Here's why: Writers pull other writers outta the gutter, the place we trip into regularly, absolutely sure that's where our work should be, and, oops, there we tumble over our shitty drafts. Once we're soaking in the sewage and our pages are illegible, sometimes we feel that's just where we should stay. But it stinks in the muck. Then look up, and lo, see all the other writers who just climbed out of the same stinky gutter but were cleaned off by a good, hard rain. They're offering you a hand up. Jeez, thank you.
Take the help. Squeeze the mother-loving milk out of it and wait for the next rain to rinse off the stench. You'll need that gang of travelers again and again and again. The gutter has a funny gravity and the road won't be any less slippery. My turn comes to extend a hand.
This year, in addition to launching a micro-press BlackBombBooks.com, I feel a need to start a patronage circle for working writers and artists in my community. We all need help, usually in the form of money, and wouldn't it be good to raise a few bucks for CREATIVITY'S SAKE? Not for a political agenda, or a church, or a disaster fund, but for people who make art and take risks to expose the human condition, entertain us, and make life a lot more interesting.
Nina Hart is our guinea pig. Nina and I met years ago in a group called Women Writing in Asheville. She read these wonderful vignettes that elaborated on quirky characters and situations the likes of which I had never imagined. Her quirky stories of strangeness usually left us all a little excitedly befuddled and wanting more. She kept working on her craft and decided to start her own business, WritingFromTheTopofYourHead.com, to encourage other creative writers. She's been at it for three years now and wants to go to the next level by taking an intensive, yet expensive, training course. I say, let's help. We'll be having a party for her in the coming months. We'll drink, be merry, talk, recite some lines, and generally make life easier on some level for Nina.