Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lonely or Lovely?

Most say writing is a lonely endeavor (say that to my cat), but does it have to be? It's true that only your hands can type your story but what about the rest of the process? 

No one is great at everything, even in publishing. 
You might be a master of dialogue but fall a little short on scenery or that quiet writer in the corner of the conference might be a master of characterization. Conceptual edits are my love but the nitty gritty of punctuation are nails on the chalkboard.

How do can we, in the lonely field of writing, weave our strengths with others?

Take Inventory
What are your strengths and weaknesses (be brutally honest)?
If you're not sure what you've conquered and what you've neglected, join a critique group or submit to contests. Listen to the feedback, especially the repetitive suggestions.

Go Fishing
How do we find authors who have mastered your weaknesses?
Join a local writers group, extend your hand to other writers at conferences, join online writers short, reach out. And ask for help. There's no shame in humble requests.

Lonely writing is not. There's a bond that happens between authors as we share the most intimate thoughts with each other. Because of my literary journey, I've secured lifelong friends. Strangers have become family as ideas blossom and prejudices fall away. 

And that, my fellow writers, is how we change the world, a few words at a time.


Joan Raymond said...

Great suggestions Clarissa!

While what we do is a solitary practice, we must be part of a writing community for continued encouragement and writer fellowship.

Foothill Writer said...

Very well stated Clarissa. Writing sure can be. Part of the problem in many writers though, seems to be they are more comfortable alone in their corner, banging on a keyboard, and not "having" to interact with others, especially others who might criticize that which they have so lovingly created.

I'm a gregarious person, but I had a real problem with trying to accept the help. I joined a critique group and was very put off (at first at least) at the constructive comments. It took a little "getting used to" to be able to gladly accept good critique.

I've been a member of my local (Porterville) critique group for over 7 years, and most thoroughly enjoy when I get good suggestions. And I've learned I can either take or reject their suggestions.

Nice comments Clarissa. Thanks.