For the last couple of months, I’ve been busy. Too busy to engage much with my writer’s community; it was a temporary lapse due to the life of a mother-of-two who moved to another city during the Holiday season. And that’s alright; my writing career, though important to me, simply can not be my number one priority at this time in my life. However, writing has become a priority, and it’s moved it’s way up near the top of my list over the past year. I’ve just begun to engage other writers again, to take my writing days, to look at magazines open for submission, to read and study other writer’s works (fyi: I’m loving Brandon Sanderson). Essentially, I’m getting back to the business of being a writer.
And it hit me yet again: I can’t do this stuff by myself. I can’t be a loner. And I’m talking about the work of being a writer, yes, but also the work of just living life well. Over the past couple of months I had to withdraw myself a little bit not just from the writer’s community, but from my friends, my church family and people in general. And like I said, that’s okay. I’ve got two little rugrats, our family moved, it was the Holiday season, and our family passed around a few illnesses before it was all said and done. Sometimes we are just forced to take a step back from some things in order to give more attention to other things that are more pressing.
However, now that I’m able to re-immerse myself into community with other writers and with my friends and church family, I’m finding myself less burdened and more motivated. I personally think it’s because God created us to support one another, whether that be spiritually, physically or emotionally. Some of us need less support than others, sure, but we all need someone.
In relation to being a writer, I find getting and giving support particularly important. When I’m meeting with other writers, talking about my craft, discussing aspects of what it means to be a writer, I find myself more motivated. The words flow a little easier. I see progress on my writing projects. I read novels with a student’s eye, noticing how scenes come together and learning more about making dialogue effective.
I’m not just talking about writers here. In fact, writers who practice community with other writers, I encourage you to branch that concept out into other areas of your life. Whatever your career (STAH Parent, Artist, Musician, Teacher, etc or a combo of professions), engage others, develop relationships, and meet with other people who do what you do. Don’t try to do it alone. You can’t–not without running yourself into the ground.