Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Fiction Day - Like Minds are Golden

I attended a neighborhood party on Saturday. I live on a lake cove, and we have a new neighbor who adores social gatherings. Such events are pleasant with 2-4 other people, in my opinion, but she had 20. However, I learned to enjoy myself and now know my other neighbors. Then when I mentioned I was releasing a mystery, the first in a series, all said they'd buy. Heck, my new neighbor is hosting a release party. The idea of being supported by those around me is thrilling!

It's like my critique groups. They can rip up a chapter then go to dinner and bend over backwards to help me reword a tricky paragraph or a plot with flaws. It's not only soothing, it's empowering. One of my online crit members tonight said she couldn't get the smile off her face when I sent her the cover draft of my novel, Lowcountry Bribe. She's seen all the edits and reworks of this story - for seven years. She said it's like watching a child enter kindergarten, and she's so proud of me.

Being reminded that people support your hard work, and stand ready to help you enjoy the rewards, is a mental high. It's also empowering to keep going . . . harder . . . seeking more success. It's why we struggle to find great friends, good social groups, and mentors - to enjoy sharing like thoughts, like pleasures, like goals. After all, we are social creatures.

Yes, we are reclusive as writers. I adore being locked away for days at a time, writing. But sometimes we need human companionship and the attention of like minds. Sharing what means the world to us with someone who understands  is a gift we all need to say grace over each and every day. They want to be happy for me as I want to be happy for them. We swap each others books, or stand ready to lift a hand in some manner to make a reward that much sweeter. We send each other a card or pop a bottle of bubbly. We pick up the tab at the burger place or attend an event just to be that one extra body in the room.

Remember that when you have a chance to support another writer. Next time, she'll be there for you. Besides, celebrating en mass is so much more fun than celebrating alone.

NOTE: Sometime in the next 3-4 weeks (fingers crossed), Lowcountry Bribe will be available. I'm still stunned.


Jane Rutherford said...

OH wow! Now this is an exciting news! 3-4 weeks! Can't wait!

Also: your description of your writing group is great. I have something similar with my friends, but only recently we decided to meet on a semi regular basis. We'll see how that goes.

Susan Sundwall said...

Your book out - what a wonderful Valentine!

Mary Aalgaard said...

This is a great post. Exactly how I feel about the artist community. Congrats on your book!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Hope! You must be walking on air.

After so many years and so much work, you've certainly earned it.

Karen Dabney

Sioux Roslawski said...

Hope--How exciting! I am looking forward to reading your "first born."

Hope Clark said...

I can't wait to introduce her to you, too. The cover is gorgeous, IMHO.

BECKY said...

Oh Hope!! Congratulations!! I'm a bit behind in my blog reading. I couldn't be happier for you!!

Lyn Fairchild Hawks said...


Both and I and North Carolina writers and readers are excited to celebrate you and the "baby"!

And agreed: it's so important to find those kindred spirits in the writing world. My writing groups are such important mirrors and encouragers of my efforts. They see things I'd never note, they coach, they question, they celebrate. There's no scarcity model in these groups; there's enough room for everyone to excel.


Hope Clark said...

Can't wait!