I Used to Think…

I used to think that writing was a solitary activity; hours upon hours of working alone, complexion becoming pale from the lack of direct sunlight.

I’m sure that is true of some writers, It was my life for the longest time too. Then something changed.

I discovered the value of community. It all began with a blog site called “StartingWriteNow” where I shared my thoughts on writing with four other friends, then moved to NaNoWriMo and the late night write-ins. I found others who loved to write as much as I did. I was able to bounce ideas off friends who also were writers and readers. I became part of something much larger than myself and it was good indeed.

Having all those new and old friends as part of my writing only made me want to meet more people. I started podcasting and I used social media more and more. I even made the pilgrimage to Balticon to meet many of my online friends.

My writing and how I felt about it continued to improve and I felt more and more confident in my own writing abilities. I also lost that feeling of solitude.

Then, something truly amazing happened: I got even more involved in the community and my work began to sell. I sold my first, then second and third short stories. I got a contract for one of my books. Then I began working on projects with others in the community.

That was when my own writing self-worth really began to shine. I knew I could do great things with my friends helping me along the way.

And just the other night, members of my new writing community stepped forth and we talked about some truly outstanding ideas. Things that I know will take me toward that next step in my writing life. Not only am I collaborating from a writing perspective, but in many other ways: marketing, publishing, sales. It is truly amazing.

And all because I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I reached out to people who shared my own passion for writing and brought them into my life. It wasn’t a fast process, but then, anything worth doing usually takes time. I have a galaxy of friends that I know I can depend on and it is good. It has made this solitary writing life one of infinite riches and I feel truly blessed for it.

Thank you to all of you who are part of that writing life of mine whether you are fellow writers, readers of my work or listeners of my podcasts or even just friends on one of the myriad of social networks. Thank you. You have all made this part of my journey more rewarding than you can know.



  1. Michell, I know what you mean about stepping out of your confort zone! I an so nervous about beginning to “promote” myself that I sometimes get a little overwhelmed. So far, in creating my website, I have found it very difficult to write my bio. Maybe I can find the strength! 🙂

    BTW….I love you podcast and reading your posts! Good luck with all of your writing endeavors and I look forward to reading! (and listening!)

  2. I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying the podcast and the site. I’m finally going to be releasing my first book this month if everything falls into place and the stars align (fingers crossed).

    Promoting yourself can be pretty tricky. Unless you are one of those people who loves themselves and can’t stand talking about anyone but them, it comes with difficulty. I’m one of those people who prefers to cheer for others over me so it was a challenge when I started too. I still think I’m overly subtle, but that’s really the only way I can do the self-promotion and feel good about it. Maybe that will change and maybe it won’t.

    When I first started, I did it in a bit of a sneaky way. If I met someone new and they asked me about myself, I would lead with the fact that I’m a writer. Since almost everyone I’ve ever met has dreamed of writing a book at one time or another, it was a great way to get the conversation going. I still use that tactic to this day (successfully, I think). I also try really hard not to shill myself. That is a hard line to toe.

    The bio is interesting. I tend to be fairly self-effacing so when it came to writing the bio, I outlined the information that I thought was important to share and then wrote it in a fun, maybe even goofy way. That has found its way into my Twitter profile too. Bio’s don’t have to be formal or serious. In fact, some of the ones I’ve had the most difficulty with were both of those things.

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