I found this picture today, attached to an article about the secret lives of writers. If you'd like to read the original, you can find it here, at Edie Melson's blog, "The Write Conversation."
I've always loved meercats. They do silly things. They imitate one another. They panic easily. They scurry around and forget where they were headed. But they also take care of one another. No meercat colony is ever totally unprotected. There is always someone on guard, keeping watch over the rest of the family.
Does any of that sound familiar? It should, if you are one of those lucky writers who belong to a writers' group. We do silly things. We learn from each other by copying whatever works best for other members of the group. We panic easily --over falling sales figures, a horrible pun or gross grammatical error, a misspelled word, a missing page number, a cover image that looks like a blob in the thumbnail version. We get involved with a story and forget where the plot arc was supposed to be headed. But we also take care of one another. We offer shoulders to be cried upon, reviews to be posted, blurbs to lure readers. We tweet and retweet, feature each other's books on Facebook,and pin each other's book covers on our own Pinterest "Favorite Authors" boards. We read, we critique, and we encourage, and we praise. We're human meercats, and I'm proud.
For my fellow Military Writers Society of America members, I want you to look at that picture and imagine those meercats in a desert setting, surrounded by rocks and towering cacti, maybe with a signpost that reads "This way to Phoenix." Do you recognize anyone there? I do! We're silly, we share our ideosyncracies, and we have common failings. We're also lucky to have one another. So, as this year comes to a close, here's a "Thank You, Fellow Meercats" for all the help you have been along the way to publication.