Writing is perhaps the greatest love of my life. I estimate that I have been writing regularly for twenty years. This is a solitary practice for me and something I can do anywhere I go. While I have shared snippets over the years, including college papers and a short stint as an editorial columnist, and exchanged letters with dozens of people, I am still shy when it comes to sharing my work.
Within the last two years, between blogging and writing groups, I have managed to not only share my work but openly embraced criticism and in doing so gained new perspectives. Seeing my work through the eyes of others is thrilling to me. Listening to fellow writers read their creative versions of the same writing prompts is absolutely mind-blowing. The communities that I have found myself in elevate my soul in ways that I cannot express on paper or even verbally.
I have gained these “writing allies” through my connections with writing and the sharing of ideas. I am encouraged and supported by these other writers, these other amazing souls who speak the same language I speak and allow me to be myself and explore my writing possibilities. They are great companions to my personal studies of character arcs, mirror moments and plot points.
I am grateful that I now have a strong circle of amazing writers around me. Their verbiage is like a secret language that beacons me to open my imagination to the possibilities around me. When they can relate to something I have written or find the beauty and depth in the smallest seed of my writing, I feel as though I have won some grand prize. The fodder exchanged between writers contains a fertile space where the cross-pollination of opinions and ideas becomes an accelerator. We are all steering the craft with each piece we read and every project we write.
It is also a relief to hear how another writer’s struggles against their inner critic, their worst enemy, their inner naysayer, their impostor syndromes. Even for many published writers the criticism of family and friends, critics and reader’s reactions can all be cruel or overwhelming. It is nice to have others to turn to who know and share the pain of rejection and criticism. It is comforting to hear another person who says, “yes, I can relate to that.” I don’t know that there are many other communities like this one. Ones where the souls are connected and tug on emotional strings. It’s good to know that I am not alone as I sometimes feel.
Yes, I want nothing more than to be a professional full-time writer, being paid to do what I love, working from my cozy little room surrounded with my armamentarium of books, word-processors, paper and pens, supportive quotes, special red editorial pens, and desk mascots. I would love to churn out amazing stories that my readers love, can’t put down and can’t get enough of. I long to mingle with masters of the craft at writer’s conferences and go on writing retreats. My biggest and most ambitious dream is to become a successfully published author who can churn out a best-seller every year. I don’t know if I can really make any of these things happen for myself but I am damn sure going to try and enjoy doing it. I know I couldn’t do it half as well as I do without the assistance of my writing allies.