Life Teammates

My friend and I at one of our illustrious writing sessions

Every time I stay in my house for a long time in isolation and start gobbling huge quantities of chocolate to deal with my stir-craziness, I’m reminded that the hermit lifestyle was not designed to be a life-long gig.

The human condition comes with a hardwired need of others.  I need companionship, affection, feedback, encouragement, teamwork, as well as….

I discovered, based on an assessment, that I need a manager with an open door policy who I can go talk to about anything.  This is for my life and my writing.  No wonder I talk my husband’s ear off every night at dinner.  (Sorry honey!)

Panicked thoughts that ran through my mind after learning this:

1. I need a personal manager! 

2. I don’t have money to just go hire someone.

3. Who/how/where do I even start? 

4. Why am I so needy?

Answer to #4: Because, darling, you’re human.

I divulged my distress to a writing buddy who I meet with on Fridays. To my amazement, she volunteered to be my manager. (I promise, I wasn’t fishing for this!)

She had me brainstorm a list of questions I’d want to ask/be asked by this hypothetical manager. Then I created a simple spreadsheet.  Nerd alert: If you want to see my personal management checklist (maybe it’ll make sense, maybe you’ll call me OCD) here it is : Elise Personal Manager

So far, the best part of this friend management is talking through my distractions.  Such as: how much I freak out about book sales or how ridiculously unattainable my weekly goals are.

My friend is a writer, and shares my passion and can sympathize.  But still…

I would never in a million years have expected her to help like this.  I didn’t realize my answer was sitting next to me, smiling in the sunshine with her notebook and pencil.

Friend, you know who you are.  Thank you.

About Elise

Elise Stephens began her career in writing at age six, illustrating her own story books and concocting wild adventures. Stephens counts authors Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Atwood among her literary mentors, and has studied under Orson Scott Card. She dreams often of finding new ways to weave timeless truths into her stories. Her novels include Moonlight and Oranges (2011), Forecast (2013), and Guardian of the Gold Breathers (2015), a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle with her family. Follow her on Twitter @elisestephens and Author Elise Stephens on Facebook.

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