Friday, September 12, 2008

Traveling Along the Writing Road

“Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.” ~Jessamyn West, Quaker author

Writing is a solitary life--I've heard that over and over since stepping back on the writing road. Today, I did a bit of research and found out exactly who should be credited with that thought: Jessamyn West, a Quaker author who wrote novels and articles.

But, with all due respect to Ms. West, I must disagree with her.

Oh, sure, there are times when it is me and my computer and words, words, word. Writing and rewriting. Or maybe it's me and my computer and no words--and a high level of frustration. Pretty solitary, that.

But there is so much more to my writing life--and it involves all the other people I've met along the writing road. The ones who've encouraged me as a writer. Mentored me. The ones who said, "Let me help you out here," expecting nothing in return.

There are the people I've been able to lend a hand to--maybe an editorial hand, reading through a manuscript before it's submitted. Maybe it's posting a book review or just posting a blog entry about an upcoming contest.

Don't get fooled into thinking the writing life is a solitary one. You'll miss half the fun of meeting all the other folks sharing the writing road with you!

Don't forget that The Writer Mama is having a wonderful contest all month long and giving away prizes every day! Check it out over at her blog!


RumorsOfGlory said...

I couldn't have said it better!!!

People always say that about counseling too..."It's such a lonely life." I guess, if you don't consider being with wonderful people who share the deepest parts of their lives, the incredible training sessions, and being surrounded by other caretaker types lonely. I certainly don't.

Beth K. Vogt said...

I hadn't thought of the comparison between counseling and writing--being by yourself or being with people--but it certainly holds up!