A-Z Writer's Toolbox: Camaraderie



UPDATE:


This post made the Publishing Daily TwitterZine.  Lots of great articles, be sure to check it out! 


A to Z Disclaimer:

Like all craftspeople, writers need to keep a bag of tricks handy.  A set of tools for the job at hand (writing), if you will.  Some of these traits or tools are obvious--like the need to have a hide as thick as a brick, for instance.  Some are not.  This month, I've been challenged to do a post every day of the week (excluding Sunday) that begins with a letter of the alphabet.  I'm going to use this challenge to examine some of those necessary writing tools, both conventional and not.  Hold on to your #2 pencil, here we go!


NOTE: I've added a page dedicated to my A to Z Writer's Toolbox posts.  I figured I'd soon have a bunch of these things and it'll make it easier for you to browse any of the letters you might have missed.  You can find a link to the page under the, "MORE STUFF" heading at the top of the right-hand column of this page.  


C is for camaraderie


Writing is a solitary business.  It is a process of cajoling, teasing and forcing things that--taken individually--are nothing but shapeless vapors wafting in our minds, and forming them into a cohesive substance that can be handled by all.  If a medium is a material with which an artist works to make her creations, then I might argue that writing is the only form of art with no true medium.  


A painter cannot color with language.  A sculptor cannot chisel memories.  A composer cannot sound notes with mental images.  Yet, given enough time and study, a writer can use those things to construct entire worlds.  Not surprisingly, this process doesn't lend itself to teamwork.  


Isaac Asimov once said, "Writing is a lonely job. Even if a writer socializes regularly, when he gets down to the real business of his life, it is he and his type writer or word processor. No one else is or can be involved in the matter."


So why am I suggesting that you can't do it alone?


Camaraderie, as defined by Webster's, is a spirit of friendly good-fellowship.  Only a dog knows the joys of chasing one's own tail, and the sadness of seeing an owner walk out the door alone.  Similarly, only another writer will understand how a single story can devour 4 years of your life, or how soul-destroying a simple 'no thanks' can be when it comes from THE agent. 


Like a tornado needs a trailer park, we need each other, if for no other reason than to provide some form of focus to a seemingly chaotic act.  Writer friends will be there to commiserate your disappointments, to celebrate your accomplishments, to cheer your progress and jeer when your writing sags.  All the while, they'll be pushing you to dig deeper and to express more by saying less.


If you don't have any writer friends, make some.  (I'd recommend Meetup.com or any of the popular writing community websites.  Heck, you could even start a writing blog!  :-)  No tool will be more valuable to your writing abilities, or your sanity.  





~EJW~



22 comments:

  1. Yep, all for that - and that's where writers groups, fellow wrting and crit partners come in! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Totally agreed! Which is why I blog and twitter and all the rest. I have my network group online. Which I love because it keeps growing and I meet awesome people like yourself :) I've come across so many great new writer blogs from the A to Z Challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I always wondered who all those people were-- listed in the acknowledgment section, written by the author. Now the more I write, the more I understand.

    There are my two crit groups, my local writing friends, my NaNoWriMo friends, my beta readers, my books clubs, my accountability partner, my writing retreat friends, and my cheerleaders. My list is getting longer and longer.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Writing is a lonely process. Perhaps that's why I haven't gotten 'round to writing a novel. I'm too social and writing is lonely. I find I spend so much time alone even when I blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another encouraging post. Thank you. I love visiting your blog. You always make me feel so much better.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @ Shelly: Thank you! I once had someone trash my blog because it was "so negative", so it truly means a lot to hear/read you say that!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is so true. I think it is great how supportive the writer community is. My writing groups are so supportive and I love meeting new writers in classes and at conferences. The community of writing bloggers is really great too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Are you saying interacting makes you human?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sings, "One is the loneliest number...."

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, all writers should have connections with other writers for those times between writing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well said. Writing is so much time alone that it's necessary to reach out to others, especially other writers.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I adore all the writer's groups I'm a part of - and this blogging community is awesome too. :) But when it comes down to it, the actual writing I do is solitary, indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think I spend too much time trying to be part of every one's community. Great blog and I love the video! Thanks E.J.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Without my crit. partners and online writer friends, I would have tossed in the towel long ago. But there is no way around the solitary nature of our craft. It is just the nature of the beast.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So true. Having writing friends has really made a difference in my life.

    I'm doing the A to Z challenge, too, but just like with my writing, now that I've learned the rules I'm breaking them. I started with a Sunday post and even though I'm covering all the letters, I'm bunching them up several to a day. I just can't handle bombarding my peeps with daily posts. Also, I'm too lazy to do all that blogging myself, so I'm having my characters do it for me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh yes, I'll keep this in mind for a future post. "On where to find writer friends."

    ReplyDelete
  17. The writers I've met online, particularly on the forums of Nathan Bransford's blog, have been some of the best people I've ever met. I wouldn't enjoy what I do half as much without them.

    ReplyDelete
  18. So true! "like a tornado needs a trailer park..." yep, sums it up. Thanks for a great and entertaining post this morning. (p.s. still deciding on the IPhone but really appreciate the comment and the camaraderie, too!)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I didn't belong to any writing groups until after I sold my first novel. Now, I can honestly say that we need each other to survive this insane business.

    It's nice to have a cheering section.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I didn't belong to any writing groups until after I sold my first novel. Now, I don't know how we get by without each other.

    ReplyDelete

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.