Writers need several things to be successful: imagination, talent, and drive being core ones. But they also need balance between their professional writing lives and their personal ones, and they need essential people they can depend on and who are supportive of them and their writing needs.
Mega published writer Barbara Wallace, in her June RWA article, “Seven Habits of Effective Authors” makes the case that writers need balance between their two worlds: the writing one and the non-writing, or personal, one. We all work. Whether it is inside the home or out of it, writing full-time or part-time. But we can’t write/work 24/7. We would be zombies if we didn’t get away from the “work” aspect for a while. Why do you think employers give vacation days to employees? They know you shouldn’t be sitting at a job all day every day without a break. You need a balance between the two. Being with family and friends and enjoying the time spent together, doing things and relaxing, strikes a good balance between the solitary work of writing and this need for social interaction.
Along with balance comes support. Writers must cultivate support on many levels and along many different avenues. Having a supportive family who leaves you alone while you work at your writing is great; it’s a gift, actually. Anyone who can do the laundry for me to allow me an extra couple hours of writing time is a blessed person in my eyes. But your friends and critique partners are solid support systems as well. They will listen, with friendly and critical ears, to your ideas, plot problems, deadline needs, etc. and are excellent sounding boards. They can offer advice, questions for clarification, and just point out inconsistencies in your writing that you may not have seen. And everyone needs a good old fashioned bitch session every now and again, and who better than your girlfriends to join you? Hopefully, armed with chocolate and adult beverages!
Writing is a solitary endeavor, even when you have a writing partner. Being able to balance your life and have good, solid support systems surrounding you, are very good ways for you to be more effective in your writing.