Monday, May 28, 2012

The Social Writer

This year I'm partcipating in Camp Nanowrimo! Yay for me! I'm using the challenge to complete the rewrite (or at least make major headway) of Tails.

 Yay! Camper Badge.
Getting ready for camp has reminded me of something I really enjoy as a writer - being social.

Once upon a time, writers were these mythical creatures who carried moleskin notebooks, smoked lots of cigarettes, and hid in dark corners of the world to practice their craft. They talked about the lonely nights of being a writer that non-writers just couldn't understand. It almost seemed as if socializing with other writers would ruin their craft.

Then, something changed. Social media developed and suddenly writers were connecting in more ways then ever. Connecting with readers, agents, publisher, and other writers.

So just maybe, this solitary writing thing is just a myth.

I have always been a social writer. In fact, my NOCCA writing teacher made a comment to me about it. She commented, neither negative nor positive but rather curiously, on how much I interacted with the other students, and how my interaction build a sort of camaraderie. We smiled together, chatted, and met outside of class. Our noses weren't stuck in books or notebooks, but rather talking and observing each other. All of us did just as well as previous classes who secluded themselves.

Perhaps that's why I fell in love with Nanowrimo - I felt connected again.

Having a writing friends is essential to my process. I take comfort in knowing that others are going through the same issues as me. Writer's block? Let's lament over cocktails. Self-pub or traditional pub? Let's debate the pros and cons over coffee. Celebrating finishing that chapter? Doughnuts and critique. Keeping me on track? Peer pressue works better than deadlines.

Throughout collage and when I got back into writing, I did it alone. I had no one to share ideas with or talk plot points out. (My husband often stands proxy, but he is not a writer. Answering if I should use 1st person or 3rd is just something he answers with a blank look.) It was hard. It was lonely. I felt very frustrated.

Then in 2010, I got out of my house and went to a Nanowrimo write-in. In less than two years, I have made some solid friends - friends who won't stare at my clueless when I talk about POVs. Friends that I go to the movies with. Friends that I will ask to critique something when I finally get to that point. It's these people who get me through the tough times. That keep me from giving up. I know that I wouldn't be where I am now without them.

Writing does not have to be a solitary thing (It can be, if that's how you roll.). There are tons of ways to connect: twitter, blogs, Nanowrimo, or local writer's groups. Find one that works for you.

Speaking of connecting, I'll be cross blogging over at the Cabin of the Good Blog - my Camp Nanowrimo Cabin Blog. Check out my specifically Camp vlogs over there.

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