Monday, January 10, 2011

The Writer's Work: Not Lonely!

Do you have this stereotype about writers? We live off on our own, drinking cup after cup of coffee, hair sticking out in weird directions. We're stubbing out cigarettes on a messy desk, and the trash can is overflowing with crumpled up drafts. We're a bit strange, a bit odd, doing so much darn thinking all of the time. We might hang out at a coffee shop, but we definitely would not talk to anyone. Any of this sounding familiar?

I don't know if I'm a typical writer. Most likely not. I write for kids (for the most part), so the stereotype of the frustrated, caffeinated, tobaccoed writer doesn't really fit--at least it doesn't fit me.

But the lonely, isolated part? That definitely isn't me. Yes, I do spend time alone and enjoy it. I need room to think, and quiet in which to think it. But one of the best thing about writers is our community. We need each other. We need advice, moral support, critiquing, and lots of it.

So, I'm excited that tomorrow I'm getting together with a group of children's writers in my area for a critique group. We plan on meeting regularly to critique each other's work, and tomorrow is our launching party. In what ways has the writing community helped other authors?


  1. It's possible that "typical" doesn't exist, at least in terms of describing writers.

    How wonderful that you've found a group of other children's writers to interact with. I've become involved in an online writer's group for both experienced and less-experienced writers, called the Childrens Book Hub, and I think it's going to be a valuable community to be a part of. I'm learning more and more that it's vitally important to have contact with other writers. (In that regard, I'm delighted to have found your blog -- connecting with others through blogs is also valuable.)

  2. Hi there, just hopping over from the comment challenge:) So glad you found a good critque group to be part of - I'm sure it's going to prove itself invaluable!

  3. You're right, Elizabeth! Connecting via blogs and through email is a great way to promote community among writers as well.

  4. Have a great time! I go to lots of NaNoWriMo write-ins in November and one group meets monthly to work companionably together on any creative project we choose. I'm working on my NaNo rewrite!

  5. Hi Julie,

    The critique groups I belong to have offered support both professionally and personally. No one understands the life of a writer better than another writer.
    Have fun at the launchiing pary!

  6. I agree Julie. I spend lots of time alone and I love it that way. I too have a "support" group, in a sense. Five women who get together once a month or every two months, have dinner, wine, chocolate, talk about our careers and any hurdles we might be facing. They are not writers, but visual artists or arts administrators, but it's interesting how often we find parallels in our stories. Ideas around inspiration, envy, fear, creativity blocks, and also pragmatic things -- the business side of being an artist. These connections are so important for me.

  7. My writing group is crucial to me, for feedback and for friendship. I definitely feel part of a community with them!