The housewarming party is over. People have stopped in, said “hey, welcome to the neighborhood”, perhaps brought a dish or a welcome gift. Now the house is empty except for its sole resident. For the most part, you enjoy your home. You know where everything is, you have your routine down from sunrise to sunset. Your neighbors know when you leave for work and the time you bring out the trash. But every now and then, it’s good to mix things up at the house. Plan a little get together and invite some people over. Houseguests can be fun to have and I’m happy to invite them over to hang out.
Meet my very first blog guest, poet/writer Yolanda Washington. A native of Dayton, OH (Whoo-hoo! Midwest girl) now residing in Atlanta, she is currently working on her first poetry collection, Freedom, which has a projected Spring 2012 release date. She also writes science-fiction and flash fiction. Her blogs reflect encouragement, insight, and motivation. If you enjoy the post below, then head on over to her house at Y.I. Washington Writer/Poet to show some love and support.
Reach Out and Touch
Once in a while, I take a trip by myself. While my destination is usually to visit family, I go it alone. I’ve even gone to the movies by myself.
However, when I take these trips or go to the movies with someone else, it’s usually a lot more fun. There’s someone to talk to when I’m close to falling asleep at the wheel. I can have a conversation regarding the movie while walking to the car (the movie was great or sucked a gigantic troll egg.)
While the process of creating a written work is mostly a solitary one, the journey of a writer should not be. We need people that we can talk to about the expedition: the pitfalls, insanity, the triumphant publications, or the crappy rejections. Sure, family and some friends are great and can throw encouragement our way. But, I’ve found that having other actual writers to “hang out with” makes this odyssey a lot more interesting.
Purposing to create a village of like-minded individuals, who truly understand the roller coaster we are on, should be a priority for anyone pursuing a writing career. The people you meet, most of which are very welcoming, are extraordinary. Most writers aren’t overly concerned with being in competition with each other. Why? Because we understand how hard the publishing industry is to break into. We get the complexities involved in creating just the right characters, scenes, conflict, and resolution.
I joined LinkedIn, an online professional networking community, and participate in such fantastic groups as the Definitive Serious Writers Group, Fiction Writers Group, and Writer’s Out, just to name a few. I’ve learned, shared, encouraged, been encouraged and met some very interesting and creative people. Were it not for writers like Terrence Brejla, VicToria Freudiger, Sharon Zanon, Mark Sheldon, Scott Lyman, Liana Giorig, B. Lynn Goodwin, Darlene Hartman and Charles Weinblatt, to name a few, I wouldn’t have the confidence, direction, and on some days, sanity to go on.
So, get out there. Find other writers to link with and grow your network of “travel companions”. After all, road trips are so much more fun with other people along for the ride.
NOTE FROM THE HOMEOWNER: In addition to LinkedIn, you may want to check out these other networking sites. They are either writing-specific or have special groups just for authors (both published and aspiring). However, this is a short list. Feel free to add any other great networking sites you are aware of in the comments.