Friday, April 5, 2013

In Good Company

One of the things I love about being a writer is the amazing community I'm part of, just by being a storyteller. There are so many people out there who are passionate about writing and there's an instant connection as soon as you find out someone is a fellow wordsmith. You get each other. You have a mutual understanding of the quirks and thought processes and emotions that come with the job description.

As a writer, I have a constant flow of characters, scenes and plots running through my head. Ideas come at random, and almost always at inconvenient times--like in the shower or the moment the lights are out and I'm snuggled in bed in blissful comfort. I mumble to myself a lot. I have emotional attachments to people who aren't real. I drift so deeply into my thoughts, I respond to my husband's questions and then three seconds later realize I have no idea what I just agreed to. The annual family Christmas letter goes through at least three drafts before I've deemed it ready to send out. Movies and TV shows are over analyzed--especially mysteries, which always beg the question, "If I was writing this story, who's the who whodunit?" On a good day a great book inspires me, on a bad day it leaves me feeling like I could never, ever write something that good. I battle a constant war of confidence and doubt, determination and despair.

Thankfully I have an incredible husband who loves all my crazy and wouldn't have me do anything else but pursue my dream (and he's learned to make sure I'm making eye contact when he has something important to tell me). But there's something wonderful about meeting people who are the same kind of crazy. Which is why I love social media and the ability to connect with other writers all over the world. And even more than that, I LOVE the writing group I'm blessed to be a part of.

I've heard it said over and over by so many authors that one of the best things you can do as a writer, if you're serious about pursing your craft, is join a writing group. And it's true (and if you're a writer and not part of one, you should be. Go find one. Now.). Last fall I decided to start a group with a good friend of mine, and I am so, so happy we did. It means more than I can say to have a safe place to share ideas and receive helpful critiques. My novel is so much better because of the time my friends have taken to point out the wrinkles and applaud the good stuff. These wonderful people have become a steady source of encouragement, knowledge, and motivation to keep writing, keep creating, keep chasing my dream.

The connections I've made through my writing amaze me. From right here in my hometown, to continents on the other side of the world, so many people have helped and inspired me. It's a pretty incredible thing to know that no matter our differences, the common love of words unites us. So to everyone I've had the opportunity to get to know--even if it's just been through a tweet or two--consider this the acknowledgements page. Thanks for being part of my awesome, crazy writing journey. I look forward to seeing where it takes us.

Are you a writer? Have a book, a blog, or a Twitter account? Feel free to share links in the comments--I'd love to learn more about you and your work!

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