Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why I Love Writing - Part II

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.


Jina Bacarr said...

I agree re: fellow writers. I belong to the RWA, Romance Writers of America, and there's no more supportive group of writers!!

Also, I love this line you wrote:

"I’m not simply talking about that wonderful dance we do with our imaginations when we touch Creativity."

I love the use of the capital "C" as if we're touching something divine when we write.

Beautiful post...


Karen Walker said...

You write so many things in this post that I feel as well. I was so leery of this social networking thing, but the groups I belong to (Yahoo: Lifewriters, story circle network, and more) have been so supportive I don't know what I'd do without them now. And here we have another group of wonderful people whom I feel I know although we've never met.
Thanks, Alan, for sharing your writer spirit in such a lovely way.

Elle Parker said...

Gorgeous post! I love this idea, and it's so wonderful to know that other writers feel and experience some of the same things - it's reassuring.

(When I asked my cousin if she was going to buy my book, she said "I'm really more of a library you think they'll carry it?")

I'm very happy to finding a more supportive community of writers than I really expected.

Elle Parker

Megan Hussey said...

Excellent comments Alan; you captured the true heart and essence of being a writer.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alan, you are so right. I originally thought it was just the mystery writer community that was so supportive, but it's bigger than that.

And I loved your comment about the friends and relatives who can be bothered, and a little pained. Ain't it the awful truth?


Patricia Stoltey said...

Well, of course I meant "friends and relatives who can't be bothered..."


Dr.Mani said...

I'm following this series with interest, and seeing a few areas of similar thinking as I read along. Keep it coming!

All success
Think, Write & Retire!

Enid Wilson said...

Yep, publishing is frustrating but sharing the stories with others are great. I offer my stories free in forums, and only publish those I feel they are good enough. And I am blessed to have hundreds of good responses from readers before I go down the road of publishing. You write with strong emotion so I bet you write well in romance too.
You win some you lose in life. Just keep doing what you want to do!

In Quest of Theta Magic

Alexis Grant said...

Long live the writers' soul!

Karen Brees said...

Beautifully stated, Alan. Writers are an odd lot. We're open to ideas, yet often are reclusive when dealing with people. We'd rather just write.

We're kind of a paradox. Fragile, for sure. Resilient, of necessity. easily wounded but resolved to continue on in the face of all that. Bravo!