Jul 29, 2007

The Writer's Support System

by Marsha Ward

According to our wise Executive Secretary/Treasurer, Connie Wolfe, every writer does better at her endeavors if she has people who play four key roles in her life. These roles are Mentor, Cheerleader, Critiquer, and Motivator. Let's take a brief look at these roles:

Mentor - this person gives the writer tools so she can do a better job at writing.

Cheerleader - this person buoys up the writer, telling her she can do it.

Critiquer - this person's role is to keep the writer sharp and examining her work for errors. The Critiquer also gives suggestions for improvement.

Motivator - this person gets the writer past hurdles that come along, such as writer's block, keeping the writer moving and motivated. May be the best at being a sounding board or brainstorming partner.

Sometimes a person may act in more than one role, but usually four people shake out into the roles.

Who fills these roles for you?


  1. I'm really having trouble with this posting thing any more. This is my third try today. I used to be able to bring up the article in this window so I could refer to it, but no longer can I do that.

    Mentor: My first mentor was Sarah Stamey, a published author who helped me get The Lodger ready to be sent out. Now my ANWA group mentors me.

    Cheerleader: My husband Derrill cheers me on, even though when a deadline is looming I almost completely disappear.

    Critique--Cecily Markland and Terri Deighton are able critics. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who will read and critique a manuscript is a saint.

    Motivator--A deadline is my most powerful motivator. That and my big mouth. I just can't resist pitching a story, but then I have to write it.

  2. This has given me much to think about, and I am grateful for all the help I get, but I'm not ready to name individuals in particular roles. Marsha was my first hero, followed (not necessarily in order) Janette Rawlinson, Liz Adair, Joan Sowards, Donna Hatch, and I suppose if I stop now I'll be chagrined because I left out somebody very important, but whose name won't surface through my sleepy brain. I'll just include all ANWA, and add a few more like Luanne Rice, and Marilyn Walton, writers who have both encouraged me. Now, if I would only perform!

  3. I think my ultimate mentor is my Savior. The only worthwhile things I write come when the Spirit brings me close to Him.

    All of the sisters in ANWA have always been great cheerleaders and I always get honest and valuable critiques form them as well. Becky still hasn't forgiven me for leaving one of my characters out in a snowstorm.

    Time is a motivator and so are my children.


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