Being a writer can be very isolating.
I can’t tell you how many times I wished I was cuddled on the couch next to my husband, watching a movie or reruns of “The Office.” But instead, I was sequestered in the other room, furiously typing out my story. Even last Saturday, I was upstairs at my desk, editing, while the rest of my family ate a delicious lunch of leftover pizza and Stromboli (no, they did NOT save any for me!) and laughed at Smallfoot.
Now, I know a lot of writers are introverts, so being isolated may not bother them much. This is not often the case for me. In every personality test I’ve taken, I straddle the line between introvert and extrovert, with a lean towards the latter. I want to be with people!
So that’s why I cling to one of the most important parts of being a writer: finding community with other writers.
I made a connection about seven or eight years ago with a college friend of my husband’s, Emily DeArdo. We first bonded over our love for the American Girl books and dolls, and our friendship, though almost exclusively online, has deepened over the years. She is also a writer, and we started bouncing ideas off each other, reading each other’s work, and helping each other with our craft. So you can imagine that I was beyond thrilled for her this January when her first book, Living Memento Mori, was published! I loved going on the journey with her, and she’s been an indispensable partner on my own journey.
Another writer I am lucky to have in my life is my very own cousin, Lia Mack. I guess talents and interests run in the family, right? Lia published her first novel, Waiting for Paint to Dry, in 2015, and she is now working on the sequel. I will be the first to admit that when she was first published, I was a bit (a lot!) jealous. But instead of letting the negativity consume me, I let that emotion drive me to my own calling, which I’d been putting on the back burner for A LONG TIME. Watching Lia work and succeed in getting her book on bookshelves has been incredibly inspiring to me, and I’m proud she’s a part of my family.
Being in community with these two writers (and others) has been indispensable, and they no-joke keep me sane. When I want to give up on my book, or when I don’t know what to write next, or when I’m struggling to write at all, they are there with me, and I see what they’ve accomplished – these “regular people” I know – and it pushes me forward. They are THE BEST.
In the next couple of posts, I’ll catch up with them and ask about their writing journeys. So if you’d like a peek into the life of a couple of published authors, come back and hear all about a little corner of my amazing writing community.