I’ve always thought that the idea of writing being a completely solitary lifestyle was a myth. The act of writing is solitary, not the life of a writer. Especially a fiction writer. For those of us that have the characters in our heads all the time, we wish we were alone sometimes. I have times in the middle of the night where I’m trying to relax and then my characters start having fights. It’s even worse when I’m editing because I hear them say, “Hey, I changed my mind. My house didn’t burn down after all.” Being the pushover that I am, I sometimes just let my characters run rampant with my story.
Outside of our own insanity, a writer has their support system. Whether it be your significant other, your best friend, or your writing group you have a support system in place. These are the people you go to when you are having a hard time with a plot point, or you need someone to pour you a glass a wine (or handing you a beer. For those under the drinking age, a soda of your choice.) while they are calmly pointing out your plot holes and inconsistent characters when you’re freaking out about it anyway.
People that have been published aren’t alone. Normally they have an editor that they respond well to and helps them find the little things in their work. They have their literary agent, who is meant to help their work become a success.
Many writers have a writing partner. That one person who you share your work with and they share their work with you. Together you help each other become better writers.
The idea of the lonely writer is as much a romanticized stereotype as is the idea of a writer being a brooding alcoholic. Okay, so the brooding thing does happen. The alcoholism…..not so much. Even though my friends are beginning to recommend it.
For myself, I have you. My readers. I also have my boyfriend who is my live-in plot hole finder. Without him, my work would probably make no sense at all. I also have my accountability writing group, who make sure that I’m writing daily. I also have some writing friends that I vent to when my boyfriend isn’t really able to help me with it. All of this support keeps me from feeling alone as a writer. Feeling alone as a person is a completely different story.
Just like I said in the beginning. The writer lifestyle doesn’t have to be a lonely one, unless you just want to write and be all secretive about it. Only in the act of writing are you on your own.
[Update: This post has also been posted on Indie Book Week as a Guest Post! *Happy Dance*]
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