Tool 47 ~ Recruit your own support group.

“Create a corps of helpers for feedback.”

Basically, decide what kind of support you want and who you want in your group.

The lovely concept of being human is I don’t have to accept what everyone says about my work. I can choose. I care deeply what some people say–like my mother–but otherwise, many people I come across can say my writing is fitful and oblique. Personally, it doesn’t really matter to me. Their opinion is their opinion, and it does not intrude on me or my writing.

Clark’s kind of support group (229):

1. “A helper who keeps me going.”

2. “A helper who understands my idiosyncrasies.” — Clark cannot stand seeing his stories in print for fear there may be a hideous error. So his wife, Karen, reads the story first and signals an all clear. Great helper!

3. “A helper willing to answer my questions.”

4. “An expert helper to match my topic.” — Clark wrote an article about the Holocaust, so he bounced his ideas and writing off of a rabbi, Haim Horowitz, who knew more than he did.

5. “A helper who runs interference.” — Someone who puts the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, so you can write.

6.”A coach who helps me figure out what works and what needs work.”

In this circle, your support group, you are the king (or in my case, the queen! Whoo! Whoo!). Dish out praise and flowers. Fire lazy ones. Hire new ones. Network frequently. Find what works for you and your stories.


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