I’m not referring to something you might stretch out underneath a group of performing trapeze artists. As if you’d have that stuck in your garage! (You don’t … do you?)
I want to know how your writer’s safety net is – that small group of people you trust like no one else. These are the writers you brainstorm story ideas with. The ones you call when editors say no and no and no – and finally! – yes. These are the trusted few who see your contest scores and help you cull the positive from the negative. Your safety net is comprised of the few people who believe in you when you don’t, who talk you down off ledges, who remind you why you write, who pray you through both the failures and the success …
Getting the idea yet?
More importantly, do you have a safety net?
Safety nets don’t come in some-assembly-required kits. They develop just as all relationships do: over time. They are based on one key element. Want a hint? It’s hidden in the third paragraph where I defined what a safety net is. The foundation of a writer’s safety net is also the 2012 Voices e-zine theme: trust.
Take a moment and identify your safety net:
- Who are the people you trust more than anyone else? I don’t mean family or “regular” friends. Think about two to four writer friends that have earned – yes, earned – your trust.
- Who do you brainstorm ideas with? Who do you trust your dreams with? Your “I think this could be the beginning of a novel” thoughts? Who do you call when your work-in-progress (WIP) sputters to a halt?
- Who’s on speed dial on your phone? When the rejections pile up, covering your self-confidence like a pile of unwanted, well, rejection slips, who commiserates with you? And who gets the “I got The Call!” call and Happy Dances in the street for you?
- Who prays for you? Who, as the saying goes, remembers the words to the song in your heart when you’ve forgotten them – and sings them back to you? When you’re sitting on a ledge, thinking about abandoning the writing road, who sits down beside you, offers you coffee or chocolate or … I dunno … jelly beans? And then wraps you in a hug so tight you can’t jump?
Those people you thought of? They are your safety net. Take the time to thank God for each one of them. Finding trustworthy friends along the writing road who will stick with you through every twist and turn? Priceless.
Beth K. Vogt’s debut novel, Wish You Were Here, is slated to be published by Howard Books in May 2012. Her writing buddies, who lured her from nonfiction to the “Dark Side,” affectionately call Beth “The Evil Editor” or TEE. To learn more about Beth, visit her at bethvogt.com.
Tags: trust, security net, community, relationships, writers