On Encouragement

The writer’s life is full of ups and downs, criticism and praise, good writing days and bad ones. I talked about discouragement the other day, but I don’t want to give the impression that every day is like that  – struggling to keep going in the face of criticism and rejection. Sure, that’s part of it, but it’s only a small part. If writing didn’t make me happy, on the whole, then why would I do it?

Today I want to talk about some of the things that encourage me. Things that make me happy, and make the whole journey worth it.

My Husband

In a list of things that make me happy, Michael will always, always be on top. And deservedly so. He deals with all my craziness and he loves me anyway. He was my first fan. He believes in me, and tells me so every day. His belief makes me believe, even when it is hard to do so. He shares my dreams and my journey – we’re in this together. I’ve said it before, but it couldn’t be more true: If I ever make it in this writing gig (he’d want me to say “when I make it”) it will be because of him.

This boy makes me happy

Critique Partners

Criticism doesn’t have to be discouraging. My critique partners are magic. When they show me the weaknesses of my story, it feels more like they are saying “here’s how you can make your story even more awesome” rather than “here are all the ways you failed the first time”.  That’s a very special quality, and when you find people who can do this for you, hold them tight and never let them go. And they really are helping to make my story that much more awesome. My future editor (see honey? positivity!) will give each of them big, sloppy kisses one day. I won’t, because that may strain the relationship a tad, but I do have big hugs for them.


Writing is encouraging in itself. I’ve had a bit of a break from writing as I waited for my crits to come back, and the not writing drove me a little crazy (sympathy for the husband here). But now I’m writing again (draft #4 for those counting) it’s like ahhh. Such a relief. Like a cool drink of water after a long hike in hot weather. I write because I love it. Creating a world, a feeling, a story. It makes my brain happy.


Only two weeks until we get to meet our little girl!!!

Puppies, four weeks old, first adventure in the big wide world!

I’m a big believer in surrounding yourself with people who encourage you and make you happy. People who build you up, rather than tear you down. People who share your dream, and have dreams of their own. These things make me happy.

What are some of the things that encourage you?

Good friends who do silly things make me happy


On Encouragement

2 thoughts on “On Encouragement

  1. What an awesome pic of you and your sweetie! 🙂

    I totally agree about what a difference it makes to have people who support you, encourage you, build you up. Makes this difficult writing life a lot easier! I’m very thankful for my DH, my writing friends, and my crit partners, too!

  2. bethanyrsmith says:

    Thanks, Shari! Typical tourist shot. Even that far away from the falls, we were totally drenched. Not that we minded 🙂

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