I know that writers are usually portrayed as solitary types, sitting at their desk typing or scribbling away with only a solitary desk lamp for light, with no pesky distractions such as friends or a social life or even a cadre of fellow writers to turn to when in need of moral support when the ideas just aren’t flowing. I have 1 thing to say about that…don’t become that writer. At times, there is a need for a bit of solitude when we’re struggling with a scene or a character is that’s just not behaving the way we envisioned but don’t make it a habit. I have been that writer and it is much harder than you might think. After a disastrous turn in a speculative fiction critique group, where a single person took such a dislike to me for reasons that are beyond my understanding and, even though the others in the group loved my book, she despised every single word that I had written, I decided that I could not, would not deal with that negativity. I was asked to stay but when I told them why I was leaving all they could say was that she was that way with all the new members. Screw that! I had enough self-doubt that had nested in my brain so I didn’t need someone feeding it and causing it to grow. I decided not to seek out another group because that 1 person had caused me to doubt my work and myself as a writer so I just sat at my desk and wrote. If I wasn’t at work, I was writing…alone. My social life was my husband and family. Then life interfered with my writing…both of my parents had Alzheimer’s and I had to help with their care. I was working all day then spending the night with my mother. She had Sundowners and as soon as the sun began its descent, she was up. She didn’t sleep, she was agitated, she became OCD, and was almost uncontrollable. She had to be watched constantly. It was exhausting. Writing was the last thing on my mind. I realize now that if I had been part of a writer’s group, I probably would have had some support during that time for my writing. Others that had similar situations could have told me how they were able to continue writing or would have just supported me as a member of the group. I am currently a member of a creativity group called Succulent Wild World (SARK’s creation) where daily, I see people supporting others when they are in difficult situations. Ideas are freely shared. When 1 of us has something to celebrate, we all celebrate. It’s an amazing group with amazing people. Then there’s Rhapsody of Writing (another SARK creation), which is a writing incubator. Again, people supporting each other in their endeavors. And The Sunday Night Writing Group, founded and led by Maitri Libellue, where we write our hearts out. We use writing to dig deep into emotions, past and, present so there is a lot of support in that group, as well. I am no longer a solitary writer and I am finally back on the path that leads to being published. I have found my tribe. Every writer needs a tribe, be it online or offline. They will understand every single thing that you, as a writer, are going thru and will support you and give you guidance when needed. As I’ve stated before, people who are not writers don’t understand what we go thru when we are in front of our laptop creating a world, populating it with characters, making life and death decisions regarding those characters, etc…. They do not understand the process or the angst when the process isn’t working. You do not have to go thru that alone, nor should you. So, again, I tell you…FIND YOUR TRIBE! You might have to go to a few different meetings or join a few groups on FaceBook or wherever, but don’t give up. I wish that I hadn’t let that bitter woman turn me off to being part of a group. If I had continued to search for the perfect group(s), I’d probably be much further along with my book…maybe even a published author working on the sequel. We all need cheerleaders, someone to commiserate with, someone to tell us the truth, etc…, in our lives. Get out there and start searching!
“Some writers enjoy writing, I am told. Not me. I enjoy having written.” – George R. R. Martin