Writing can be a solitary pursuit. My invisible friends keep me company, of course. All the time. Thronging inside my head, pushing and shoving to be the one who next gets a moment on the page. Sometimes, they wake me up at night, and all I can do is rise and start writing — and don’t let my grumbles fool you. I love it.
But today’s post isn’t about that. Today’s post is about community. I’m off to the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference on Thursday New Zealand time, leaving my place just a few hours after this blog is posted. Lizzi and I are presenting a workshop called Better Together, where we’ll be talking about our tribes, including the wonderful Authors of Main Street, so I’ve been thinking a lot about collaboration and support.
Have I been privileged in those I’ve met, or are romance writers and readers just a wonderful bunch? From the first day I joined RWNZ and RWA, I’ve been blown away by the generosity of those I’ve met in person and on line. They share their time, their advice, their sympathy for bad reviews or other disappointments, and so much more. Have a question or a problem? Someone out there knows the answer and is willing to help.
And it’s not just the formal organisations. On FaceBook and through other online communities, I’ve made connections that have translated into personal meetings and treasured friendships.
I love writing. I’ve no problem with going into my writing cave and speaking to no one non-fictional for hours (and days would be fine, too, but the real people keep finding me). But I also love and treasure the times I spend with readers and writers, whether we’re focused on a joint piece of work or just chatting about craft, characters, our lives, or world affairs.
The writing life encompasses both, and I’m glad of it.