I’d be nothing without my peeps.
The writer’s life is a glorious one – in what other profession could you (should you choose), spend all day in your pyjamas, or in a café, sipping peppermint teas (not in your pyjamas, obviously), making stuff up and getting paid for it? In what other profession could you kill the characters you hate (or, if you’re kinder, just serve them with a particularly nasty comeuppance), and reward those you love? In what other job could you make the creatures of fantasy real; could you lose yourself for hours in a miraculous world of your creation; could you work through your own issues and angsts via the conduit of another person’s journey?
Yeah, writing rocks.
But … it can be lonely.
That’s why I’m so very grateful to have such awesome people around me, supporting me and understanding. Whether they be on Twitter or on Facebook or even in the “real world”, I am so lucky to have a brilliant group of fellow writers who just “get” me. They “get” why I’m excited to be two thirds of the way through editing my manuscript and not (as is usually the case), working out if it’s too cold outside to go and throw myself into the Gorge. They “get” why I’m frustrated because my characters won’t do what I want them to do (they can be so gosh-darn headstrong). They “get” why, some weeks, I have permanent CWS (Crabbit Writer Syndrome), so severe sometimes that I worry Husband Bear and Mephy Danger might pack up and move to Norway just get away from me.
They “get” that staring out the window is working.
They “get” why I nearly have a nervous breakdown on “submit-to-editor” day.
They “get” why I very long walk are an integral part of my work day.
They are beta readers for me, and they let me read their work, too, because they know that immersing myself in writing, at all stages, helps me hone my craft. They lend me books. They give me a shoulder to cry on, and things to hit, when stories just won’t behave.
They give me a sense of family and community. They are my therapists; my sounding boards; my (verbal) punching bags.
They tell me to keep going when I want to give up. They tell me to hit “send” when all I want to do is throw my laptop out the window, so I have an excuse for not submitting. They tell me “you can do it” when all I’m thinking is, “No, I really can’t”.
All of this must sound so petty and self-indulgent to those people who work in jobs where people die, businesses fail, animals become extinct, or people lose their homes based on their day-to-day decision-making. I understand that. I acknowledge that what I do is, as I said before, making stuff and getting paid for it.
But if the recent #YASaves campaign (in response to this ignorant article) on Twitter tells us anything, it’s that writing is important. Writing can save lives. Writing can give people hope. Books got me through some very dark times as a teenager. I know that many teens are alive today because of the people who just “make stuff up” all day. I am humbled and grateful on a daily basis for the emails and comments I get on this blog, from readers who have been moved in some way by Thyla and Three Things About Daisy Blue. They know how important writing is. The world would be a grim place without it. The world would be a darker place for me and many others if it wasn’t for the joy that comes from losing yourself in an incredible story.
I am privileged that I get to be part of this world of imagination and creativity. But, some days, it can be hard. It’s my peeps that get me through. I’d be nothing without them.