I had one hell of an English Comp teacher in college who was not just out to teach us writing skills, she wanted us to succeed in the careers we were pursuing. Of course success in the literary world comes in many shapes, and it’s sometimes hard to gauge. But one of the main points that she drove home was the importance of surrounding yourself with the right influences.
Many artists are tortured by their internal creative energies. Not because one must suffer to do work that is meaningful, but due to the tireless need to continue to work on whatever is compelling at the time. There is a world of life going on around an artist who wishes to stop everything and get it all out. Everyone has felt it at one time or another. There is nothing more painful than having to leave a desired project to focus on the menial tasks of day to day obligations.
Thankfully many others feel it too and can relate. Surrounding yourself with other artists, their work, and individuals who support you in your own, is imperative to retain one’s sanity.For us writers, it is easy to cling to isolation, a damaging path if you ask me. Reading inspiring literature, connecting with other writers, and feeling the warmth of those in my inner circle is what allows me to continue to do what I do without falling into despair.
Tomorrow is my 6 year wedding anniversary and I cannot write about positive support systems without mentioning my untiring husband. He puts up with my insanity and allows himself to share in it sometimes. Like many artists I am in love with love. I could fall for anyone, and I have in the past. But Jeff is the only many that I could stay with, that’s why I married him. He “gets” me.
My sister and my mom may not always “get” me the way he does, but they too support my work. My big sis is extremely helpful. She will not hesitate to tell me when my writing falls short. She’ll tear it apart if need be. I could resent the criticism like some, or strive to wow her with something improved. I choose the later.
Even my father in law is a driving force behind me. He may not always understand my crazy eccentricities, like shaving one side of my head, or singing about monkeys, but he bought multiple copies of my children’s book and has been singing its praises along with my own father.
My past is full of heartbreak, struggle, and pain. But who’s isn’t? I have grown careful as to who I surround myself with because it keeps me going. I have no time for the petty quarrels of yesterday. Moving forward is all that matters right now.