Life as a writer can be a very solitary business. Have you ever had anyone ask “What do you write?”, then you tell them and they sneer down their nose at you when you tell them you write Romance? I’ve had that happen and it frustrates me to no end, and reminds me how lonely this business can be. It’s also because no one else can write the stories for you. Once in that head space where nothing else registers, you’re writing that new story and are oblivious to everything, it’s all you. There have been times when on of my children have been standing in the doorway calling my name and I haven’t been ignoring them on purpose, I’ve just been focused on the world in my head and the story I’m writing. And while writers’ do have communication and chats with their critique partners, editors, and other authors, 75% of the time it can be very lonely. Very little else exists when you’re writing.
However, there’s a lot of fun in the writing world as well. There are many online author and reader groups to join, Facebook pages produce a lot of interaction with other authors and readers, and online chats in specific forums are all quite enjoyable. Over the years I’ve met some amazing friends, many relationships that have last more than a decade! I started in this business as a reviewer when my youngest son was in his first year — he is now 14 — and have met so many wonderful people and the friendships I’ve made are some of the dearest to me. And even the most recent friendships, there are a few authors that I can barely get through 2-3 days without texting. I’m usually the “mother hen” of most groups, so I’m told, as I like to check in on everyone to see how they’re doing. LOL
Having your own street team and / or reader group where you can interact with those readers and bloggers who love your work are great. That shared interest will give you a lot to talk about. And meeting those people in person when you have the chance is more meaningful than anything else.
Getting out from behind the computer is always a huge fear of mine — no matter how many conferences I’ve attended. Hell, many writers will tell you that attending conferences, book signings and meeting other authors for the first time can be scary as hell. There’s always the screen that we’ve talked to more-or-less, and while writer’s can build everlasting relationships, getting away from the desk can be daunting. Writing presents a lot of opportunity. Traveling to a conference for one thing — The Romantic Times Convention has been the precedent for a lot of other conferences and I’ve been blessed to attend 4. There’s nothing like meeting those people in person that you’ve only talked with online. It’s like you’ve known one another forever and once you meet, it’s easy and so much fun. And well, well worth the fear you had at the thought of leaving the house! But it’s a huge part of this business now. The mingling, the meeting the readers who have emailed you or FB messaged you to say “I love your book”. When a reader says that to you in person, or gives you such a huge hug for writing that one book that made me cry, you’re surprised beyond belief. I’ve been blessed with this experience and nothing — NOTHING — compares to it. I advise any writer to take that leap and attend conferences or book signings, have a dinner with a fellow author or a reader (you’re comfortable with) and your life will be changed forever. I have 2 conferences / book signings this year, plus a writer’s retreat, so it’s going to be one hell of a year for me. I’m looking forward to a lot of fun! *g*
Writing is a solitary career, those lonely days can be hard to get through but there’s so much fun in this career as well. Of course you don’t always need to travel to another country for a conference or hours away to meet a fellow author or a reader. I’m blessed to have met an author last year who I learned lived 20 minutes from me. 20 frickin’ minutes!!! I couldn’t believe it! I’ve never had anyone as close to me that I can sit and spend the day with, gab about books (which on one around me reads romance books), or just visit and share some troubles with. I’ve grown to adore this author’s children and we can talk about anything and everything.
It is a very good idea to always be open to friendships beyond the computer. And to meet readers as well is unforgettable and allows them into your life as more than just “customers”. Be sure to find the fun in this business because it’s very much worth it. It adds so much to a writer’s life that all of use should be open to.
Get out from behind the screen and and have some fun. The adventures you have make for some fantastic writing inspiration too!!!
The bonds of friendships made, many can last for years, and the shared passion is priceless.