Support…and what it means

21 May

Support comes in many shapes and forms, sometimes welcomed, sometimes not. Sometimes looked for, and lacking; sometimes coming unexpectedly.

Friends support me through difficult times, as I hope I support them. Readers give words of encouragement, and the occasional review. Family gives practical support, taking up the slack.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been doing more supporting than usual – mainly on the care front as my sister-in-law who normally does loads has been in America. But on the literary front, I went to support my classmate from the Faber Academy Novel Writing course, who has just published the first novel in a trilogy – Changed Times. Ethyl Smith was ably supported by a couple of friends who shared the reading of her novel, and by many others who came along to listen and buy her book. Must admit I was extremely tired, and not always fully connected (which had nothing to do with the performances or the novel), but on the train home, I reflected on how important it is for writers (and others) to support each other. Ethyl certainly appreciated her great turnout, and I was honoured to be one of the first people she showed early drafts to and I’m looking forward to reading the completed book.

Ethyl Smith signing copies of Changed Times

Ethyl Smith signing copies of Changed Times

We all write in isolation, whether in a busy cafe or a quiet study, bringing characters out from our imaginations onto the page, so it is lovely to get feedback, a pat on the back, or simply, to see a face in the crowd.

If you’re looking to support writers, you could do worse than coming along to the Scottish Writers’ Centre at the CCA on Tuesday night in Glasgow to see their Spring Showcase. I’m definitely going to try to be there.

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