Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Importance of a Support System




It’s been a crazy couple weeks for me. In fact, I have been hoping I could get a mulligan on this entire year.  The year 2013 hasn’t exactly started out with the blessings and goodness I’d hoped.  We’ve had a family tragedy, a couple medical emergencies, and now a run in with the flu. The party hasn’t ended around my house lately. *eye roll*

HOWEVER! This isn’t a complaining blog. I want to take this time and talk about how incredibly supportive my friends and family have been through all of this.  Not just my hubs, who is a rock in my life in every way and situation, but everyone. I have such amazing family and friends and I’m incredibly lucky.

I realized once again the benefits of having a support system. A group of people who care standing beside you, propping you up when you need it. I think that is just as important in writing as in real life.

It’s so vital to have people who will prop you up when you need it as an artist. There are moments when we lose faith in ourselves or our projects. I don’t mean that we can’t work through those times on our own, but it’s much easier, much more nurturing, to have others to help us work through them. I have no idea where I’d be without my writing pirate lovelies.

I know that I’ve left my personal blog fizzle recently, spent some time away from Twitter and FB, off line, as a general, to write. I’m going to try to get back to them. Even though I don’t want to exclude my writing (ie, use the internet to procrastinate), I’d like to make sure I still remain connected. Even if it’s modestly.

What benefits have you found from your writing community? Any drawbacks? Ever had a few weeks that just feel like the universe is laughing at you?

24 comments:

Maureen said...

If the universe weren't laughing at me... Well, that would be weird.

Haleigh said...

The universe is definitely laughing :) That's a lot stacked up at once, Marn. I hope the flue is a short-lived one and things can get back to normal soon! What an amazing support system. I always seem to forget that I have writer friends and work friends and mom friends and all sorts of people to help me work through problems. And then they're there, and amazing support, and I think, "Gee, why didn't I just speak up two months ago?" I tend to hunker down when I hit a problem -- writing or otherwise -- rather than reaching out, which is almost always the longer and lonelier path. I'm definitely with you on sliding back out into the online universe where everyone else is playing :)

Is Ford still loving his cast, or has the charm worn off?

Marnee Bailey said...

Mo - I think the gods throw these periods at us now and again, just to keep us on our toes and thankful for the good times. LOL!!

Hal - It's funny because I'm always happy to step up and help out when I see others need something but when other people step in to help me, I'm always surprised and humbled. It's been a humbling couple weeks. :)

I'm with you about getting back out into the online universe. The past 6-ish months I've focused on writing and let the rest of my social networking slide a bit. I think it's time to reconnect.

Ford's cast hasn't slowed him down one bit. He wields the thing like a battering ram. We all have to be cautious. LOL!!

Terri Osburn said...

I've had years when the universe was laughing at me. She still laughs now and then. "You had plans for tonight? Silly you."

I hope it's all up for you from here, Marn. That's a lot of crap in a short period of time. I know I wouldn't have ever tried to write a book without a support system pushing me on. (You can stop pushing now, Hellie.)

The love and support and insight is really priceless. I feel bad for any writer who isn't so fortunate.

MsHellion said...

On the upside, it's only week three of the year, so technically speaking you can really turn this puppy around and forget all about this with a rest of a smoking awesome year.

Second, you have boys. The broken bones come with the territory. I don't know a boy who knows how to play without breaking something--so that's not a catastrophe, per se, that's just how it is. And at least it wasn't both arms at once--which I would classify as catastrophic.

Third, all this crap, is almost an incentive to retreat into your writing world where normal things can happen like: murders, betrayals, lies, and societal shaming. That's what this stuff is saying.

I have a great support system and I'm grateful for it everyday. I'm also grateful for my prozac, but that's a different story. What I've really loved lately is our pirate word counts/goals with pearls. I'm a sad little person, but I do live to share things I think were funny or meaningful that I wrote and have people agree with me. It's a sickness...I don't know why I have to have people agree with me.

Marnee Bailey said...

Ter - I definitely think that doing this would have been much harder if I hadn't connected with so many amazing people. The romance writing community is so awesome. It feels like there's always someone there to help if you need a question answered or to cheer for you if you need it. It's great stuff.

Hells - I'm shooting for getting all the annoying stuff out of the way this year, right in the first month. After January, I'm telling the universe that I will have no more shenanigans. That's my story and I'm sticking too it.

And I do have boys. They are a natural disaster. LOL!!

I have been much more excited, thanks to all this bologna, to get back to my writing. I can't wait.

I'm also glad for our pirate word count/goal sharings. It's been helpful to me, helped me finish this first draft and it's going to help me revise.

I've mentioned before that we rock, right?

Janga said...

I suspect everyone has periods when they feel as if they are the victim of a conspiracy among the fates. I hope you will be the one laughing over the next eleven months, Marn. I think Hellie's right about boys and emergency room visits. None of ours has ever had a broken bone, but we've had more than a dozen emergency surgeries, most from sports injuries--except for the special grand's--and so many trips for stitches that the pediatrician joked that we must be trying for a discount. Has Ford collected a lot of signatures on his cast?

I don't know how people make it through the tough times who don't have family and friends to sympathize, support, and encourage them. The thing that surprises me most with the writing is that even when I don't say anything about the bad patches, some friend always seems to sense a problem and be spot on with exactly the right advice or affirmation.

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Marn - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? :)

It is awesome to have an amazing support system around you and know they will always prop you up in a time of need.

I tend to do exactly what Haleigh does - I go underground. Hide from my friends and the world. Take it all on myself.

Only child syndrome made Mom and Dad my besties and who I always turned to for deep talks and a slap upside the head when I got down on myself. I haven't really figured out what to do with myself when the dumps hit now though.

I also have to admit I tend to stay on the outskirts of writing groups looking in. Still not feeling like I've accomplished enough as a write to really belong, belong yet. One step at a time and I hope I find what you've found - I just have to allow myself to accept that there are people out there who want to be there. :)

It is amazing to see the support that passes between writers though - I see it in social media and on some writing sites.

P. Kirby said...

Casts for boys and rambunctious girls -- don't forget the girls -- are a rite of passage.

I'm terrible about asking for help. Never do. It's not healthy, but...I've been operating this way so long, it's a hard habit to break.

Nonetheless, I find online communities, blogs, etc., helpful if only that they provide a lovely distraction when stuff in real world gets ugly.

Hope you're feeling better and stuff is looking up soon!

Maureen said...

Scape? I'll slap you! I love you that much!

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

I love you too Chance! :)

irisheyes said...

I'm a huge believer in support groups. I wouldn't have made it this far literally or figuratively if not for mine. It always amazes me how really awful circumstances tend to bring out the very best in people. I'm sure that's no coincidence.

I hope your 2013 starts looking up Marn. I've had several times in my life where I've wondered what kind of test the Big Man was trying to get me to pass by dumping one catastrophe after another on me. The upside is that now I look back and think - "hey I survived that, I can survive anything"!

Maureen said...

All laughs aside, I have an incredible support system. Not so much for the little things. I mean, as nice as if would be for someone nearby to hand me that Kleenex when my nose runs...I manage with out it.

The word gets out when things get tough and support does seem to appear out of nowhere. The tough thing is when we hide our need for support. There has to be a balance between the whine (my nose it sunning) to the primal scream (I was in a car accident and I lost a leg.)

That balance is hard to find. We don't always know when we need support. Or we know but we deny. I think of asking for help as a favor you allow others to do for you...and then they get to feel good about themselves and you feel good that they cared enough and all that feeling good stuff spirals into the cosmos in a good way.

But first, you gotta ask.

Maureen said...

Okay, the nose does get sunburned now and then and when it does it needs sunscreen. Or Noxema. Or aloe vera. Since in the above comment my nose is sunning.

Sigh.

Marnee Bailey said...

Janga - yep, he's got all sorts of signatures. He's so proud of that thing. While I was stressing that they would have to rebreak it, all he kept talking about was how it had to be orange for the Flyers. *eye roll*

The thing that surprises me most with the writing is that even when I don't say anything about the bad patches, some friend always seems to sense a problem and be spot on with exactly the right advice or affirmation.

This. Absolutely this. I have no idea how many times some issue was solved in my head by someone who had no idea they even helped. LOL!!

A real joy and blessing.

Sabrina - I also have to admit I tend to stay on the outskirts of writing groups looking in. Still not feeling like I've accomplished enough as a write to really belong, belong yet.

I don't mean to down play this, but girl, you've finished a book, haven't you? You've done enough to be PRO, haven't you? Then you're further than many many writers out there. Don't be afraid!

And yes, I love how social media has created a support system for what's a pretty solitary profession.

Marnee Bailey said...

Pat - Nonetheless, I find online communities, blogs, etc., helpful if only that they provide a lovely distraction when stuff in real world gets ugly.

I agree. I can get in my head a lot. It's important to reach out, though.

Irish - This past couple weeks has been trying, but it hasn't been insurmountable. I was just telling the hubby yesterday that even though we've had some bad luck lately, at least we have the the money/support/health to work through it. That's the real gift.

Chance - I think of asking for help as a favor you allow others to do for you...and then they get to feel good about themselves and you feel good that they cared enough and all that feeling good stuff spirals into the cosmos in a good way.

I love this. I'm going to keep remembering this. Because when I help out, I feel good. You're right. I'm sure other people feel the same. :)

JulieJustJulie said...

What benefits have you found from your writing community?

Where do I begin? I have found the online community to be welcoming, warm, full of sage advice when I need it …. Even, or should I say especially, when I don’t know that I need it? I’ve also found the writing community to be very generous with helping those who want to be writers. Remember when I asked for advice on adverbs, not for myself, but for a newbie? Well any day now I expect to get a full, gone-through-the-rough-edits manuscript. He’s been working on it; well since it is a series I guess I should say “them”, for a year. I’m excited to see what he has done, and how he has grown as a writer.
So Many, many thanks to all of you. Without your patience, guidance, and passion for the written word this project would have been difficult to bring to a HEA.

Julie

JulieJustJulie said...

Any drawbacks?

Where do I begin? LOl ... Seriously? For the most part my experiences have been positive. But then I also don't hang out with $%#@*& people on $#%^@*& sites.

Marnee Bailey said...

Jules - :) Hoping the best for your newbie. It's such an amazing journey.

And we would be lost without your sage advice, girl. :)

JulieJustJulie said...

I'm so excited. Its like I've won the Lottery!
Which really IS what its like for a reader when a writer hands them something to read!

JulieJustJulie said...

Ever had a few weeks that just feel like the universe is laughing at you?

Weeks … months …. years … The hardest part IMO is to not take it personal. It helps if you learn to laugh back. Which Explains my rather odd sense of humor, right? I’m sorry that things are hard right now, Marn. I really am. And while I cannot guarantee that that next week … next month … or even next year will be better. I can guarantee that as time passes you Perspective on difficult events will change.
From an old note to myself ( which is Juliespeek for ignore the Odd grammar):

"Life doesn't necessarily get easier as you get older. One simply learns to deal with things better. Thanks in part to the Grace that fortitude forges inside you. And Wisdom. The kind of Wisdom that can only be gained by experiencing both failure

and

humility. "
The kind of humility that someone learns when they fail. And they realize that they are afraid. Not only of failure, but of humiliation. Yet they find within themselves the courage … and an inner strength … to pick themselves up and try again. And again. And again … Until they succeed. Or they make peace with the realization that this thing cannot be done. It cannot.

At least it cannot be done … for the moment.

I think that failure does exist. But the only real failure is when someone fails because they failed to ask for help. Everything else is just a life lesson.

JulieJustJulie said...

See the Universe is just giving you a life lesson ... and some rrrrreally good material for a story!

"And we would be lost without your sage advice, girl. :)"

You are too kind. Really. And since we are on the subject of "What benefits have you found from your writing community" ... Please ... whether I'm posting regularly or not, do not hesitate to contact me if you, any of you, need help with something. Even if all you want to do is b!&ch.
Ask.Even if you haven't heard a peep out of me for weeks … months …. years …
And yes, I really do believe ...
" the only real failure is when someone fails because they failed to ask for help."

JulieJustJulie said...

A note to Hellion: Do you remember this story? I was talking to a faculty advisor for a student group at a college open house. A group that was not relevant to my child's needs. But nobody was talking to this group, and I felt for the student who was there to represent it and yes well, how could I not talk to them since no one else was hmm? But when I turned to leave, OMG, another faculty advisor gave me that "If you can talk to them, then you better talk to us" kind of look. So I asked her about her group. I listened politely, at first out of respect, then because I was interested in what she was saying. Which probably explains why I gave her my honest opinion when she said ...
'Failure does Not exist"
I looked the advisor straight in the eye and said "Failure Does exist ..." The student listening to the conversation looked shocked. The advisor looked shocked. Did I tell you that she was the Most Frightening Frighteningly Intelligent Passionate about her work with students’ woman I had ever encountered? She honestly scared the hell out of me. But me being me, I told Her that she was wrong. Her eyes turned cold … deadly. Her mouth became a jagged edge.... But before she had a chance to slay me with a piece of her mind, I smiled, pointed to the shocked student then turned to wave my hand in the direction of all those other clubs for students. "Yes,” I said. “I think that failure does exist. But the only real failure is when someone fails because they failed to ask for help. Everything else is just a life lesson. The advisor was silent for a moment. She looked at the student to gage her reaction. Then she turned back to me, maybe it was the light, but I think I saw a ghost of a smile on her lips. Who knows? The woman was impossible to read. But I will tell you this, as I turned to leave ( honestly I was ready to run like hell, before I said something else I might really regret ), I heard the advisor say “ You … have a beautiful aura.”

JulieJustJulie said...

"Ever had a few weeks that just feel like the universe is laughing at you?"

Yes but I like to think that its not so much that the joke is on me, as the Universe and I are sharing ... a moment.