My youngest daughter was a high school cheerleader. She couldn’t do a handspring or flip—the only one on her squad who wasn’t a gymnast. So how did she make the team? She had the one thing all cheerleaders need. Spirit. She was (and still is) energetic and engaging.
I had lunch with a cheerleader Monday.
I know one when I see one.
Susan wasn’t dressed in a short skirt and her hair wasn’t in a ponytail. But she is a cheerleader. One of mine. I appreciate those people in my life who encourage me and applaud my efforts as a writer. I need them.
I have my own cheerleading squad. A few who made the team were no-brainers. For example, my mom has been encouraging me in my writing for years. My husband promotes my efforts. He gives me confidence. My children applaud my work.
Others made the squad because they are people who love to read and therefore encourage me to write.
They strengthen my writing. They ask me questions. They give me ideas.
There are more. I have a publisher who turns cartwheels and an editor who can whip out a triple handspring.
I have a few cheerleaders out there I’ve never met. They are people who repost my blog posts or retweet my tweets. They comment on something I write on Facebook or email me notes of encouragement after reading an article I’ve published.
Cheerleaders come in all shapes and sizes. They come with all sorts of email addresses. I have .com, .org, .edu, and .gov cheerleaders. I love them all.
On Monday, I thanked Susan for all she does to help me.
“I don’t do very much,” she said. She told me she doesn’t use Facebook or Twitter. She has an email account and a smart phone, but is not tech savvy. That’s okay. Not everyone can land a backflip.
She meets me for lunch.
She reads my stories.
She shares my joys in writing and prays over my obstacles.
She has a list of people she tells about my forthcoming book and a list of groups she hopes will engage me as a speaker.
She’s a cheerleader.
Writing can be a lonely job. There’s no meeting at the water cooler to commiserate with friends. There’s no annual evaluation by your boss. Without a cheerleading squad, it would be easy to give up.
So this post is to thank all of you who read, share, post, tweet, retweet, promote, and email. But it is also to thank all of you who pray for me, cry with me, talk with me, and share with me.
And call me for lunch.