The Lonely Writing Life
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. ~Ernest Hemmingway
Or not. Many writers live in metropolitan areas allowing them plenty of access to fellow writers, writing associations, writing-oriented activities and classes.
But I'm not one of them, so Hemmingway's sentiments resonate with me.
Thankfully, I've got Internet. I've got my email/IM crit partners and my loops and my online courses. I've also got supportive family, interested friends and a flexible schedule which allows me time to devote to my writing.
For a brief moment in time, I had a writing group of women who focused on fiction. Shortly after I joined, the group disbanded (you think that was a sign?) and I was, once again, left adrift.
I'm a pretty introverted person. I generally like my own company, prefer a couple good friends to a crowd, rather stay in than go out, choose email over talking on the phone. But lately, the loneliness that comes from being my own number one fan, critic, reviewer, editor, brainstormer and supporter, has crept in. I miss the touchy-feelyness of personal contact with other writers, writers who have walked the same path and seek the same expression -- specifically other romance writers.
So, I did it. I got my list from RWA and I sent out my letters with a questionnaire to see what level of interest I could garner from 2 hrs in three directions--north, south and east.
I was surprised when I got several immediate positive responses from those who live so far away. Evidently, I'm not the only one who feels lonely now and then. The women who replied stated similar feelings of isolation and showed a contagious enthusiasm for the opportunity to interact with other romance writers.
I'm encouraged. The anticipation of cultivating a supportive writers group has my mind spinning in new ways. The thought of writing and writing related discussions and classes and seminars once again appear as opportunities instead of their recent relegation to the category of chores.
And in spite of the challenges, I agree with Gustave Flaubert who said, "Writing is a lonely life, but the only life worth living."
Do you get writer's loneliness? If no, why not? If yes, what do you do about it? Have you found that the loneliness can affect your writing--motivation, production, love of the craft?
Labels: Joan's posts