Writing is a very solitary activity. You sit, stand, or pace on your own with nothing but your thoughts and a blank page/screen in front of you, taunting you. The only things there to talk to are your characters and sometimes they refuse to talk back (the bastards). Solitary. But, to be a writer, you cannot be completely on your own. You must have your “tribe”. A support group. And I don’t mean the “hi, my name is Megan and I’m a book-shopaholic” type of support group (Besides, I tried it once…didn’t do anything for me). What I mean are the people you surround yourself with who are there to aid and encourage you through your writing journey. Often these people go unnoticed throughout the process. They often get pushed aside due to the focus on your work and on the rare occasions you come up for air, you forget to dole out the thank yous for all that they do. Once you reach that pinnacle of book publication, some of them may make it onto that acknowledgement page where you briefly thank them for all their support along the way, but you often can’t or don’t name everyone and for those you do, the sentence or two they get are nowhere near enough to make up for all that they have done for you or your writing journey. I am still on the first part of this journey and so, as of yet, do not have that page or two to thank those who have been there for me. And while I do have many people who have helped me along the way, there is one person, on this particular day and this particular moment of coming up for air, that I wanted to shine some light on.
Today, my husband and I celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Every day I am grateful that our paths crossed and that we are getting to live this life together, but, when it comes to my writing, I am particularly appreciative of his presence in my life. When we were newly engaged, I approached him and told him that I wanted to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I was terribly unhappy as a teacher and knew writing was my true calling. I asked him what he thought about this. I knew it was a lot to ask. When he got down on his knee and asked me to marry him, he thought he was entering into a future with a gainfully employed, self-sufficient woman. I would still work part-time, I told him, but I really wanted to focus on this project that would see no returns in the near future. I was asking him to take on a very large burden, all so that I could pursue a dream that I had no way of knowing if it would be successful in the long run or not. He, being the wonderful person he is, looked me in the eye and said “this is something you need to do and I completely support you.” And that is what he has done ever since. He has celebrated with me on in my small successes and comforted me during those moments of rejection. He understands the value of one’s search for happiness, value, and purpose and goes out of his way to help me ensure mine. He is my favorite cheer leader, honest reader, and editor.
I have a pretty great tribe full of amazing writers, friends, and family. My husband is the chief of my tribe. Happy anniversary my dear. I am so blessed to be able to travel along this path with you by my side.