By Marilyn Turk
A writer’s life can be lonely and isolated – separated from the activities of the world outside his or her office.
However, the isolation is a choice dictated by the profession, a condition under which the writer does her best work. Distractions can be devastating derailments to the story the writer is trying to get out of her head. The writer is employer and employee at the same time, setting independent goals that she must manage to achieve. The brainstorming, the ideas, the writing and the editing must be done by that one person – an overwhelming task.
Unless that writer knows and communicates with other writers. One of the best rewards of being a writer is finding those other writers. We’re in a world of our own making when we’re writing, and no one understands the mood, the trials and the frustration of that world better than other writers.
How did I find these other writers? By going to conferences and joining writing groups. I firmly believe networking is half the battle in getting published. Knowing who to talk to about what is invaluable, plus finding out what’s going on in the market, and meeting agents and editors face to face are some of the benefits of going to conferences. But oh, the support of writer-friends is just as important and has helped so much to encourage and inspire me on this journey.
Thanks to email and Facebook (and for some Twitter and Instagram), I can “talk” to other writers every day and get their feedback on various topics. I belong to several private groups on Facebook where only the writers of a particular genre or publisher communicate. I also belong to a writing accountability group and critique group which is very helpful to motivate me.
But writers aren’t the only people that motivate me. I am thankful to have personal friends, church friends and reader friends who support and encourage me as well.
After a few years on this journey, I can honestly say I wouldn’t have made it this far without help from my friends. This profession isn’t as lonely as it used to be – before conferences, before social media – and I am so thankful it isn’t.
Here’s an opportunity for you to meet other writers: Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat, May 2-5, 2018. Go to http://bluelakecwr.com for more information.