Monday, January 17, 2011

Writing is Lonely? Since When?

This week’s topic is “how to deal with the seeming ‘loneliness’ of being a writer”.

Excuse me? What is this about loneliness? Okay, pause for a minute. Let’s take a look at this writer’s life in the real world. You know, the one that exists outside the computer?

In the real world, one might categorize me as antisocial. Personally, I do not agree. I am not ANTI-social, I’m just naturally not a very social person. I go to family outings. I go out with my boyfriend. I go to my boyfriend’s family’s outings. But that’s about it. I’m a homebody and maybe even a bit of a hermit crab. I’m very comfortable alone in my own company. I have been since I was a child.

So, I can see how most people would think “antisocial” when they look at me, but, that’s just because they don’t know what goes on while I’m on the internet. While I’m writing. While I’m blogging, tweeting, and emailing.

As a writer, I spend most my time on my computer. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing – editing, researching, checking my facebook – no matter what I’m doing, I’m talking to my two best friends at the same time via Skype. They’re both writers – Ana and Charlene. They’re my beta readers, my number one fans, my support group in all aspects of life, my first line of defense, my dose of tough love, my source of motivation … heck, best friends just sums it up really. Not a single day goes by that we don’t chit-chat together.

Next in line are the magnificent writers you see on the right side bar of this blog. C.J. – who I secretly stock for promotional tips - James, Sharon, and George are all my friends who I learn from and share my own experiences with.

There are the friends I made on, Dawn Embers, SM Blooding (who is my unofficial mentor and query letter drill sergeant), Alex, Amy, Zoe, Kurt, Branli, Mireyah, Ashanty, C.J. … and many others.

People I’ve met on C.A. Marshall, Liz, Heather, Jenn, C.J., everyone on the Witty Crew, and a bunch more ….

People I’ve met via blogging: Loralie, Bree, Chris, Mia Hayson, Arlee, J.C., Lynda, N.R. Williams, Alex J., Elizabeth Mueller, Corey, Jamie, Roland …….and at least thirty more. I apologize now for any one I forgot to mention.

Not to mention my Twitter, which has close to 100 followers now ….

AND, since I’ve recently joined MuseItUp and MuseItHOT Publishing, I have over 70 brand new Muse brothers and sisters to add to the list!

Ladies and gentlemen, if you think writing is a lonely career, you’re doing something very WRONG. I am not lonely. In fact, I have never before been more overwhelmed with so many friends who share my very passion. I am not antisocial. I network.


  1. You've just described me to a T...I'm not anti-social. I have friends who I enjoy seeing and going out with, but as a preference, my ideal evening would consist of me, my laptop and my cat. I'm easily pleased...

  2. Bravo! Well said!

    While I've been a social creature my entire life - throwing parties, planning parties for friends, running parties professionally in college, to bar hopping, bar-top dancing, Manhattan club scenes, throwing small dinner parties, hosting family events, hosting visiting family for days on end, mommy and me groups, to play dates, leading my daughter's girl scout troop, volunteering at the school, being part of the PTA, even volunteering at camps in the summer (which I will never do again).... good God, to even my family's love of camping -- I talk to strangers every place we camp and met people in the damn grocery store.

    EVERYWHERE I go I talk and meet people. Hell, I'll talk to a wall if I feel the urge. I never hesitate when I walk in a room, I scout immediately for people by themselves and saddle right on up and introduce myself.

    But most things stopped when I got sick and couldn't do it all anymore. My friends still call and I go to lunches occasionally. But doctor visits and managing pills takes up most of my day.

    We have cut back and still host family... but I'm not lonely in the slightest. I filled the void with my new career, my passion to learn, and my inner desire to meet people.

    I love that I have friends I can vent to, friends I can cheer on, friends who support me no matter what - and all of them might exist online in regards to my career, but they are real friends nonetheless. I'm grateful for the connections I've made, and I'm honored you've included me in your circle, J.D.

    You rock! Anti-social my ass ;-)

  3. Know how you feel, JD. I've even had my glasses changed - didn't know you could buy progressive computer glasses now. When the Dr. asked me how many hours a day was I at the computer, I had to answer "about 8-10". But over half of that is learning and connecting to people, like you, making new friends.

    And I think very few writers do it all alone. I have learned so much from everyone around me, including this crew here. I believe in giving back to writing chapters and am in 6 of them, two as an officer. You never know, that person you helped out (or mistakenly pissed off), may turn out to be the connection of a lifetime. Lonely? Nah! It feels great. The only lonely time is when you sent that email out and get no response, or get a snarky one.

    Great post.

  4. Well said.

    I sometimes view it as lonely because it's just me at the computer. I often pull away from "human" interaction (meaning meeting up with people to chat/hang out) in favor of working on my stories. My "regular" friends and family don't understand me/my writing, so that's a bit isolating as well. They provide their own type of inspiration and support, but still, they don't get it like a fellow writer.

    My online friends are fantastic. Any time of day I can pretty much log into the computer and talk writing, or do sprints with fellow writers. I treasure them. In that sense, I never feel alone and love this community to bits. :) It's the best of both worlds...I get to talk with people while writing, whereas if I were to leave and meet up with friends to hang out, I couldn't necessarily be writing.

    I hope to get to meet tons of my online friends this year at Nationals. :)

  5. Wow, J.D., you have forced me to re-examine that old chestnut. I see that the Internet Age has changed this whole idea now. I never thought of it like that.

    Honestly, I've been telling people that writers work best in solitude and that I like writing because I am so much of an anti-social creature. Yet, if I look at all those who I "chat" with at Wicked Writers,, Twitter and FaceBook, that would not seem to be the case.

    Maybe it's time I stopped living in the past and realized that I am in the future.

  6. Thanks everyone. :)

    Lynnrush and Greg, when I first sat down to write this post, I was thinking about how lonely it can sometimes feel when I try to talk about writing with non-writers. Truth is, non-writers don't get it and they never will because writing is a passion driven career. I don't think anyone can do what we do without a passion for writing and storytelling. Not being able to explain your crazy desire to write to your friends and family can get to you. But then I read the the topic over again. "How do you deal" was the part that stuck out to me. So I thought about it and that's when I realized my antidote to "solitary writer" is always right in front of me, on my computer - my writing buddies! And that's when I realized, heck, there's nothing lonely about this!

    Cheers to viewing the glass as half full! ;)


  7. OMG I think I forgot to mention Greg and David in here! I'm sorry guys! I know for a fact I forgot a bunch more people, hehe. Sorry! :)

  8. OK, J.D, since the post is such a great insight, I can forgive your oversight!! I hadn't noticed the lack of my name until you mentioned it, lol. I see that Greg probably thinks the same! :)

  9. We are on several of the same sites.