Writing is a lonely business, and what to do about it

Writing life is a lonely life

One of the hardest things about being a writer is the amount of time said writer has to spend all alone – except for those ever-present voices banging around in his head. You set aside time to write every day – or at least a specified number of days per week – and that is the time when it’s just you, the voices, and the screen.

The good part about this is the discipline, because if you can force yourself to keep to a steady writing schedule then that in itself is an accomplishment that more tun a few so-called writers have aspired to but never managed to reach. But self congratulation aside, this doesn’t change the fact that being a disciplined writer is largely about learning to fly solo. Which is why I decided to start a writer’s mastermind group three years ago.

Plain and simple, I was getting tired of cranking out copy, which I happened to think was pretty good, without anyone to share it with. Yeah, sure, the eventual goal was to publish, and I’m pretty pleased that I’ve managed to crank out three full-sized novels so far with another one due out in about a month. But just because you’re published doesn’t mean you’re getting any meaningful feedback. So I decided to ring up a writer buddy of mine whose father also happened to be a writer.

“So why don’t we hook up and start our own writer’s group?” I suggested. ? “We could read each other’s stuff and bounce ideas off one another. Pretty cool, don’t you think?”

Yes, they thought it was cool too. So we agreed to be cool together. Once every other month at Leon’s diner.

After the group had been meeting for about six months, my wife, who is also a writer, asked if there was room for a female in the brotherhood. I said that no, of course there wasn’t. Writing was man’s business and we didn’t need anybody bringing knitting needles because that would be distracting.

And by now you surely realize that this is what I may have been saying in my brain, but being one who enjoys the benefits of breathing as opposed to being staged repeatedly in the chest with a knitting needle, I consented and said something to the effect that this was a brilliant idea and why hadn’t we thought of this before.

Pre-wife, we were a humble group of three writers who met bi-monthly to discuss writing. Post-wife? We had become a corporation with goals and objectives and all sorts of frightening things that were, of course, hugely beneficial. Our next meeting will involve all of our wives, which I fully expect will result in us becoming the Titans of Writing Mastery For All Time that we were meant to be.

But greatness doesn’t become everyone. Sometimes all you want is to take a break from the cave and toss around a few words and phrases with like-minded refugees from the normal life.

And that’s OK too.

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Writer and musician.

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