Monday, June 17, 2013

Ode to my Writing Community

Dreaming up something... (That's me on the left!)
I have always been a writer.

My mother will happily recount the days I scribbled complicated drawings into pre-school binders and recited my stories to anyone and everyone who would listen. She will also recall my enthusiasm for writing in elementary school--those animal-centric stories that nearly always ended with a girl being given a pet horse. She will, however, also remember a shift that took place around my twelfth birthday.

I still wrote during middle school (massive, overly-complicated LORD OF THE RINGS and DRAGONLANCE CHRONICLE rip-offs, mostly), but I did so with a sudden and peculiar sense of shyness. Because I was nearly a teenager now, and writing--particularly fantasy writing--was weird. Dorky. Undesirable.

It was far more socially acceptable to be an athlete, so I dove into that pursuit instead. By high school, my writing days were mostly a memory.

My writerly drought continued through college, but my storytelling pangs never went away. They were always there--looming just on the edge of my psyche, so tentative and fragile they disappeared when I tried to study them too closely.

I finally surrendered to my pangs five years ago, but even then, I kept my strange hobby on the down-low. Most of my good friends (with the exception of my long-time critique partner Allen Walker) didn't even know I had written a novel until I signed with a literary agent.

Why? Looking back on it, I laugh at myself for my self-consciousness. Because here's the thing I've realized since I've embraced my inner writerly-ness: there are TONS of writers out there. Everywhere.

They are AMAZING people, and they have welcomed me and made me part of their community with no questions asked. I have met them through QueryTracker and forums, I have buddied up with them at conferences, I have taken workshops with them, I have consoled them during their setbacks and I have toasted to their successes.

I have become part of something so much bigger than myself, and now I wonder why it took me so long to realize I wasn't alone in this.

So... Thank you. To all of you. For everything.

One more thing: I'm very, very lucky to have you.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We are everywhere! I didn't realize it until I got online. And don't think of the years wasted. It sounds more like perfect timing.

Yolanda Renee said...

This community is so awesome and so supportive, that's why blogging, reading and commenting make the time disappear. It's not a chore, it's a pleasure.

Back to writing!

Happy Monday!

Shari Green said...

The writing community really is awesome, isn't it? Like you, I'm so thankful for all my online writer-friends...don't know what I'd do without all of you!

Lora Rivera said...

For reals. <3

Angelina C. Hansen said...

I'm so grateful to be in this community with you. All of you have kept me connected to my writing through these difficult times when it would have been easy to forget I'm a writer.

alexia said...

Huzzah, Dragonlance and LOTR! *high-five*

I too kept my writing pretty secret until about 3 or 4 years ago. And yes, this community is so awesome :) We're lucky to have you, too.

Shallee said...

Big hugs! I'm happy to have you too! The writing community is SO amazing!

LTM said...

I LOVE this post! you're so right--we're everywhere, and the best writers do like you said: support each other, encourage. It's about sharing what we have, our stories. And it's about the experience.

I'm so so happy we live in a time when we can find each other like this! Glad I know you, friend~ :o) <3

Altha Fidia Oktora said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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