by Tamara Fickas
Writing is solitary work. The idea of a hermit sitting at his computer/typewriter pounding out word after word has been around a long time. I sometimes think that’s what appeals to me about writing. As an introvert, I love the idea of writing in solitude. When I lived in Oregon, I used to drive through the Columbia River Gorge and see the houses built high up on the cliffs with no one around for miles. “Ah, I could write great best-sellers if I lived somewhere like that.”
When we get into writing, though, we find that the important part of our career, the production of words, sentences, and paragraphs is most often done in solitude. However, a writer can’t subsist without other people. We find that the writing and revising isn’t always the problem. Often the problem is real life. You know all those things that eat into your writing time and create stress. Our true enemies masquerade as an overflowing toilet, another rejection letter, or a day job full f problems. How often I’ve said the words and heard them from my friends, “That’s it. I’m done. Take the computer. I’m no longer going to write.”
That’s when we need to throw off our hermit robes and embrace our fellow writers. We all need a circle of friends to support and encourage. Yeah, critiques are great, but sometimes we don’t need a discourse on how to make our work better. Sometimes we need someone to say, “It’s okay. I’ve been there. Let me help.” Writers need people to walk the hard road with us.
We all have friends and family who cheer us on and support us in our writing. They love us and want what’s best for us. However, they don’t always understand our writer’s mind. Having a group of writers that you can share with is important. Groups like your local ACFW Chapters are good, but if you have the opportunity, I highly recommend building a group of people you can share anything with, whether it’s writing related or not.
I’ve been blessed to be part of such a group for the last four years. We are all a different stages of our life and writing careers. We share the mundane details of our life because we know that these are the things that interfere with our writing work. The group has grown closer over the years, and that closeness is key to helping us navigate through the highs and lows of writing. A group of close writer friends has made the journey easier.
So, do your hermit thing when you need to get the work done, but don’t forget that we all need friends to lean on.
What about you? Do you have a group of friends to support you in your writing? Do you have words of encouragement for someone just starting out on how to build such a group?
Tamara Fickas is an employee at a local hospital by day and freelance writer by night. She is momma to a very spoiled kitty cat named Wilson. Stories have enthralled her since she was a child, and she enjoys finding the stories in everyday life. Tamara is a contributing author to God’s Provision in Tough Times and a regular contributor to Girls Night In: The Blog for Single, Over-40 Women. You can visit her blog at www.rockymountainwriter.com.