Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Value of Quiet Encouragement


 So, yesterday I tweeted this:


See the little heart with "22" beside it?  That's 22 "favorite" clicks, which is sort of like Twitter's version of a "like" button.

22 isn't a huge number, right?  But it's not just a number--it's people.  Twenty-two people offered their silent support when I shared my writing progress.  22 thumbs-up.  22 smiles.  22 cheers.  22 however-I-interpret-its.

It means a lot to me that there are 22 people out there who would pay attention to my little tweet-among-millions.  Writers, all--each one of them understanding exactly what it feels like to be this close to finishing, and exactly how important it is to encourage each other.

And I actually keep going back to my Twitter page and looking at that little heart-with-the-22-behind-it, because it keeps encouraging me.

Amazing, isn't it?  The tiniest gesture--the twitch of a finger and, boom, on to the next thing.  But it means something to me.  It makes me feel like I have this huge, invisible support net out there, waiting to catch me if I need it.

And, oh, yes, it catches me.  I can always count on that.

This is one of the things I love about the Internet (and, let's face it--there's much not to love) -- the quiet connections we make with folks whose lives we would otherwise never have brushed against.  I love the silent network of like-minded, like-hearted people who somehow find each other, and are somehow there beneath and amid the buzz of everything else.

No, it's not intimacy.  No, it doesn't (and shouldn't) take the place of face-to-face, real-life relationships.  But it's powerful.  And it's real.

And I'm so grateful for it.

What adds to the beauty, of course, is the fact that some of these people do become real friends.  The Twitter-heart then becomes a reminder of that friendship--a zippy little "Hey, I'm here, I see you" as the day goes by.  A connection point.

Support.

Solidarity.

It's truly wonderful.  It adds a layer of richness to my life that otherwise wouldn't be there.  There is much to be said for turning off the power switch and de-technologizing ourselves on a regular basis.  (Our spirits need that.  Our brains need that.  Our connectedness to life on this planet needs that.)  But the silent, slightly-beneath-the-radar network of friends and colleagues and kindred spirits who consistently touch my life with the press of a key or the swipe of a pad is, to me, invaluable.

Thank you.

And yes, I really am almost finished with this draft, right on schedule.  Of course, there's this:



But I'm glad to report that, after all the flailing and schlepping and faking yesterday, I worked my way forward without getting stuck. I'm now on the penultimate chapter, which is a bit surreal after all this intense drafting.

Oh, yes.  Revisions will be messy.  But aren't they always?  Wonderfully, incredibly, all-encompassingly messy.  And I love them.

Onward, writers!  Stay connected.  Stay present.  Know that you are part of a vibrant network.  You never know when your "like" or "heart" or grinning emoticon is going to give someone just the boost he needs.

Keep being you!

8 comments:

  1. I love this so much! I totally agree -- it means so much knowing that network of kindred spirits is out there. It's easy to feel alone as we slog along. Thank goodness for occasional reminders that we aren't alone!

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    1. Also, YAY YAY YAY for being so close to done! Go, go, go!!

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    2. Thank you!!!! And you're welcome. Writing is such a solitary pursuit that we really do need to be reminded how very not-alone we are.

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  2. Wonderful...on all counts! Often I heart rather than comment because I don't want to interrupt momentum (too easy to distract a writer by Tweeting and make them feel obligated to respond ;-))

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    1. That's very sensitive of you! For me, it's not feeling obligated to respond (I don't) -- it's actually just loving to respond because...WORDS! I love connecting with people. But I love, love, love the silent "hearting".

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  3. Yes to this! Although I don't have anywhere near a huge following, the writers I've met online have been so encouraging to me, mostly because I don't know a single fellow writer in real life. It's so great to have friends, even the virtual kind, who understand.

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  4. don't hate me/SouthpawSeptember 21, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    Gosh, I never really thought about it that way, but yeah, that makes sense. I will totally kept this in mind.

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