"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Who's in Your Fave Five? And who really should be...

As solitary professionals, writers don't often have the luxury of cultivating (and maintaining) workplace friendships like those in the corporate arena.
Other than the mailman, and the folks we meet and greet at the local coffee shop, which sometimes serves as our "office", we're on our own.

There are no "water cooler" conversations, juicy office gossip, or gripes with a bad boss that binds us. Of course, we do have social media that allows us to connect and share "Tweets" with our "peeps"; but it's not quite the same.

You, "my friend", need to have friends beyond the virtual world. You need to have a support system of solid people of whom you can rely. And no, your pet doesn't count. :-)

As such, here are five folks that I believe that every serious writer should add to their V.I.P. list, for a more enriching experience, and more successful career.
See if you agree.

Of all my professional challenges, I am most stumped by technology. Hacks, attacks, and things that go whack! Oh my! Lucky for me that I was blessed to meet a guy some years ago that has provided some serious on-site assistance-- with software installation, virus attacks, and general maintenance. He's a true life saver. Which brings to mind, a while back ago, when my laptop went out on me in the middle of a very important (and lucrative) client's project and he provided a "loaner" at the last minute. Thanks, Emmanuel!

My friend Deb is bright, helpful, and resourceful. If I need reliable statistics for a proposal I'm pitching, she'll either provide the research, or steer me in the right direction. She recommends good reads, and is always well informed about things going on in the literary community.

You've gotten a rejection letter from an editor that really cut you to the core. Or you're working hard, but seem to be going nowhere. Or a client pink-slips you. Who do you call? Well, for me, it's typically my friend, "Red". As a creative artist too, she sometimes knows my pain and understands my struggles. She reminds me of all I've accomplished. She also has a good sense of humor, which allows me to "lighten up" when needed.

When you can't really be objective about your work, and need someone to provide a reality check,  this individual helps you keep your head on straight, and keep your wits about you. Accepting the "honors" for this award is my mom.

Every writer knows that a good quote provides extra "oomph" and greater credibility to feature pieces and interviews. The problem? Many times credentialed go-to gurus are busy with their own projects, or you may feel intimidated to reach out to them. I'm so fortunate to have noted authors like Noelle Sterne, Wendy Burt, and William July, (and more folks than I can mention here) to go to. I greatly appreciate their time, wisdom and expertise.

Well, that concludes our time together today, my "peeps".  :-)
Jen will be on break officially March 1st, but will be checking in periodically; so do keep in touch!
B/T/W Thanks so much readers, for being a "friend" of Pen and Prosper.
Pen & Prosper has just reached the 100,000 page views mark!

Your turn.
Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Who's in your "fave five"?
Image: Freedigitalphotos.net


  1. 1. Congrats on the page views!

    2. I had to smile wide because I'm reading this in one of my favorite local coffee shops.

    3. One of the things I do miss about teaching high school full time is the social environment with colleagues and students.

    4. I need a few people who are totally oblivious to my pro life and who will just talk to me about American Idol or the bad customer service at the pizza place in their neighborhood.

    Good post. Enjoy your vacay!

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 28, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      Good to hear from you, Sarah. And many thanks to readers like you who contribute to the high word count.
      Word! :-)

      As a former "Idol" fanatic, I'm happy to talk "show biz" with you anytime. LOL
      Take care.

    2. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 28, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      OOps, that should have read "high page view" count--not word count. Sorry, folks.

  2. Jennifer: I have a friend with whom I converse a few times a week. I have another friend with whom I chat when we can. One of my friends has been very ill for almost six months. I haven't felt like bothering her. (My mistake) I need to cultivate some more. One of
    the ladies at church paid me a very nice compliment this past Sunday.
    She's not as close as these other ones.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 28, 2013 at 1:12 PM


      Always lovely to hear from you. I think you should call the friend who has been ill; let her decide if you're a "bother". I'm pretty sure you won't be.

      In fact, I was watching a recent program with TV personality/newswoman "Robin Roberts" who has been recovering from breast cancer, and a host of treatments and other maladies, and she stated how important it was to have the support of friends who cared for her during this difficult time. "Friends, faith, and family" is what she credits to her survival.

      Thanks for your valuable input.
      Let us know how it goes. And, yes, do try to nurture the relationship with the lady at church. It may be a benefit to both of you; you never know. Right? :-)

  3. My techno geek is usually in the other room. He thinks I should change my name to Mrs. Packard as in Mrs. Hewlett-Packard. These are great points, Jennifer. Enjoy your break. Mine is in three weeks and I am counting down.

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 1, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    LOL-Thanks, Linda. Hope you enjoy your break, too. :-)
    P.S. I'd say you're pretty lucky to have that "techno geek" at your disposal. :-)

  5. As you can see on the Short Story page of my blog, I do think that it definitely is better for a writers to not be to much 'Solopreneurs', and possibly even engage in some types of Teamwork.

    That's why I am mostly involved in all kinds of Activities that I Enjoy Doing, and occasionally also actually write something like you can for example read about on my Music Blog in a recent post about - talking about Show Biz - the people at the Grammy Awards that I met. (really not kidding)

  6. I agree! A good support system is crucial. I especially like #4, and my mom was good this way too. Even back in my preteens, I remember trying on clothes in the dressing room and she cheered me on, telling me that I "had broad shoulders, like your father". Bless her heart, she did what she could to encourage her slightly chubby firstborn. Makes me emotional just thinking about it.

    What would the writing life be without those critique partners and cheerleaders and sweet writing friends? Rather dreary, I'm thinking.

    Congrats on the pageviews! You're celebrating with chocolate, right? I'm only about five hours away, I can bring some up if you need me too. :) Happy weekend!

    1. Okay, don't be surprised if I call your bluff. LOL
      Mothers, they are indeed a true treasure. Right? Thanks so much for your comments and your time.

  7. Jen, as always, you make excellent points. I wish my Mom was still around to cheer me on. I do have critique partners and fellow writers for when the chips are down. And wonderful blogs to read. =0) Makes a gal feel not so all alone. Enjoy the break and I'm soooo jealous of that pageview count!!

    1. Hi Sue,

      We're in this thing together, kiddo. :-) As for the pageview count? I'm sure you'll get there; it takes time, and wonderful readers like the ones I have here.

      Much appreciation for your shared thoughts.