I am not one of those fortunate writers with an involved spouse. He doesn’t read my work and has little interest (though I suspect his motive is to avoid hurting my feelings should he dislike something). He supports me as a writer and encourages me, but Alpha Reader he is not. As a child and teen, one parent told me I hadn’t lived enough to write. This caused me to seek others to fulfill those roles in my writing life from a very early stage.
My first alpha reader is too busy to work on my projects now. Fortunately, I have an outstanding critique group who serve as alpha readers (they have different specialties, so they fit my varied output). I would like more beta readers than I have. I think my pool is too small, but I have three people who read for me along with the critique group members who didn’t read first draft.
They are the support and lifeline of my writing life. They are encouragement and willing to crack the whip if I slack. I could not do this without them.
In terms of general support, my family wants me to succeed and tries to support me, but they aren’t cheerleaders and none of them are involved in my writing life. In fact, I gave Recompense to my dad and step-mom in December. They still haven’t read it. I feel very lonely, defensive, and misunderstood at times.
Support is important. Having someone stand beside you through the process and through both rejection and success is important. To feel understood, at least a little bit, is important. Outside of my critique group, I don’t have it. This means I need to cultivate it, make some friends on line, and possibly find local writers.
Writing can be a lonely business, and certainly so for me. There are times my family is jealous of the time I spend with my critique group and times my CG doesn’t understand my family. But, build I must, and shall. In the midst of overhauling my confidence, polishing manuscripts, building a platform, and remaining active in my CG, I also need to build a (mostly) separate support network entirely just to remind me that rejection isn’t personal, numbers are not worth, and, should big things happen, not to believe my own hype. Generally, I just need their affection, friendship, and faith in me to draw upon.
I probably need this network built first, but I’ll do my best. Shy loners with loose boundaries find this a challenge. 🙂
The Rest of the Series: