Thursday, February 18, 2010

You are NOT Alone

Strong, tall, and alone

Waves of growth beat and shape me

Into someone new

The conference is around the corner. Do you know what this means? Hours and hours of nonstop fun. What kind of fun do writers love? Networking. Writing advice. Book signings. Laughing about the voices in our heads. Q and A panels. Notebooks and pens. Introductions. Pitches. Contracts. And much, much more.

Do we sound like a bunch of geeks or what?

I love being a writer. I love connecting with them. I love being surrounded by “my own kind”. I feel right at home with the aspiring as well as the published . . . The editors, agents and publishers. How cool is that?

Nonstop highs for a few days straight.

Then we pack up and go home to the far reaches of the land. Not many of us are lucky enough to stay in the middle of it all. Our writing kin can only be reached through the space of computer land. Soon, the waves seem to rise and rise and rise until despair is all we have left.

How many of us feel separated from other writers? At every turn we find our ordinary lives mundane compared to the shiny world of writerland.

I know I do. A lot of the time. I feel like something inside me has shriveled and died and the weight of this awfulness darkens my entire soul. I reach out and try to strengthen the bonds of friendship made and feel drowned by my own efforts. I find that the more I think about my loneliness, the louder it becomes. It gets in the way. It smothers my normal side of life.

I think the writer is a funny creature. We yearn for writerly companionship, yet, we require solace for our creating—at least most of us do. Push and pull. Up and down. All around—eep!

Despite of all the awkward moments of connecting, and the loneliness we may face after the golden gates have closed behind us, I know we can still find love and acceptance by our kin (other writers).

The best way to combat this is to seek out our flock. They are everywhere. From Facebook, to Twitter, to ANWA, to Authonomy—and especially in the small crevices of life scribbling away. I think it is important to still connect with others, even if they are in the first steps of their journey.

They think like writers, right?

Imaginary characters chattering away. Plots plodding down the doors to our psyche. Settings unfurling into grand vistas.

We are truth seekers. We are quest takers. We are soldiers in the war of words. We are chosen to be the voice of the silent ones. Wow . . . it is no wonder life feels lonely when we are out of our element. It is a wonder the race of writers is still powerful and fighting and ferociously alive.

We are survivors. Drivers. Thrivers.

Do you have moments when you feel compellingly alone? Disconnected from the world of writers? How do you deal with your ‘down’ times?

PS--I was going to have this post until Friday, but I have felt the urging to post it sooner than that. I hope that this has helped others. Please remember if anything else, that you are NOT alone. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and reach out. Let's meet halfway! ;)

(Nikki, Jenni, Paul Genesse, and me: the photo, an example of authors in every walk of writerhood)


  1. What a great post!!! Seriously.

    I have to say, now that I've found my CritPartners (and possibly the loves of my life besides my husband) I've rarely felt disconnected from the world of writers. We can work quietly when needed, but there's almost constantly an email chain up between us... And when I feel that "down" time sneaking up, they snap me right out of it!

  2. Lovely post! It's true that we yearn to be together, yet we want to be alone so we can write. That's the hardest part! :)

  3. What a great post! I'm sorry you are feeling lonely. I have found that since I started publicly proclaiming myself as a writer to anyone and everyone, other writers have come out of the woodwork. Maybe they were just to shy to admit to their love of writing before. You may have more writers around you than you know. Today is the monthly meeting of our neighborhood writing club, The Loafer Ladies. In years past, I would never have dreamed I could connect with so many other writers right in my own little neck of the woods. The internet community is fabulous too.

  4. Hi Sara! It's really nice to have a critique group to hold you up--even in friendship!

    Thanks Elana! Tell me about it... :)

    Angie, thank you for your thoughts. I'm glad that you've found a away to salve it! I just need to find my groove, I guess. *Sigh

  5. I completely understand this. Having just come back from LTUE, I'm feeling the post-conference blues. During the conference I am buffeted by a sea of people and friendship and learning and then I come home and find a deafening silence. It's a tough few days and then I begin to find my balance. Part of that balance is knowing that though I can't be with them daily, they're still there--my friends, other writers. And that means you, Lizzie.

  6. It certainly is a journey. Your talent has grown so much. I can see it in your blog posts. Sometimes I wish we were still in contact on a daily basis, sharing our stories. Sometimes I miss that closeness when I'm sitting here alone trying to figure out a writing dilemma. Sometimes I wish it was the way it used to be, but we all grow, don't we? Sometimes closer, sometimes further apart. And it's usually the hard times that bring the most growth, unfortunately.

    Writers tend to be such sensitive people. We try to read others and usually get it wrong. We are emotional and need to be. It makes our writing better, but it sure can mess things up in other areas of our lives. I do believe we go through things for a reason though and it's always easier to look back and know the reasons then to ask, "why?" in the middle of it all. You know what I mean?

    Beautiful post and so true. Glad things are going so well for you. Keep up the good work!

  7. This is so true, Liz. I feel such a great distance, both in friendships and location. Being 4 hours from anything going on writerly is very depressing. I love keeping in contact with all my writing friends via the internet, but at the same time long to be involved in all the book signings, critique groups and conferences. While everyone is getting much needed nourishment from other writers, I'm starving for it. Great post.

  8. Hey Laura--thanks for the reassurance. I try so hard to be strong and like Melissa said (thank you, Melissa!), in the middle, we ask "why?" With that question, I ask, "How?" How? I know it is the right path for me to go. There is NO mistake. Thanks, Laura, for being my friend. I haven't forgotten our impending lunch date. I need to make arrangements with my hubby! ((Hugs)) Luv ya!

    Wow, Melissa... You are so right in this matter. I miss those days as well and wish to take back the newness of those days. And I do ask myself the why of it. It really means a lot to me that you dropped by and left your thoughts here. ((hugs))

    Christine, I think a lot about you. More than you know. I know how it feels to be away from "family" (your writing friends in that aspect). I moved away from Texas and started my life all over again. Ground zero. I felt so alone and isolated and sad. I know that cyberspace is a great way to connect. I feel that nothing can replace a good face-to-face...

  9. I am definitely not close to the writing scene like I would love to be. So the internet is my connection to those wonderful creatures like myself. Sometimes it is very lonely here. And at times I spend too long trying to connect instead of listening to the voices that tell me my tale.

  10. Hi Amber! I've really enjoyed our chatting! We could make it more real and call each other on the phone!

    I know what you mean about wanting to connect rather than listening to the voices in your head. Every writer needs to be validated. I've heard this from many writers: Writers are needy.

    Oooh, yes, we are.


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