Today I'm pondering the entire concept of the writer's life. By definition, unless you are working with a co-author, it is a solitary effort. You sit down at your desk, table, bench, etc and pound out the story you want to tell.
But is it really a solo effort? As writers everything around us impacts how and what we write. What we read, what shows we watch, what music we enjoy,the news of the day - all of these build inside to contribute to what we write. Nothing is original, to one aspect or another everything we do will have some elements of having been done before. The ghosts of writers ahead of us march alongside our work.
Another aspect is that of actual interaction with fellow writers- people on various stages of the same path you and I are working our way down.
Some folks are completely without other writer contact (difficult in this day and age of social media over-load). They don't contact other writers in groups, blogs, or websites. Only through the reading of another's published novel will they have another writer in their lives.
Then, at the other end, are the writer-interaction-aholics. These folks are in tons of writers' groups, may have more than one crit group and/or partners/ and probably follow a dozen or so writer-centric blogs.
Neither side is wrong, it's just a matter of finding what works for you. Thinking about it I'd have to say I'm somewhere near the middle with a slight leaning towards the solitary side. I love my writer friends, and hanging around them empowers me and gives me strength. But at the same time too much writer-centric interaction sometimes drains me. I lose track of the writing.
I am a member of a major writing group, and have good writer friends, but am not part of a crit group, nor have a regular crit partner. Right now this is ok, while I'd love to find someone at a similar point in their writing process for a crit partner at some point, I'm not sure if this is the time.
What do you all think? Is writing solitary or not? What is your level of "writer interaction"?
Thanks for coming by!
HI Marie. I'm a solitary writer.... no critique partners, and I really don't give anyone my stuff to read, outside of my agent and editor. I prefer things this way. And my process, sitting here and meeting and dealing with my characters and their issues, keeps me very happy. I like to think the Muse is good company. LOL.ReplyDelete
Happy Friday! See ya soon.
Thanks for coming by and commenting Linda! Yup, I'm probably one notch closer to the "social butterfly" end of the writer spectrum than you- but it's a short notch :).Delete
It's kinda nice to just have it be you, the characters, and your muse in your head, isn't it?
Thanks again for commenting!
Marie, Thanks for this post! I've been thinking about this lately too, as I sent the sequel of my debut novel off to my beta readers, who inconveniently happen to have lives, and hadn't given me instantaneous feedback. When I heard from my first reader yesterday, she was so helpful, and I instantly felt less alone. She said, "That's part of my job, and I really want you to call me when you feel lonely and uncertain." I'm a very extraverted writer, and deeply enjoy the friendships I've developed with other writers and critique partners.ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed the post Amber :). LOL-how dare they have lives! But I completely understand what you mean :). It's hard when you're in the moment to wait for someone else, especially a trusted reader/ friend to get there too. Sounds like you have a great first reader though!Delete
Thanks for coming by and commenting!
Hi Marie, great post! Writing can be a very solitary occupation, but thank god for the internet! I don't belong to any critique groups but I interact reguarly with other writers through forums like Absolute Write. I also get a great deal of excellent advice and info from author blogs. I think I'd go a bit stir-crazy without this communication.ReplyDelete
Thank you Francene :)- I shudder to think of what this little adventure of the literary sort would be like without the internet!Delete
I've been meaning to poke my nose into Absolute Write a bit more, maybe I will now.
Thanks for coming by and commenting!
I'd like to think I was halfway, too. Tried going it alone, didn't work. I'm a playwrite at heart so I like to collaborate. I'm a natural born introvert, so I have to work on my social life as if a recreation director at a summer camp. So far, it's been working. For me, it takes a village.ReplyDelete
Thanks for coming by Susan- I like the idea of it taking a village :)ReplyDelete
Marie Andreas- at work can't log onto blogger ;)