My Support Group

“Hello, my name is Terri. And I’m a writer.”

“Hi, Terri.”

Oh wait. It wasn’t that kind of support group I wanted to talk about tonight. To be honest, I couldn’t think of anything to blog about tonight – because I am in a bad mood. It’s January 2nd. My final version of Foreseen was supposed to be finished by the end of October. But the end simply didn’t fit the rest of the novel. A set back, but I was soon back on track, with a new deadline – early December. Life intervened – the day job flowed into my nights, the holidays consumed my weekends, my son returned home from college, and PlotForge was stretching its wings as a publisher. Christmas hit, but I’d have a slow week at work and be finished by New Years. Wrong again. Life was conspiring against me. I was sure of it.

So finally with this long holiday weekend, I would finish. But then I got stuck because the actions I’d specified in a couple chapters made no sense for those characters. I hate missing deadlines, but here I was doing it AGAIN. Add to that not enough sleep, New Year’s family dinner, packing up the Christmas decorations, and emergencies in my day job continuing to pop into my inbox, and … let’s just way it wasn’t pretty. I wanted to throw my computer against the wall, or yell at my son, or whine at my writing partner. And I wanted to give up.

But I didn’t give up, nor is my computer embedded in the wall. And those two facts are true because of John C. Brewer and Andrew Smiles.

They bore the brunt of my melt-down today. I’m sure they both were annoyed with me at times as I whined and resisted their attempts to help. In retrospect, I didn’t want to be told how to get on track – I wanted someone to feel sorry for me. I wanted someone to approve of wallowing in my self-imposed despair and agree that life was out to get me. Thankfully, I didn’t get it.

What I got was a writing partner insisting on a process I needed to follow, even if it took more time.  I got a son who kept pointing out that I was irrational, and then later, stating simply, “You’ll get this book done. Don’t stress. It’s already better than what’s out there.”

That was what I really needed. Not someone to humor me, but rather someone believing in me at at point where I wasn’t. And I had two of those people.

Writing is hard. The end product, if well constructed, makes it look easy. I am at the hardest part of a hard job – pulling together all the threads. If you’re writing alone, this is where it becomes easy to either give up or short cut the ending. I’m not going to do either. I’ll come up with the time somewhere and finish writing this novel with the interweaving it deserves. It won’t be easy, but I know I can do it – because Andrew and John believe that I can.



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