“I think I need to join a writing group.”
These words were spoken aloud once. Recently, in fact. To my husband.
You may know where I’m going with this, all you isolated writers out there. I was suffering from what I like to call “writer loneliness,” which I’m certain is a real thing, and surely it affects words-people everywhere in their early stages of writing. Doesn’t it?
I had just been hit with an idea better than any other writing idea I’d had before, and poor husband was at my mercy.
It was his expression that did it. The same expression I probably give him when he starts hyperventilating over V8 Supercars. I’m excited ‘for him’ but would rather he go find a car enthusiast support group, or phone a friend than expect any intelligible response from me about lap times and other car thingys.
I guess that’s what I need too; not a car enthusiast support group, but a connection with other like-minded words persons who are in the same early stages as I am, so we can geek out together..
I have an idea for a first novel and, as I scribble down notes and character sketches, I find myself in that horrible, ‘Am I doing it right?’ phase where I just need a bit of reassurance – a bit of a group hug.
Scratch that last bit – what I really want is a glimpse into other people’s early phases and some interaction about it. You know, what blogging used to be really good for.
After reading this rather blunt insight on writing groups, and from my own experiences at weekend workshops, I’m less inclined to run to my nearest community centre on a week night when really… loneliness is a general unpleasant part of life that can steep into many facets, including our hobbies and interests. Finding like-minds is crucial, no doubt, but the right type of interaction for your personality, timeframe, accessibility and all those other things, is also something to consider.
Maybe I’m being too closed-minded about it – there may be some great online writing communities just waiting to be found. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ll forge on, sans writer’s group for now. There are plenty of podcasts about fiction writing that have caught my attention (more on that next time).