Writing is a solitary occupation.
We spend long hours alone, apparently permanently attached to our computer’s umbilical cord. But we need that alone time, without interruptions, to concentrate and focus on our work.
And we’re perfectly happy spending all that time alone, in our created worlds and with our characters. In fact, sometimes we kick and scream a little at being dragged away.
I think it’s safe to say that most writers are a self-reliant lot.
Being a writer today means that besides writing the book, we are expected to build our own platform, set up venues to promote our books, and do our own marketing.
But this last weekend, while attending the Southern California Writers Conference, I was once again reminded why it’s so important to make time to be with our writing community.
We need to remember that although we work alone, we are not alone.
When we take the time to connect with other writers we are reminded that we all share the same challenges and frustrations…the same fears and self-doubts. Who else can know us, like another writer? We can take heart in that fact, and know that we can reach out to another writer for support and understanding.
We should take a moment to celebrate our triumphs. Too often we do not properly acknowledge our own achievements, or share them with others. It IS a big deal and when we don’t share it with our writing community we lose an opportunity to give hope to others, that success is possible for them as well.
We need to step away from our worlds long enough to hear what others are writing. It’s far too easy to fall into this trap. After all, we have to scrounge and scrape for every precious moment to work on our projects, right? But when we isolate ourselves from other writers, and other writing, we run the risk of falling out of touch with the world and our readers. Hearing another writer’s perspective may help us discover a solution to a problem we’ve long struggled to solve on our own.
We need to stop and fill the creative well once in a while and be inspired by others and the written word. Only then can we truly elevate our writing beyond what we ever dreamed we could accomplish.
This past weekend reminded me that I have, for too long, stayed isolated in my writing cave—too far removed from the very writers who have inspired me, supported me and encouraged me to keep going and never give up.
So here’s a “Thank You” to each and every one of you. I love you all.
“Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free.
Drink and be filled up.”