I would first like to thank the people who left thoughtful and supportive comments on yesterday’s article about what I love about writing. Many of you writers shared similar feelings, which brings me to today’s topic of why I love writing:
For the last year I have been networking with dozens of writers in an effort to promote my gay-romance novel, Island Song. And in doing so, I’ve learned much about writing and publishing, but more importantly, I’ve learned that we all share many common experiences. I’m not simply talking about that wonderful dance we do with our imaginations when we touch Creativity. I’m also thinking of the insecurity of selling ourselves to total strangers, about the bruised egos after receiving a less that stunning review or the joy of a great review, about realizing that many close friends and family couldn’t be bothered with reading your work, about the frustration of throwing open the internet window and shouting that you’ve produced a magnificent book – and nobody listens. I could go on and on. But what this common-experience realization has done for me is to create a bond with these other writers.
I have grown to love this bond with other highly-creative people. It’s an interesting bond, like strangers suddenly finding themselves in a life raft on the high seas with no land in sight. We pull together, support each other. There are no feelings of competitiveness. One writer’s success means we all succeed, it’s a celebration for each of us.
Writers, I’ve found, have fragile souls. We reach deep inside and pour ourselves on the page like no other art form does. And I think it takes another writer to understand that frailty, and to support it. It’s become a huge comfort that I’m hooked up with colleagues who understand my fragility.
I also find that these marvelously supportive people make me stretch to become a better writer, to improve my craft. Not that I feel the need to impress them. It’s more a feeling that I don’t want to let them down by publishing something substandard. They make me stretch, they help me grow as a writer and a person. And in a strange kind of way, I’ve come to love them for their understanding and support, and for the bond we have sculpted together.