Good morning, gentle readers. Today, I'm going to natter on about community.
This past weekend, I drove to Florida and met an old friend and a fellow writer. We spent two days sitting around, sipping cool drinks, watching the world and talking about writing.
It may not sound like Mardi Gras to some of you, but it was definitely fun for us.
As writers, we tend to isolate ourselves. We live in our heads a lot. Sometimes too much. As the saying goes, "Don't worry about talking to yourself. Worry when you start answering yourself and the answers surprise you!"
I think this is very sound advice.
In a previous post, I expressed my dislike of writing groups. That still holds true, but I also believe its important to have other writers to talk with.
What we do can be lonely, and nonwriters often don't get it. I tried once to explain a problem I was having with a story to a nonwriter friend. As I rambled on about the frustration of keeping the plot moving without compromising the protagonist, I saw my friend get a glazed look in her eyes.
"I'm boring you to death, aren't I?" I said.
"No!" she protested. "Not at all!"
"Oh. Really? Good! You see. . . ."
Then there was a friend-shaped hole left in the air, as my friend ran away from me.
To avoid experiences like this, it's a good idea to find a writing community. You can jabber on about writing and truth, plot arcs and second-person narrative with people who will totally get you. It will give you an outlet, to vent or commiserate, and your nonwriter friends will probably stop cringing every time they see you.
If you live in the middle of nowhere, and there aren't any writer-types in the vicinity, don't worry. There's always the Internet. Find a blog or a message board populated by writers. Join a forum. Trust me when I tell you that aspiring writers are as common on the Internet as dirt.
So look around, fellow writers, and build that community!
You'll be glad that you did.