I’ve learned why authors have an acknowledgement page in their books. We need the expertise and advice of others in order to write effectively. I depend on my husband to encourage me when I feel thwarted by writer’s block or indecision about what topic to tackle next. He believes in my ability to write. That doesn’t mean he thinks every word or sentence is perfect. Yes, I take constructive criticism from him too.
I recently conducted interviews with an art therapist and a music therapist. I was thrilled they were willing to grant me the time and share their knowledge with me. I’m contemplating using both professions in a future book. I didn’t know how to find either kind of therapist, but the universe aligned itself, or something like that. I met a traditional therapist on a boat outing with a group on a river. She was part of the weekend crew. I mentioned I was a writer and thinking ahead to a sequel of my current novel. I asked her if she knew an art therapist. She said she did and would get permission to give me contact information. Help in an unusual place. A friend put me in touch with a music therapist.
Research is an important part of writing. Even if an author knows the subject well, the need for documentation still remains. I endeavor to find reliable sources. I either print the information or store it on my computer for future reference.
There is, of course, the need for a critique group, a professional editor who can look at the novel as a whole and relay in writing what the book needs. The ongoing need for help keeps me humble. I am reminded I don’t write in isolation. I need the help of other professionals.