Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Band of Sisters

This! Christine got me to thinking about my crit partners and writing friends and the trust we have in each other. It's extraordinary, really, when you think about it.

Here are these women I met online several years ago. Back then, they were only a name on my computer screen--and an anonymous name at that. Yet, their words drew me into their worlds, made me like them, made me trust them with my own words.

How the freak did that happen?

I suppose it all began with trust on my part. Trust in women in general. Trust that we were all there for the same purpose--to learn to write for publication. Yet, there are aspiring writers out there who'll undermine you, ones that'll plagiarize you or rip you off by pretending to have connections they don't have. Ones that think it's a competition and that helping you will somehow hinder them. They're few, but I've run into them.

But the women in my circle realize that in helping others, they help themselves. They learn more that way and pay it forward. And in helping each other so freely, in taking each others work and analyzing it as carefully as if it were our own, in caring for and investing emotionally in each other's success, we've built a Great Wall of China of trust.

When I hand over a manuscript for critting, I know with unshakeable certainty that nothing in this world would make them steer me wrong for their own gain, or for any other reason. In fact, I don't even think about it. It's simply not a worry. That fear doesn't exist for me. Additionally, when we have disagreements, I don't go off worrying that they're dissing me behind my back or plotting my downfall.

And this translates into every other aspect of my relationship with them. No matter what I ask, be it personal or professional, they would address my concern with the care they'd take for themselves, or their dearest loved ones. And they'd never rat me out *gg*.

Do we talk to each other every day? No. Every week? Uh, nope. Every month? Sometimes not. But it doesn't matter. The relationship is there and it ain't going nowhere.

Now I can begin to relate to sports teams and army platoons and the concrete bonding that takes place, of intimately knowing someone's strengths and weaknesses and protecting them both with the ferocity of a mother.

We have each others' backs. For someone as solitary-natured as a writer is, that's a beautiful thing. I wish it on everyone.


Blogger Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

Oh, I really liked this post, Ann. It’s rare and so very special to find a great, supportive group of women you can depend on, have fun with, and truly trust. Women who genuinely want to see each other succeed and be happy. And I can tell that you treasure this group. Very nice. :-)

February 22, 2006 5:45 PM  

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