Don’t be a lonely writer

I spend hours writing, editing, plotting, and revising. This pattern repeats until I’m semi-satisfied to let someone read my story. A story that involves a piece of my heart.

My regular circle of friends and family don’t understand my life as a writer. They think it’s a hobby or a part-time job I don’t get paid for. They ask the gut-wrenching questions:

  • When is your book going to be published?
  • How’s the writing?
  • When can I read it?

I never have the right answer. It’s hard to explain the writing journey.

I feel alone.

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Photo by Nicolas Cool on Unsplash

I write my story in a coffee shop surrounded by people. I write at home surrounded by family or pets or friends. I have Twitter and connect with other writers, some of whom I have never met in real life. I get attention and likes and comments.

All these things combined and I still feel alone in writing.

  • You’re querying, you feel rejected.
  • You’re editing, you feel confused.
  • You’re writing, you feel empty on words.

Writing is personal to me as it probably is to you. I write what’s on my heart and in my imagination. I write to tell a story that I hope to share with others one day.

I shouldn’t have to feel alone, and sometimes it’s worth the extra step to connect deeper with other writers. This past year, I felt less alone when I did the following:

  • met other writers in person in my local area for lunch or dinner or writing sessions
  • exchanged phone numbers with CPs for texting and calls
  • joined a chat group
  • read more books
  • listened to Podcasts about writing and books
  • exchanged DMs with other writers
  • offered to read other writers’ work to give feedback
  • celebrated the success of other writers

For me, it’s nice to feel less alone when you find others going through the same or similar journey as you. It’s nice to be connected and have conversations. The writing journey has highs and lows. More lows, than highs, in my opinion.

We need to commiserate together.

Don’t let yourself be alone.

 

Disastrous Rainy Days in South Carolina

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Rainy days are supposed to a time to hunker down and catch up on anything and everything indoors. However, when it rains for days, things tend to have a much different, disastrous outcome. We just experienced historic rainfall in South Carolina, tremendously impacting my coastal county. My family and I are very fortunate for not having any flooding issues in our neighborhood or any problems with our home or vehicles.

However, several friends and coworkers have had a different experience. Here is a slideshow of images from a local news station. Scenes of Flooding. As we get phone calls and texts checking on everyone, my heart aches as we work to rebuild and try to find normalcy.

Schools and daycares have been closed due to road closures and flooding, so I have been home with my kids for a few days. Weirdly enough, I haven’t gone stir-crazy. But I have been obsessively watching social media updates, news stations and contacting friends and family.

While it was fine for me, I am praying for others and waiting to see how my friends’ homes are doing as the river continues to rise. It has not been a good situation and we aren’t out of it yet. Thoughts and prayers are welcome for South Carolina.

Aerial Video of Flooding

Concerned About River Flooding

South Carolina ‘We Lost Everything’

What kind of writer are you?

Every writer’s writing process is personal. There is no one way to do it and it may evolve as you move forward. All of my writing depends on so many factors, such as my environment, my state of mind, any distractions, and any slivers of inspiration. I’m actually writing this blog post from a zebra printed chair in my bathroom at 11:46pm while my family is sleeping. It’s hard to find peace to write with a husband and two small kids.

I write like I put together a puzzle. I’ll start a section, leave it and then return to it a few days later. I also jump around a lot. There are some days I write all my notes on my phone and there are times, I write through GoogleDrive throughout different times of the day. I recently learned that I am a pantster (panster).

What is Your Writing Style?

Pantster (Panster): Writing by the seat of your pants. Needs: varying degrees of freedom. A pantster (panster) wants to know a few ideas or scenes to run with and they rarely know the end of their book as they start writing.

Plotter: Writing in an organized fashion. Needs: structure, outlines, diagrams and knowing things ahead of time. A plotter wants to know and understand the beginning, middle, and end of the book before they start writing.

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the term “pantster” was popularized during that time.

What do you do when you are stuck?

If you find yourself struggling in your writing, here are some ideas to get you back on track:

  • Seek out other writers for encouragement and advice.
  • Change your physical writing location.
  • Distract yourself with a good book from your TBR list.
  • Fix yourself a comfort beverage, such as coffee or tea.
  •  Play with some plot bunnies.
  • Take a different approach to your editing/revising.
  • …and never give up!