We are a bunch of odd ducks. Writers are unusual in that we are;
-loners but not really
-lonely although technically we are surrounded by people/characters
-self-loathing yet somewhat arrogant
-friendly yet lack the number of friends on one hand that “get us”
We aren’t like those book club members or gym rats that congregate to support each other. You will never see a writer standing behind another writer while they are typing away at the keyboard screaming “you can do it”. No we live lives of quiet desperation as we attempt to put pen to paper and entertain the masses. Very few of us join writing support groups or hang out with other writers…and I have always wondered why.
It makes sense to me that writers would seek each other out. We really are the only ones who understand each other. Another writer is the only other person who will understand that you don’t sleep well because the voices in your head won’t shut up. Another writer is the only person who “gets” that you are impatient with the “real” world because in your heart you create worlds; reality is the only book we can’t seem to finish with the “right” ending and that sucks when you are used to the “right” ending. Why wouldn’t we hang out?
The truth is that while we need each other, we are also afraid of each other and that is sad. We, the writing community, have convinced each other that the competition is so fierce that we need to keep each other an arm’s length away. Because of this when we do get together it often leaves us feeling judgey and irritated. We come away feeling judged as well and that’s just ridiculous.
My challenge for you this week is to seek out another writer and go do something together. Have coffee, hang out at a bar, I don’t care…just do something to support one another. Forget the competition, forget that your book may sell and hers may not, forget that you are technically afraid that they might “steal” your ideas….just go out and have a good time. We need to support each other especially in this day and age when being a writer is harder than ever. And while you are at it…buy each others books too.
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