The Restless and Ranting Writer Part II

I just needed a little push out the door...

I just needed a little push out the door…

Writing really is an ironic task. We want to tell stories and connect to people’s lives but the process of doing so usually means working alone. Without speaking we create words and conversations, describe scenes and journeys, and if we’re lucky, explain a little piece of the human condition. Blogging is one of the great oxymorons: we connect to the world socially without ever leaving our writing place. No wonder writers can become such maladroit companions.

Writing may be a solitary task, but writers need community. I tweeted that out last week after I realized that what was making me so frustrated was the solitude I had confined myself to. Even Bilbo had to step out of his shady hobbit hole to move his life into a new adventure.  Sure, I’ve shared in brief writing communities-too expensive conventions filled with promises from some in the publishing world, homegrown critique groups that gave way to life. I’d had little success because I didn’t venture much.   I’d like to make it to that dragon horde of success but first I needed a little push out of the door of my own dusty hovel.

After digitally lamenting my fate, a writer friend reminded me by her own efforts that actively seeking community makes a difference. Despite the fog of media, there are still ways to make connections and at times meet face to face. My search-engine fires stoked, I found a local writer’s group to meet up with and ventured out. I felt like I’d just taken a gulp of air after swimming laps underwater in the pool. I wondered where I’d been all my life. Will it cost money? A little. Take time? You bet. Is it one of the best things I’ve done for myself since I can’t remember when? Yes times one thousand.

Those folks in the middle ages had the right idea. If you worked a craft, you belonged to a guild.   You met with others to hone your craft, share ideas, swap success stories, cry about failures, and spur each other to keep on keeping on (they probably said “thou must keepeth oneth” though). It’s why we geeks trek to conventions-to meet with others of like minds (and costumes). If I’m willing to do that, what was holding me back from the one craft I’ve always clung to for identity? I’m not sure. But I am glad that I decided to stop along the way of my journey to get published and find some travelers to keep me company. I’m sure it’ll make the road seem shorter now.

 

P.S. If you want to follow me on Twitter, find me @CHthewriter.

P.S.S. Shout out to my hubby who was a great editor for this post!

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