Some writers will tell you that writing is painfully solitary work. There’s some truth in that, of course; when I’m staring down the barrel of a 6:30 am writing session, all I have at hand is my CFMU mug of coffee and, occasionally, one of the cats in the cat tree behind me. You spend your time alone at a keyboard (or with a pen, or etching stone tablets, whatever your jam) and then, when you’re not actively writing, a lot of time in your own head, mulling, creating, upending, uprooting, debating, convincing, paining, despairing…you get the idea.
If you’re not an isolated person by nature, however, there’s usually an incredible community out there, wherever you live. I’ve been lucky enough to be accepted – mostly, I think? – by the community here in Hamilton, Ontario. Between writing groups, readings, events, committees and SM activity, I have met some ridiculously talented, very giving, very open, very thoughtful people.
At 7:30 am one day this week, I was feeling especially stuck with the new (still untitled) novel. At 36,000 words, the work felt as though it were barely a quarter done…and there’s little chance that I could pull off a 140,000 word book (or get it published for that matter). All I did was post on Facebook, and suddenly there were dozens of people giving me good advice (and I should add that not all of them were writers, but…). Over on Twitter, another dozen of us were having an entertaining riff on #BookLoversDay, and it was wonderful.
Unsolicited, obvious advice again: if you ever feel stuck, if you ever feel alone, take a chance and try to find your community. It’s probably out there.