… like another writer.
Everyone knows that writing is a lonely business, a solitary pursuit that is not for those who need other people around them.
I don’t mind being alone with my computer or notepad – I quite like my own company. But some sort of evolutionary process has made us humans into social beings who, occasionally, need interaction with like-minded people.
And ‘like-minded’ can be the difficult bit. I have a lovely family but they are not writers and have no interest in the literary world, bar a library book to read before bed. So it’s difficult to share with them the ups and downs of a writer’s life.
I don’t tell my husband about every rejection I receive or every competition in which I fail to even make the short-list. He’d probably ask me why I was bothering to write anything at all. But, to justify the time I spend at the keyboard, I do tell him in great detail about every success, however tiny. But that doesn’t count as an interaction with a like-minded person.
That’s why it’s so liberating when I get to meet up with another writer, especially one who shares the same interests as me. How good it is to talk to someone who knows the difference between a story for People’s Friend and one for Take a Break. How nice it is to see the sympathy in someone’s eyes when you tell them about the rejection of a story that you were sure had been absolutely perfect for your chosen market. And how great to share news of a success!
And it’s absolutely wonderful to talk to someone who doesn’t see writing as your little ‘eccentricity’ that you are indulging in now that the children are almost grown-up.
I’m very lucky in having a great writing buddy in Helen. Last week we had our quarterly catch-up and target-setting. Back home I’m thinking I was too ambitious in my targets – probably caused by the over-enthusiasm generated by talking to another writer. But never mind – it will do me good to aim high.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a virtual friend in person for the first time. I got to know Sharon via this blog and discovered she lived in the same town where I was brought up. So last time I was in the area we met for coffee. Sharon runs Fiction Addiction – an online critique group for womag writers. It was good to put a face to a name and share the trials and tribulations of trying to get published!
So how do you feed the need to share the frustrations and joys of writing? Are you lucky enough to have a like-minded partner or maybe you let off steam on a writers’ forum?