Sometimes we all need a little push...or in my case, a big shove...in order to accomplish something. Although I have been doing freelance writing since 1997 (mostly op-ed pieces in The Ottawa Citizen and The Toronto Star), I feel like my writing career is stalled. With newspapers shrinking and/or disappearing, it's tougher to get freelance pieces published these days. I have been advised to start a blog, to have a web page, to be on Facebook. All this I have intended to do but have never started. Why? Mostly because, like many people of my vintage (late 50's) I feel intimidated by new technology. Everywhere you turn, there seems to be new and complicated procedures to learn. We never did read the 100 page booklet that came with our latest phone and are still mourning the loss of our neighbourhood video stores.
So what does this all have to do with encouragement? Well, the last time our daughter was home, she sat down and set up this blog for me. I am taking that as a big vote of confidence from her - that she feels my writing is worthwhile, that she realizes how important it is to me.
We all need morale boosting..some of us daily, some for the big tasks that we face. When Nik Wallenda recently walked across Niagara Falls, his father talked him through the entire walk.
I am lucky to have an encouraging family. My husband has been my main cheerleader for 39 years - he supports me in my writing and everything else. Our sons have always encouraged my writing. One of them gave me a book that I'm reading now: On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King. I am not a fan of the horror genre so I would never have picked up a Stephen King book on my own. However I am really enjoying it. The story of his career is very inspiring for other writers. In his book he recognizes the role that his wife's coaxing has played in his success:
"My wife made a crucial difference...Her support was constant, one of the few good things I could take as a given....Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don't have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough."
So, thanks to my encouraging family. I feel that with starting this blog I am jumping off into unknown territory. I'm sure that like anything else, it will feel more comfortable with time. My intention is to post something here twice a week. Like the rest of my writing, the subject material will vary. Hopefully our "kids" will not be too embarrassed as I ramble on about neighbourhood issues here in Ottawa, environmental concerns, relationship and family issues, education concerns - you name it.
For today, maybe I need to think about my role - how do I encourage those around me?