Monday, January 25, 2010

There's no WE in Writer

OK, so the title of this blog entry is not entirely true. There is a WE in Writer ... it's just that the letters are spaced apart a bit.

Kind of like we are as writers.

We all know that writing is a solitary profession. Which is good and bad. Good, because we are left alone to get our work done. And being left alone is essential, since normal people don't quite get the whole imaginary conversation thing most of us have going on with our characters. But the bad side of our solitary confinement is that there's no one to hold us accountable. How nice it would be if the laundry pile would cry out "don't touch me until that chapter is done!" instead of "wash me...wash me...wash me..."

Sigh...

Most writers enjoy being along. Let's face it: it's pretty easy to get along with ourselves! The problem comes when we're referred to as "the creepy neighbor who never leaves her house." Believe it or not, a neighbor once asked my husband if I existed because the neighbor never saw me. It's true! Hubby responded by saying I do exist but prefer to live in my own little world (also true!)

God created each one of us for fellowship. And, yes, that includes writers. The internet, of course, provides plenty of ways for us to connect. With email, Facebook, Twitter, and innumerable writers' forums, communicating with other writers is, for most of us, a daily occurrence. But I know I'm not the only writer sometimes tempted to hide behind a computer screen all day typing statuses and comments. Although there's certainly nothing wrong (and everything fun) about connecting online, it's just not the same as that human connection we were created for.

Personally, I've found that the longer I go without tangible writer contact, the more depressed I become. Yes, I have my family, but honestly, I don't talk much writing with them. I got tired of the glazed-eye and blank look responses. What's better than sitting down with a writer friend who "gets you?" Whose eyes sparkle at the mention of word counts and plot lines. Who understands what you're talking about when you say things like "POV", "character development", "and "flow."

There are several ways you can break out of Laptop Land long enough to physically connect with other writers. You can even utilize the internet to do it.
  • Put out a call on Facebook, Twitter, or a writers forum for other writers in your area so you can start a local writing group.
  • Surf the web for established writing groups. One site to try is www.meetup.com, which provides links to all sorts of local groups, writing included.
  • Attend a book signing, poetry reading, or book club, where you can meet fellow readers and creative people with the same interests as you.
  • If finances allow, attend a writers conference and connect that way.
  • Don't be shy about telling people you're a writer. You never know when new friendships will emerge.
  • Ask God to bring writers into your life. Or, at least, people who will encourage and motivate you - in person. Who can give you a real hug when you get that rejection or land that contract.
While there is an "I" smack dab in the middle of "Write", you can't spell the word without WE.

5 comments:

Kim Russell said...

Lynda: This is a really good reminder for those that call ourselves writers. I tend to be a loner anyway and since I've been writing, it has gotten worse! I do share with the fam but I hear ya: they don't get me and now they get me even less. I'm becoming braver about telling people that I write--it's risky! Thanks for sharing.

Maria I. Morgan said...

So true! It is so easy to get totally absorbed in bloggy-world, that I forget to interact with the real people in my life! Love your suggestion to 'ask God to bring writers into your life.' Great post! God bless!

Morgan St. James said...

For me, there is a WE in writing, although I write stories, books and columns on my own as well. I guess one way to describe me is "writes well with others."

I co-author Silver Sisters Mysteries with my real life sister Phyllice Bradner, am writing a government fiasco comedy/caper with a former co-worker, and a book about murdering the English language with an author friend. I belong to MANY writers groups...networking and common interests.

I love that I'm able to balance it all, because in the end, writing can be very solitary and as a stereotype "A"-type, I've taken the steps to be not only productive solo and have lots of interaction with others.

Check out my columns on www.perpetualprose.com, www.examiner.com, and my books and stories at Amazon or www.silversistersmysteries.com

MORGAN ST. JAMES
www.morganstjames-author.com

Oh, yes, I'm wrote my two new books DEVIL'S DANCE and THE DEVIL'S DUE under the pen name Arliss Adams...out in a few months.

Ane Mulligan said...

You are SOOO right. I couldn't do without my CPs Gina and Jessica. We think of ourselves as a cord of three strands. :)

Julie Arduini.com: The Surrendered Scribe said...

So true. I am teased when I attend meetings that I am actually out with real people and I know I need to work on that part of my life. It's so easy to stay with my little laptop and forget the need to interact with others outside the laptop. Thanks Lynda!