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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).


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