Alive. I wanted to learn even more. Study even harder. Write a book in Spanish!!! I felt like I could take on the world.
All because he offered a word of love and encouragement. Which begs the question: Have you ever helped someone take on the world? Given them hope? How do YOU do it in the writing world?