The amazing thing about being a writer is that it automatically makes you part of a family. And who better to call when you're in trouble than family?
The Colorado Gold conference was four months ago. All that fresh energy that boosted us in those first couple months has begun to dissipate. Time has softened our resolutions. We’re lagging in our production and criticizing ourselves.
The flurry of emails with new friends and those we reconnected with has lessened. The daily contact we had has waned. The holidays shifted our attention and we lost touch with one another. Life seems lonely. We’re feeling more isolated and the introversion is creeping in.
Those who received nibbles on their manuscripts have slaved to edit and perfect and complete them. Some have done so and moved forward toward their goals. Others encountered road blocks. A few have had responses from editors and agents that weren’t what they desired.
It’s also the middle of January. We’ve had cold and snow and ice. Spring is still a couple months distant. “Blah” seems to sum up our distaste.
It’s times like this that we turn to those who care and bolster us most—our families.
Relatives, though, may not be the families that we writers most need. No matter how much they love and accept us, our siblings and children and significant others often do not share the experience of writing. They may love us, but that doesn’t mean they truly understand what we’re feeling in our particular unique “winter of discontent.”
These blah stretches are those during which we owe it to ourselves to reach out to our writing family. This is the perfect time to send an email or make a phone call to jump start relationships. These are the days when it’s important to meet for coffee/tea/lunch/drinks and seek one another’s energy. This is the time when we should get together and allow ourselves to whine a bit.
After all, who knows better what a writer is going through than another writer?
Lest we view reaching out as a weakness, we must remember we don’t have to leap into complaints. We just need to make the contact, ask a fellow writer how the winter is going. The conversation will flow, organically, as it always seems to do among writers. One of us is bound to launch the topic as well as to offer the support the other needs. That’s what family does.
And, in giving support to someone else, we are given the support we crave ourselves.
So, my friends…my family…it’s time to reach out, get together, and defeat the doldrums of the post-conference, pre-contest, mid-winter blues!
We owe it to ourselves and to one another.