Working Alone Together

As I’ve mentioned before, I am very, very shy about writing, as the fact that almost all the posts on this website are about books I read, rather than books I write, can attest. I write slowly, I write things all out of order, and my drafts are full of ALL CAPS instructions to myself full of such useful gems as “A THING HAPPENS HERE” or “THIS IS TERRIBLE”.

But when I did Nanowrimo last year, I took a deep breath, swallowed my shyness (it doesn’t taste very good, shyness), and started meeting up and writing with a small group of other writers every few weeks. I’ve been joining them on and off ever since, and by halfway through the year I even talked about what I was working on sometimes. I’m really not kidding about the shyness.  I can talk about nearly anything as long as it’s not important to me.

In the past, I’ve been leery of writing groups, not just because I’m shy, but because I think of writing as being such a solitary endeavor that I didn’t understand the value of doing it alongside others. I should have known better – it is precisely because it’s so solitary that having a small community to talk about it with and be encouraged by is such a quiet comfort.   Hearing how other people work, the problems they wrestle with as they compose stories, and the ways they write can make you a better – or at least more conscious and thoughtful – writer in turn.

So every few weeks now, there is me, and tea, and a few very lovely people, and it’s been another important part about why this year has been so much more full of writing than the last.

I still talk to myself in ALLCAPS in all my drafts, but at least I know now I’m not the only one. :)

Leave a Reply