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No writer is an island

though we’d like to think so.

Sure, we sit down alone at the computer (not counting your characters, of course, which talk to you, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic!) but as solitary as writing is, it’s just as important to surround yourself with people who get you. Who support you. Who think your writing is brilliant…and think it sometimes needs a little work.

Coming offΒ  Nationals where I spent a lot of time with other writers, to entering the world of Twitter (thanks, Keri!), to visitng with my CP, to finally attending local chapter meetings – all these things balance me as a writer. And that’s important.

Because writing can be a lonely business just like reading can. And I am perfectly content to lose myself in a book or lose myself in my writing. But I like it just as well to talk about the book or talk about writing. And often times I berate myself for doing the latter. But it’s a good thing.

I think about this as I approach organizing a Fall Writing Retreat for my chapter. My first inclination is to line out a schedule of events with speakers, workshops, etc., because I want people who attend to feel as if they accomplished something relevant to their writing. You know, as in get your money’s worth. Because that’s what I’ve always been told. Get your money’s worth.

But then when I think about it, how great is it just to be around writers? Just to hang with them? It’s good. I know. Keri (blog creator extraordinare) came for a visit. We didn’t talk about writing that much. Oh, a little here and there, but not much. We didn’t have to because just hanging out was good enough. Just her saying, “That makes sense” when I asked her about a plot point was enough to get me excited about writing again. And it’s great to have friends from that corner of my world, the corner that nobody gets to really go to but me.

And, I’m used to corners. I misbehaved a lot as a kid πŸ™‚

So as we explore this week’s unplanned theme of keeping in touch whether by texting or facebooking or Tweeting, think about the quality time you spend with your writing friends whether it’s on a loop or face to face.Β  What does it bring to you?

Honestly, I can’t wait until tomorrow. I get to go back to Thursday lunches with my writing lunch bunch. Yippee!


15 Responses

  1. Amy,

    It was nice meeting you in DC. And this is a great post. I’m a homebody myself, content to stay silent all day. But get me around other writers and i’m a chatter box.

    Have a great day.


  2. Right on, Amy. No one gets a writer but another writer. Hard to explain to anyone else how a character gets away from you, takes control, or goes off on a tangent of their own. And, sometimes, you need to talk about it without the inevitable “but you created them. Aren’t you in control?”

    Well, yeah, until they start to breathe, and that’s what we want them to do because if they don’t live for us, they can’t live for the reader. Simple, huh? But only another writer gets it.

    Let’s face it, without each other, we’d just be a bunch of women wearing white straitjackets!

  3. I loved meeting you, too, Autumn. My RS2 gang has really inspired me and I feel blessed to be able to hang with you guys.

    And, I’m pretty much a chatterbox anyway – that’s how I ended up in the corner πŸ™‚

  4. Gwynlyn –

    Too right. I have to have that contact with other writers. Never was a loner. Definitely more of a cheerleader. I needed my posse. I suspect you’re the same way. Probably head cheerleader, weren’t you? πŸ™‚

    And, if all my other normal friends knew I talked to characters, well, let’s just say, they probably wouldn’t let me around their children.

    And I don’t mean to insinuate writers aren’t “normal.” Well, I guess we aren’t.

  5. Hi, Amy,

    great post! When I went to my first writer’s meeting longer ago than I’d like to admit, after being the oddball in my “real” family, I finally found a place where I belonged. And now with the internet, I’m never not connected, great feeling!

    Do hope to meet you and the other RS2 sistahs soon!

  6. You couldn’t be more right, Amy. It makes such a huge difference to talk to people who just ‘get it’. πŸ™‚

  7. Amy with my boy destroying your house every few minutes (or dropping toys in your husband’s guitar, did we get all those out??), we didn’t have a whole lot of time for chatter.

    Connecting with other writers, or even heavy readers, is liking finding a person that gets that part of you. The husband gets me, he’s supportive, but he doesn’t get how I can sit a computer a write like i do. I have an 80K wip printed off and I’m going through it. he looked at it and asked what the–well, the wording isn’t important. I posted a pic on twitter and other writers immediately responded and knew what it was and was giving their support.

  8. Diana –

    You are right. I was so nervous about my first chapter meeting, but at the same time, I felt so comfortable. Like my kinda people. Finally.

  9. Vivi – I loved visiting with you at Nationals. You are definitely one who “gets” it.

    And, Keri, I got everything out of the guitar. And who can carry on a serious conversation with a toddler around? We’ll get down to some serious writer talk at the retreat. No kids. No husbands. Just writers and booze πŸ™‚

    Hey, I get my best ideas from tequila!

  10. You bring the Jose, I’ll bring the rum!

  11. You got it, sister!

  12. It was fun seeing you at Nationals, Amy, and yes, of course I know exactly what you’re talking about. Connection is so important! Of course writing is as well, and there are times when I wonder if I’m spending more time connecting one way or another than writing . . . oh well.

    But a retreat with writers and booze sounds right down my alley. Too bad you all live in a far distant part of the country!

  13. Sorry I couldn’t get here yesterday, Amy. I was having a minor medical procedure that left me dopey all night (not that I’m not a little dopey normally) πŸ™‚

    One of the things I love about conferences is being surrounded by people who GET me.

  14. I love it when I get together with my writer friends, even if we just visit. There’s such a bond with knowing without having to say what we all go through.

    I’ve done both types of retreats with my chapter. And although the one where we brought in a big name speaker and one where it was a writing retreat with just us.

    Both were great. The named speaker brought a ton more of our members than the writing retreat only, but it was still one of my favorites. For those who went you felt like you got to know each other better. Laughter, food, even a movie on Saturday night (we used one of the hotel rooms and brought our own screen and infocus) was filled with so much fun.

    So whichever you choose you’ll have a great time. πŸ™‚

  15. Great post, Amy! A friend of mine says meeting up with writer friends at conferences and such is like “running with the pack.” You kind of fall in with your old pals, share horror stories, triumphs and advice. And the great thing is they understand what a rollercoaster the writing life is.

    Good luck with organising the writers retreat.

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