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.