Although I do more often than not post around the topic of writing I
like to hope that my posts encompass more than this.For me blogging has become a way to improve
not just my writing in an editorial sense but also to improve my ability to connect
with others.Part of blogging is
obviously about building a network of readers for my books but most of it comes
from a sense of community.The thought
that anything I write can resonate on a more personal level with an audience is
something I like very much. Watching what others do and reading about it gives
me perspective, gains me knowledge and reassures me I am not alone in my
thoughts. So every post I hope I do the same. Topics just turn up in my head and
off I go like today.
I came across an article written
a couple of years ago entitled Who is on
your Team by Alison Winn Scotch (http://writerunboxed.com/2013/08/21/who-is-on-your-team/) and now that I am hovering so close to
publishing, or I could term it in a more generic way, to entering a new
professional phase, the article really got my attention. When we take on something new we either tell
people about it or keep it to ourselves.
Fear of failure is hard to push down.
Ironically writing gives you no choice in the matter. Writers may produce the words but without
readers we don’t leave the house. Whatever your endeavor support is invaluable.
I think most of us need this as much outside as inside our chosen fields. What I am noticing though and would love to
hear the thoughts of others in this matter, is that these days many people are
quite stingy with their support.
Everyone is too busy doing what they are doing that very little sharing of
support seems to go on. Without the
sharing then how can we have our team? In
one way or another we take specific steps to ensure we are armed with the
necessary paraphernalia to succeed in our newly chosen field. We do this because we are serious about what
we want to do. However we need more, we need to know who is on board for us,
and I don’t mean colleagues. With
writers colleagues provide critiques, friendship and like-minded buoyancy. Other professions have the same but when we
enter something new we need more, we need support from those familiar and dear
to us. Yet at times when you get past
the block that is your very own internal prison and put yourself out there you
get token support. Things like “wow I
could never do what you are doing,” or “what a great idea, aren’t you clever,”
sound good but somehow feel off. It
often feels like a pat on the head by an elderly relative you see once every
few years at a family function but never any other time. It’s not everyone but
it is a majority and something I have observed both inside and outside my
It is hard to be jubilant about others these days. It is a hard world but then let’s not make it
harder. Whenever I feel myself thinking less generously I remember this most humbling
experience. Many years ago when I was travelling in Italy I found myself on a
tour including a visit to the Blue Grotto, or Grotta Azzurra on the Isle of
Capri. The Grotto is a sea cave hosting
a phenomenon that only happens 80 days of the year if tidal conditions permit. At the time oceans (deep water) and I (nearly
drowned victim) had a lot of affinity as long as I stayed on land or a boat to
appreciate the panorama. I took the bus
journey to the marina, I hopped on the ferry but when I discovered seeing the
cave meant I had to get into a tiny rowboat I pretty much freaked. No way can a
rowboat be classed as land. The issue was already borderline just being on the
The cave or cavern has a narrow entrance. One rowboat goes in as one
comes out. Okay I had seen a few go in
so it was kinda big in there but the
process still wasn’t appealing. Firstly you had to get in the rowboat, then you
had to lie down and the boatman apparently had to grab hold of a rope at the
entrance which he then had to pull on.
This allowed leverage to lower himself on top of the rowboat passengers
as the boat enters the rock. Limited
Space!!! Limited Height!!! Dark hole!!! Can you see where I am headed with this? No, I told myself, not for me, no small boat
or dark hole thank you very much.
Oblivious to anything except my own personal drama I failed to realise I
was being closely observed by a hunky male.
Don’t get carried away as said hunky male had a wife and four kids in
tow. He watched as I moved to the back of the line until I was the only one who
had not had the cavern experience. The
problem was I was happy with this but he wasn’t. Very nicely he told me to get into the
rowboat. I said no thank you with
extreme politeness. Really, I thought to
myself? Who does he think he is?Aussie Accent? Despite his wife grabbing at his arm he
did not desist in his, shall say, unusual method of conversation. His verbal
tirade went on forever until obviously frustrated with me he pointed a finger
and told me to get in the f..king boat in no uncertain terms. His lovely wife did attempt to curb his
enthusiasm but he ignored her and his grinning children, and the openly
laughing other passengers now returned
from the hole. I am not afraid to
stand up for myself yet aside from saying no I kept my reaction quite
mild. I think it was instinct, an
instinct that told me more was going on than appeared.
Over and over this tourist from Perth in Western Australia as I found
out later swore at me, pleaded with me and then swore some more. Finally totally exasperated he said:
“Get in the f...king boat because I refuse to stand here and watch you miss
an experience like this one. I can’t, I
just can’t let you, so get in that God damn f..king boat now.”
I did get in the boat. Something in his manner, his look, in his eyes
reached me at some primal human level and fear or not I responded. Once inside the cave I changed my mind. I had been insane. I was in a black hole and I mean black so
what the hell was I doing letting a total stranger choose what was best for me.
I sat up once the heavy body of the boatman lifted and looked into the darkness
of nightmares until a ray of sunlight passing through an underwater cavity called
my name. I listened to the music of my heart as it beat in time to the
reflected azure magic. Magic, the iridescent wonder whispered to me, real magic
the kind you see once in a lifetime that makes you believe in the stars, and
To this day I remember every moment of that experience, I remember every
shade and hue that the sky, the cavern and water gifted me and I remember a man
who was on my team even if I never saw him again. I didn’t need to. It was enough to know someone existed that
wasn’t afraid to step out and speak up for me not as his friend, not as his
family but as a fellow human being. If a
stranger can do that much why is it that we often fail to do it for those we love?
I think that is why I enjoying the blogging so much. I get
to say things like this and remind myself to put my money where my mouth is.
P.S. I went back just once more. Couldn't resist the magic and yes I have used the above in one of my stories.