Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where Are All the Writers?

I have discussed the important elements of writing. What you need to do when the book is done and where to go. Find your market and make sure that publishing house will accept the manuscript to propose. As I mentioned last week, make sure you send your work to the right publishers. You don't want to send a book focused on a romantic theme to a publisher who avoids all sorts of romantic work. Find a publisher who shares your interest of writing and is willing to work with you alongside with your genre. So today I want to talk about writer friends and how important they are.

When I first started writing I was alone. I literally felt like those people in the movies who isolate themselves and create their own life away from society. I was in my room for hours writing. The first novel I tackled kept me occupied because I couldn't get my characters out of my mind. I had to keep the story going because I was curious to know what would happen. I know, it sounds so weird. I am in control of my characters and I set things in their way but oftentimes I don't know what will happen until I write. I start with a plan and then it goes out of the window. Besides that point, I was alone in the writing world. I would go to the library and check out at least ten books at a time and read them. I read on the craft of writing, gaining your writer's voice, writing fiction, the rules of novel writing, and so much more. Many times I would sit in the library reading and taking notes on this craft. I wanted to get the most information possible. But I was still alone. There were nights where I was up until past midnight writing. I would wake up in the morning and still write. Sometimes my mind didn't even shut down. Believe me, I've had plenty of dreams about my characters, it's actually disturbing, especially when something terribly happens to my protagonist. 

Eventually the word got out that I was a writer. People began talking about it and spreading the word that "Vanessa is a writer." Now, I always chuckle when people say that. Some will say it with such enthusiasm whereas others will say it with this query sound in their voice, almost as if I'm not doing anything. I'm sorry, I might be bias on this but being a writer IS NOT easy. You struggle against criticism all the time, a foggy brain, nonexistent characters who want to live but only live in your world, and of course the snide remarks from the outsiders. But somehow we still keep writing. We ignore the critics and know that in the end if we just write for ourselves, it'll still be rewarding. But yes, writer friends. Where are they? Believe me, they are out there and there are plenty of them. And once you find a writer friend, you'll have so much to talk about. I found my writer friends at a conference I went to. I remember one night I was up until past midnight discussing the amazing aspects of writing. There's this special connection with writers. There are many things that are related and the similarities are incredible. You can bounce questions off of each other, ideas, inspirations, complaints of course, and insights. I remember having a two hour conversation with another writer. We talked about our characters as if they were real people. We discussed the setting and even though this writer composes fantasy, talking about her fictionalized world seemed so real. 

I encourage you to find writer friends. Those who understand the many toils you experience with honing the craft of writing. There are many English lovers out there, the ones who find enjoyment and relaxation in writing. You are not alone in what you do. Believe me. You ought to go on a little scavenger hunt and search for them. Look for them just as you looked for your passion in writing. But the importance of having a writer friend is for your benefit. You can go to this person and cry when you're rejected and they will understand. You can ask them questions and hear their opinion. You can be weird with them and talk about your characters and how you can't sleep at night because they are running in your mind. And once you find your writer friend, I encourage you to not let him or her go. Just recently a writer friend asked me to look over her novel. We all need each other. Sharing your writing isn't easy at first, but once you establish that friendship and trust, it'll become easier and easier. We all go through the same things. The insecurity and shyness of presenting our writing. So search. And once who find that strong friend, keep him or her around. You will grow from each other and eventually, it might lead into three, four, five, even ten friends. 

Keep pushing your creative juices this week and go beyond the limit you did last week.