Help! I’m a Writer

So often people describe writing as a solitary endeavor. I have never agreed with this. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If a writer’s life is a solitary one, then it is by choice.

By design, writers are surrounded by others who are not only interested in their work, but eager for it. The world is filled with writers who crave support and encouragement. What they do [write] is for the masses. The stories and books are intended to be read and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of readers.

All that said, as writers, we also tend to let our insecurities get the better of us. We make our existence solitary by sequestering ourselves to avoid the shame of rejection. We are, also by design, a neurotic bunch.

In most cases, this does more harm than good. When we shut ourselves off from our peers, we miss out on many opportunities as well as crucial education that can possibly make us better writers and more successful authors.

We constantly hear about the value and importance of critique groups. Of course they have their place, but what about support. This is a whole different can of beans. Support, in my opinion, is far more important than the critique group, because if you don’t feel good about what you do, you probably can’t do it good…well.

Bottom line, before you tuck yourself away in your office, alcove, or other small hidey hole to become the next great American novel, find a few friendly writers you can spend a little time with and get things off your chest. Make sure that you can all talk shop, talk gardening, talk whatever you want, even bitching about the family.

I firmly believe whining is a necessity in life, as long as it has a specific purpose and is done in a specific environment.  😛


10 responses to “Help! I’m a Writer

  1. Hi Karen,
    Noticed your post on MMA this morning and thought it interesting what you said about not blogging exclusively on writing. I first started blogging on weight issues because I’ve been plagued with them all my life, then decided to switch to writing. Seemed rather self indulgent to blog about my writing although I do adv. my book on the site in a badge. (also the new one)
    Have a short story there, too, but I’ve only heard from one person who read it and let me know. Just yesterday he sent out a great tweet that he loved it. Really made my day!
    Still working on SNT and have two “steps” to go on the blog before I have you do a guest post. I’m going to think of a clever headline for it, that will introduce it as how to get that polished product out there. Something like that. I’ve learned that the hard way as you know! And from many ebooks I’ve picked up, others have yet to learn. There is a great need for people like you to help us understand that and how to avoid having our work discarded at amateurish.


  2. There’s nothing like a good ‘vent’ to clear the air!

    . . . do you suppose you could consider changing the background on your blog? It’s a bit hard on the eyes, and all the good stuff kinda disappears.

    • I wish venting were so easy. You would think that we could bounce things off each other and clear our chests without fear of being chastised or told we’re wrong for how we feel.

      I am on a list right now that has such potential but every time someone goes against the main clique they either get censored or ripped to shreds. It does not make for comfortable posting.

      And for you, I will look at other themes, as soon as WP lets me into my dashboard. sigh.

  3. eleanorsullivan

    The difference today is technology. Twenty years ago we would have read your blog as a column in a newsletter or magazine. You might have had an email address that someone could use to reach you. Of course, you mostly sold your books in bookstore so we may have met if we were both in the same city at the same time. Conventions, too, offered opportunities for authors to meet. Now we have all of these methods. Nice.

    • I loved going to conferences because of the potential to talk to other writers face to face, but things have become so divided, everyone feels the need to take sides about things that don’t need to be one or the other. We all have opinions and our own ideas, and that should be okay to talk about!

  4. Gteat post and I heartily agree. Without the people I have met on Facebook and Twitter and on blogs I might still be wandering in the wilderness. We should stick together in solidarity no matter the differences of viewpoints. I need people to tell me to get to work and slap me and tell me I need to grow up. Lol. Still a child in this 60 year old carcass . I will be your friend for as long as you will have me.

  5. That’s very true, I like connecting with other writers and readers.

    • That’s the other thing that is so important. Readers. Of course we don’t want to vent all over them about the internal workings of the business, but how can we write for the readers if we don’t talk to them and find out what they want to read?

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