Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ya gotta have friends

Whoo! I'm a little giddy today, because I just handed in a book yesterday. That means I have written. And while there are many, many more words to be written from here on, to 'have written' is worth a bit of celebration.

When I first discovered a group of writers in the Twin Cities area (the local RWA chapter) I had just sold my first book, but I'd never really been around authors before. Never. I thought I was the only one, plunking away at my typewriter, forging out my masterpiece, ready to make a million. So when I sold that first book, I was a little itty bitty bug standing on this huge rock, with no one else to point me in the right direction, or make suggestions as to how to handle this incredible business of publishing.

And then I stepped into this wonderful sisterhood of writers.
Some were published, all were working on the story that spoke to them, and a few were struggling. They were thrilled for my sale. They understood when I asked about things such as submissions and proposals. They didn't scoff when I accidentally mentioned a favorite character in the context as a 'friend'. Their minds were busy with adventure and romance and wild and crazy sex scenes. They were my people.

I'm thankful for this group of writers. And other writer friends and acquaintances I've met along the way. I understand completely when the magazine articles state that writers are most likely to drink themselves to death or commit suicide. I can understand, but only to the point that, those must be the writers who don't have a supportive cache of fellow writers to talk them up from those writing lows.

Writers need community, whether they believe that or not. Yes, we are solitary workers. But we've got to escape that confinement once in a while. It makes for better stories. Creativity is stifled if you shelter it too much.

Anyway, I'm rambling. What I wanted to do today was send out a huge thank you to all my fellow writers. Right now, in Dallas, the big ole Romance Writers of America conference is in high gear, through the weekend. Writers are meeting, gossiping, celebrating, schmoozing, pitching; they are filling their wells. I'm sitting at home, wishing I were there, because I've come to learn, it's not so much about the workshops—its the connection with those of my ilk.

Are you a writer? Do you have fellow writers you can connect with? What about the non-writers who visit here? What kind of connections do you make to 'fill that well'?



Debra Dixon said...

Michele-- I've always thought of writers as "my tribe." I think we are happiest in life if we find our tribe, those folks who "get" us.

And yes! "Having written" is a darned nice feeling. The best in fact. So, good on you!

byrdloves2read said...

I'm not a writer but I have a few friends who are writers. It's always such a hoot to listen to them talk about the characters they are struggling with like they are living, breathing people. Since I have a vivid imagination it's not a stretch for me to understand. I'm happy to be there for them as they struggle with whatever's irritating them at the time. And since I have no intention of ever writing, they can share the story without worrying I might steal the idea. *grin*

Kaitlin said...

I'm an aspiring writer. I don't know very many people here in the Portland, Oregon area who write. I know RWA has a branch here, but I'm too poor to afford membership. :(

I found eharlequin by accident, but have made some of my best friends off of it.

Four other writers, plus myself have started our own writing blog. None of us are published, so it's geared towards people like us.

I wish I knew more writers...people who don't think it's weird that I hold conversations with myself or talk about a person who only exists in my head. :D

lois greiman said...

Hey Kaitlin I hope you get the support you need in Portland, cuz Michele is right; we all need a 'family'. People weird enough to understand us. I might suggest starting a critigue group. It really helped me.

So anyway, thanks Michele for being part of my tribe.