As I packed up my 'how to' sheets for the bookstore cash register, I realized how important it is to have a few good sounding boards. I have loads of people I chat with on a daily basis. Very few make it up to the level where I would weigh their advice or input with a discerning eye. This same phenomena happens in critique groups. No matter what the group's size, one or two folks will stand out to you as sources of quality feedback. Treasure those folks. They make the journey more tolerable.
I have a dear, dear friend from my freshman year of college. We've been through a variety of ups and downs as we've married, had babies, raised children, coped with job changes, moves etc. She is a wonderful sounding board. The only person who knows me better is my husband.
But, she isn't my writing sounding board. I guess that is the other piece in the puzzle. I have sounding boards for different facets of my life. I'd think most people do. It is pretty easy to take those people for granted. They are there for us, every day in some fashion. They can pick us up when we need it. They can pull us back to earth when required. Don't take that ability for granted.
I'm off today to meet with the gal who is going to be my bookstore sounding board. She's engaged the store, she sees long range, she can read a P&P manual and understand the importance of laying solid groundwork.
Sometimes we have to search out sounding boards. Sometimes they fall in our laps. I've had both happen, but either way, the important thing is to realize how valuable a fresh opinion and perspective can be to our journey.