I’m telling you right now that being a writer can be a hard thing. Between the reviewers who claim to know and like you as a person but then personally attack you and the commenters who attack you by saying you’re committing horrors of injustice with your very words . . . this work is not for the faint of heart.
But here’s what saves me time and time again – friends who get it. They send me notes to remind me, “Those reviews are about them.” and “We don’t live an ideal world where we can all just do good without making a living.” They are the ones who post images of Marlon Brando in Streetcar Named Desire on my Facebook feed or who send me links to any news story that has to do with slavery and its legacy.
They are my lifeline when even my best attempts to set boundaries don’t keep me from getting bogged down my criticism.
One of these people is Ed Cyzewski, whose new book Write Without Crushing Your Soul, has proven to be comforting and helpful in a way I really needed. In his second chapter, he talks about how we need to keep clear that our work is not WHO WE ARE. It is – of course – just our work. I needed to be reminded of that fact. Ed’s words in his writing – and as my friend – ground me and keep me true to my Center, as a woman loved and appreciated just as she was created to be.
Another group of people who is quickly becoming a major support to me as a writer and a woman is the Redbud Writers Guild, a group of Christian women who seek to speak truth, lend strength, and provide wisdom through their words. We recently launched our new online magazine, The Redbud Post, and I hope you’ll come check it out. I’m particularly loving this post from Jenny Rae Armstrong – “Not Called to be Timid.” As a woman who is pretty much anything but timid, Jenny Rae’s words really resonate with me and give me courage, even when the criticism is pointed.
I don’t know here you find your people – and I pray you have some – folks who say, “Don’t listen to them.” Or “they don’t know you.” Folks who urge you forward when you need it, and who help you pull back when that’s better.
And if I can encourage you, stand beside you, or lend a kind word, please let me know. Just comment below, and I’ll step right up and do the best I can to say, “You are good enough. You are a writer. You are loved.