Saturday, June 19, 2021

No, this is not about Sioux's past life as a cheerleader. I can semi-coordinate my legs (sometimes) and can control my arm movements (most of the time) but I can't do both at the same time. 

No, this about our family and friends who are cheerleaders--the folks who are cheering us on as writers. I read Jeanine DeHoney's moving post, and thought about the sweet way her family encouraged her witing... and I thought I would throw my two cents one and half cents into the conversation.

My cheerleaders are a mixed bag. My cheerleaders are 99% over the top... and then, there's my husband.

My hubby means well, bless his heart. He doesn't love to read, so that is responsible for some of his screw-ups and screwy thinking. When I have a story published in an anthology, he quickly looks to see where my story is. If it's near the front, that means (from his perspective) it's a good story. If it's in the last half of the book (or shudder--at the very end), it tells him it's not a great story. No matter how many times I've talked about themes that antholgies have, it doesn't matter.

When I got a "yes" from a publisher, my husband started dreaming of spending Stephen King money. He just knew the advance would be huge, and the residuals would be rolling in, courtesy of Brinks trucks. (His fantasies really crashed and burned when he found out I was donating all my proceeds of my book to a Tulsa cultural center.) Bless his heart.

When my book finally got published, I proudly gave him a copy. He does read in our reading room (AKA the bathroom) so I kept track of his progress by thumbing through the pages until I found his bookmark. Before he was even halfway through, he complained about the ending. The ending? How did he know how it ended? He was still in the middle.

"Oh, the other day I went to the last section and read the ending." What? I'd worked hard to craft a finale that was reflective and moving. The sections before it built up to the conclusion.


No more blessings for him...

image by Pixabay

The other 99% of my cheerleaders are phenomenal. This is what some of them have done:

  • Volunteered to be a beta reader, and read my book in one day--because they were that engaged
  • Helped with the title
  • Offered to interview me
  • Posted their review on their blog/website or on Amazon
  • Bought several copies for their children and their children's friends
  • Passed on and helped create an incredible plan of getting sponsors and providing curriculum to teachers, so they can get classroom sets of my book
  • Volunteered to be on my "street team" of early reviewers
  • Set up their personal "book event" so I could sign their book

The truth is, with all the rejection and obstacles we have to overcome as writers, we cannot do it alone. We need cheerleaders in our lives. Cheerleaders who will get us a cake with WRITER emblazoned on it, cheerleaders who will offer their shoulder when we get a rejection email, cheerleaders who will share their expertise when it comes to publishers, marketing and connections.

What have your cheerleaders done for you? And remember the name Jeanine DeHoney. Someday, she's going to have a book out, and you are going to want to read it... 

Sioux Roslawski is a freelance writer and a middle-school teacher. Her debut novel, Greenwood Gone: Henry's Story, is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, along with wherever Sioux is (she always has some copies in her car).



Sue Bradford Edwards said...

You made me laugh! I kept hearing my grandmother's voice. "Well, God bless his pointy little head." "Grandma, do you mean a dunce cap?" "It would be rude to say."

Our husbands might need a support group. Dan reads - slowly. He never reads the kinds of things I write except for what I write. He's my copy editor.

So glad to hear that you have a varied and creative support group!

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Ah Sioux, you made my day with your post and thanks for being one of my ardent cheerleaders. So glad you have a myriad of people in your life who are your cheerleaders also. Count me in as one of them.

Angela Mackintosh said...

My husband can join your support group. ;) He doesn't read books, but he reads news and articles, and if I write a piece, I have to read it to him.

I will always be a cheerleader for you and everyone in the WOW community! Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone in our community succeed. I'm also thankful to have a few cheerleaders of my own. When an essay of mine publishes and writers share it, I can't tell you how great that feels. Those "over the top" ones are the best. :)

I love the varied list you shared. I also know we have an interview and giveaway next weekend right here on The Muffin!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--My hubby definitely has a pointy head when it comes to my writing...

Jeanine--Someday (soon, I hope) you'll put me down as one of your beta readers. Until then, all I can do is nudge... nudge... nudge. ;)

Angela--The Butt-Kickers are my head cheerleaders, without a doubt. When your books come out (notice that's plural, not singular ;) I'll be doing crazy cartwheels and awkward jumps to cheer you on.

Next weekend? How exciting! Thanks. I know you and Sue did a lot to make it happen.

Linda O'Connell said...

Bless his heart, my husband also doesn't read much anymore. And I have to read my articles and essays to him. He's supportive. I agree, the end should be reserved for the END. Ahh, well he meant well. Your writing is superb.

Val said...

Skipping to the END? That's CHEATING! Like Rosie Ruiz taking the subway to the finish line of the 1980 Boston Marathon! At least he read the first half. That's more than my husband would have done.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--Thanks. Yes, they yam what they yam... (as Popeye would say)

Pat Wahler said...

That's why writers need to build their tribe. Congratulations on this wonderful accomplishment! My copy is awaiting your signature. :-)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Pat--Thank you. I hope to see you soon... And I cannot wait until I hear more details about the book YOU are working on. ;)

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