Writing is a solitary gig. We sit in a room and manipulate words. Which requires focus. Which requires solitude. Other things in life require solitude too. That’s okay – except when it isn’t.
For example solitude isn’t okay at worry time. We hunker down in the dark closet of our negative brain place. We spin our worries into more and more complicated tapestries. We let those tapestries become us. We eat them like the nutcase in The Red Dragon. Remember him?
The same goes for doubting. We really know how to spin our doubts big and bigger until they suck up all the air in that narrow closet. Our doubts all begin pretty much the same. With a sentence that goes “I’m not good enough to….” You fill in the blank with your own doubts.
I know this doubt and worry closet well because I’ve spent way too much time there. Hunched in the corner with the closet bar over my head and every hanger draped in fear. I’ve spent too much time there and not one nanosecond of that time did any good at all for me or my career or anything.
Solitude also doesn’t work in our favor at question time. Google doesn’t have the answer to everything though it does a damned good job at that. But Google doesn’t have a human voice. Google can’t reach out to us from its heart or give us a reassuring smile. At least not yet.
For that we need our peeps. Unfortunately for those of us who write – a lot of the time our personal life peeps can’t help us. Because your significant other or your sister or even your regular friends most often do not know the correct answer to the following crucial question.
“When you’re staring into space, can you possibly be working?”
Civilians – meaning anybody not engaged on the battlefield of the writing/publishing wars – can’t be expected to understand that blank stares and frozen faces and arrested motion in general on the part of a writer can mean an idea is either on its way or in search of its perfect wording.
We need our tribe. In our tribe we find quirky-obsessive minds like our own. In our tribe we find inspiration and encouragement. In our tribe we find each other. We hold each other up when worry and doubt and questioning press down on us. And we are beautiful together.
I am reminding myself of all of this as I renew my own commitment to several of my tribal families. My home RWA Chapter at www.rwanyc.com. Liberty State Fiction Writers which I joined a couple of months ago at www.libertystatesfictionwriters.com. New Jersey Romance Writers which I just rejoined at http://www.njromancewriters.org/. And my local chapter of MWA where I intend to become active again after many years at http://www.mwany.org.
So I’ve been mostly absent for a while but now I’m back. Maybe I’m back to life in a way in general. How about you?
Find my books at amazon.com/author/aliceorr.
Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com