Monday, January 29, 2018

How Not to Become Super Lonely as a Writer

Author Lee Child once said that writing is show business for shy people. 

It's true. A lot of writers are naturally shy. It doesn't help matters that writing tends to be a solitary activity. Some people may like this, but even the most introverted individuals can get lonely occasionally. The loneliness can become depressing, too, especially when you're not achieving your writing goals and it seems like everyone is getting a book deal except you. 

But it doesn't have to be this way. There are lots of writers out there, and regardless of what their social media updates might suggest, most of them are experiencing the ups and downs that come with writing.

If you don't interact with other writers, you should start. Here's why:

  1. You'll get to talk to other people about writing and those people will actually be as interested in the conversation as you are.
  2. You'll be able to vent about writing to people who get it. 
  3. You'll be able to share small victories (like a personalized rejection) with people who understand why you're so happy. 
  4. You can share tips. 
  5. You can find critique partners.
  6. When your book comes out, you'll know people who want to come to your release event and maybe even buy your book.

Writers are everywhere, so finding them shouldn't be hard. And if you feel nervous and putting yourself out there, remember that a lot of writers are shy. They'll understand how you feel.

One of the easiest ways to find writers is through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Keep in mind, though, that the sheer number of people on this sites can make personal interactions difficult. Also, people often post good news, not bad news, which can give you the false impression that everyone's doing better than you. I'm not saying that you should avoid social media. It can be helpful, and it is possible to make real connections. I'm just saying it shouldn't be your only way of meeting other writers. 

Try to meet writers in real life.

  • Attend writing workshops.
  • Attend book launches.
  • Join critique groups.
  • Attend group writing sessions.
  • Join organizations for writers. 
  • Join book clubs. Not everyone there will be a writer, but since readers and writers tend to overlap, there's a good chance there will be a couple of writers in the group. 

To find events, go to your local library, bookstore, or college. You can also check for local events. And if there's nothing around that suits your needs, consider starting something yourself.