Sharing the Pain

I know I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again:  “Writing is not a solitary occupation”.  I know that at face value, that statement seems absolutely false, but if I’ve learned one thing since I began contributing to this site, it is that the more people you interact with as a writer, the better your writing seems to get…  and the more fulfillment you begin to feel.

When I did Nanowrimo, some of my best writing happened when I was online chatting with some of my peers.  We would have word wars, racing each other to see who could write the most in a short period of time.  Doesn’t sound so exciting maybe, but the really fun thing was seeing everyone getting motivated and sharing in each other’s success.

When you think of it in those terms, perhaps writing starts to become more of a shared activity.  We, as writers, soon begin to form a community so to speak.

Whenever I doubt that, I start looking at what many of the great writers have done.  For example, Stephen King is a member of an all-writer rock band.  He and his fellow writers get together from time-to-time to jam and even do the occasional concert.

Philip Jose’ Farmer, Robert Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard and several others used to gather quite frequently to smoke cigars, drink brandy and argue about their many story ideas and life in general.  I don’t believe that they ever spent much time critiquing each other’s work, but it would be difficult to imagine a more prestigious group of Science Fiction writers.  Each was a success in his own right, but still they sought each other out?

Closer to home, Aaron, Sean and several others (including myself) have enjoyed many hours together, sharing beers, stories and having impromptu brainstorming sessions.  One of these days we’ll actually record some of the ideas that come out of them; it’s amazing what several different perspectives can bring to the table.  I now understand why television writers often work in teams of three or more.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to visit some of our reader’s personal sites.  It’s pretty uplifting for me to see that many of you who visit are successful writers in your own right.  If you think I have something worth reading, there’s plenty of hope for me yet.

All of the above examples proves my point.  We as writers cannot work in a vacuum.  And every time one of you comments on one of my blogs, I feel that sense of community all over again and it inspires me to write more.

We all know that writing is hard… well those of us who have ever tried to put an idea down that seems so very clear in our minds but seems flat and lifeless on paper know that writing is hard.  It really helps to know that there are others like us who understand and will be there to listen, and critique and motivate.

I won’t say anything too corny, like you “are the wind beneath my wings”, but I will say that your comments give me energy… and purpose.  For that I thank you. …And keep ’em coming.


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