|Lilies - Maria A Smith|
Writers are a funny breed don't you think? We keep the strangest hours, often going to bed very late, or rising early to scribble down words conjured up from our imaginations We live inside our own heads working out scenes, often conversing with characters we've created on the page. We look at people oddly, perhaps weighing them up for a part in our stories, and we walk around mumbling to ourselves while we work out scenes and plot.
Never mind if you have the most supportive spouse, or partner, there is no one quite like another writer to understand your frustrations when things aren't going right, when you want to chuck it all in, or to share your jubilation when success strikes. Having a fellow scribe for support, to bounce ideas off, and also to help when you find yourself stuck between chapters is priceless.
These days you have more chance of finding and hitting it off with someone thanks to the web, the internet has given us all opportunities to find like minded people passionate about the craft. Twitter, Facebook and blogging are all ways of finding interesting people who understand what its like to be a writer.
I've been very lucky, and have gained much from the writers I've shared tweets with on Twitter, and have found them very supportive when I've asked questions on genre, plot, editing and much more besides.
I've been to, and organised 'tweet ups' which are specially arranged meetings for writers who use Twitter, on each occasion they have been valuable sessions and great fun too! Networking is good, its not always what you know, but who you know that counts in this game. Many a writer has gained the name of a good editor, or an address of where to send their work through networking.
I'm not good on Facebook, I really must get my own page, but first I shall have to seek some writerly advice myself. Lots of people link all their social networking platforms together, that is something else I'll have to learn how to do, but for now, I'm happy with they way I communicate.
I love to hook up with other writers for coffee, or at a workshop, or conference, happy chatter over tea and cake is always a pleasure with writing news thrown in for good measure.
I feel privileged to be part of a critique group that meets weekly, not only does it keep me writing regularly, it allows me to get valuable feedback on my writing too. Everyone is very generous with their time and advice.
Of course I couldn't finish up without mentioning blogging now could I? Personally, I love to blog, I decided from the beginning I would humanise my blog, so I posted a picture of myself, wrote some words and launched it, with the hope, someone would read it, and hopefully interact with me by leaving a comment now and again. What can I say, its been journey, I've tried to infuse my writing, with personality, and voice. Those who know the 'real' me, say the blog 'voice' mirrors my own.
Visiting blogs, and having my own has brought me much closer to other writers, I'm part of a huge writing community, which spans the globe, and it feels good. If I can help anyone it feels good, I am passing on the baton, having been handed it myself by other writers who have freely offered advice and information. Its rare you meet anyone here who is precious, dig deep enough and you'll find an answer to your question, someone out there, has either done it, or knows someone who can help.
How do you interact with other writers? How has it helped you, and where did it lead?