Writing can be a lonely business. By its very nature it is often a solitary existence. As a writer I have often thought how sad it is that some writers don’t support each other more. We are probably all after the same goal. We all want to write, and most to be heard. Some do write for pleasure only which is great, because to write just for the pleasure of it is a lovely thing. But whatever the reason, writing is our aim.
Writing affords us a time to reflect and to get our thoughts out onto the page. As each word tumbles out of our brain we can feel both mentally and physically lighter, and know that we are positively getting nearer to our goals as a writer. Each word carries with it a deluge of thoughts, feelings, and a tiny part of us as the writer. Each chapter, note, finished poem, screenplay, or project, is like the birth of a child as we have nurtured and cared for them until they are ready to start a life of their own. Like the tiny fledglings that are now leaving their nests, ready to go out into the world no matter how scary it looks. Flapping their wings abundantly to ensure that they take off and soar.
This week I watched the Springwatch programme on BBC. It has been an absolute delight to see nature in close up. What has struck me is how hard those little creatures work just to survive. But nature is cruel, as is the writing world at times. Not everyone survives. Some get only a short way along the writing path, and others much further. All negotiating the rough terrain, the ups and the downs along the way. Some tough enough to make the distance, and others not making it.
When I look at the television screen as Springwatch airs, I see sheer panic in some of their little faces. Some have no idea whether they will survive, but are going to try their hardest anyway. Parents feeding their young and looking after them, sometimes with little sleep, determined to nurture them in the best way that they can.
Nurturing the writer within us is what we all need at some point. You may even need to do that daily. It is important to do so, because without it we will not thrive, just like those little chicks won’t if their parents don’t nourish them.
Like the adult birds do with their young, we need to nourish ourselves. To think about what the writer within us needs. To nourish it with all our might. So that we are both strong enough to write, and to survive the emotional turmoil that the writing life throws at us. It is a tricky road for some, but can be eased by others, especially by those who know what we are going through.
Only another writer can really know what writers go through. Others who don’t write can eagerly sympathise, which is great. But to actually live through the writing life day by day is another thing. Only one who lives it can really understand the highs and the lows, the difficulties which abound in a writer’s life which nobody else sees, but which we feel all too often.
So why then do some writers not think about others who are having a bad time? Why do they not support them, even in the smallest of ways?
A simple message on something like social media is all that it takes. Even one sentence can help. Something to lift their spirits and to help them through their writing day.
Listening helps too. Hearing them at their worst, then seeing them when they rise gloriously in all their splendour. Finding their equilibrium, where they feel at their best, able to write freely and without doubt. A simple question to ask them how their writing is going can be such a tonic when it is tough.
When another writer puts their work out into the world it is a joy. We then have more words to mull over, each conveying a message from within. So we should be pleased for them, encouraging their courage. Happy that they have finished their piece of writing and put it out there for all of us to see.
Writer love is such a simple, yet effective thing. Let’s have more writer love. There is no better time to start that than today.