I’ve frequently heard (or rather, read) people refer to being a writer as “the loneliest job on Earth”. Maybe there was a time when that was true (although I’m not entirely convinced) but I certainly don’t think it’s true anymore. It seems to be that the plethora of venues, online and offline, for getting to know and collaborating with other writers makes this job anything but lonely. And I’m damn glad for it!
Last year during Camp NaNo in July, I had the privilege of hanging out with a bunch of fellow writers on a Google+ community. Since then, I have slowly but surely gotten know more writers on G+, Twitter, and via this blog. Sure, one might see that simply as “networking” but to me it’s more than that. Ever since I started to feel that I have “colleagues”, my productivity has increased and my drive to achieve my goal of self-publishing has increased with it. I don’t know why that is exactly. Perhaps it’s having people around who have struggled with the things I struggle with. Perhaps it’s the simple pleasure of having people to “talk shop” with. Perhaps it’s the accountability factor, the feeling of “all these people know I’m trying to write a book so I’d better have something to show for it”. Or perhaps all that creativity is just infectious! Most likely it’s all of the above and thensome! All I know is having colleagues has made me a happier, more productive and more confident writer.
Another thing that it’s done is to help me take my own writing, my own role as a writer, more seriously. I’ve gone from viewing writing as something I do on the side, as a hobby, with the hope of someday doing it “for real” to viewing it as something I’m already doing for real. It is a job. A part time job, and one that doesn’t pay right now, but it’s still every bit as worthy of my time and effort as my “real” part time job (y’know, the one that does pay). In some ways it’s more worthy because it stimulates me in a way that making schedules, as satisfying as that can be, never could.
To all the lovely co-workers, some of whom I’ve come to consider friends, that I’ve gotten to know over the last year: thank you! I am better off for it.