The Lone Writer...

We have all heard the cliché, some have actually even come to believe it: writers/authors take part in one of the loneliest occupations in the world... Or are they?

It's true that as a writer you wish to type away undisturbed. It's also true that as a writer, the only one who can write down the story is -in fact- you. And although there are many people who would argue that writers are never alone due to the fact that they are surrounded by imaginairy people, at the end of the day, you walk out of that writing office alone. But that doesn't mean that writing is a lonesome job. As a matter of fact, I am of the very strong opinion that it is impossible to write a story alone.

Allow me to explain this. Yes, it is the writer who pens down the story, but his/hers aren't the only eyes that will see the work before it is published. The first, are the eyes of a dear friend who you do not fear asking if they could have a look at your work. Then, perhaps, you will look for a beta-reader whom you are not familiar with, or maybe even ask a group of other writers to have a go at it. Just as a reminder: this doesn't only happen after you write down those magical words: "The End", this is a continuous process you go through along the way. It can start with a single chapter; just have someone take a quick look at it, and urge them to 'just skim through it' (because we, writers, are modest and shy like that, haha). Soon you'll notice that the feedback you receive from these people is useful, and you will ask them to look at another chapter. Or perhaps, the way someone gives feedback on your work doesn't quite fit your style, and you will look for another person who might be a better match. Either way, somehow, in some magical way, these meetings happen more and more frequently -suddenly turning into a weekly thing... a monthly thing, anything.

And then when after eigth or eight-hundred drafts, you feel ready to find yourself an editor: another person who will look at your work and discuss things about it with you... not with your characters: but you. Someone with whom you can brainstorm out loud, who listens and discusses the possibilities with you. And from the editor, your work might go to an agent, and from the agent it may go to a publisher and another editor, etc. etc. It is because of this exact reason that I find being a writer/author anything but lonely. I have friends coming over to do read-throughs almost weekly. I meet with my editor (who is an absolute miracle in pointing out the things that me and my friends overlooked) every other week. And every now and then I receive word from an agent (some asking for more, others rejecting my work, because that's how this game works). So, no... writing isn't lonely. It is a very social job that demands you to seek contact with other people. That being said, I suppose the best advice I can give you in this week's blog is to go out with your work. Find people to share it with, keep in touch with that editor, and meet frequently with your friends. You'll find it more useful and inspiring than brooding in front of your screen.

Happy writing!