We writers are not alone
Writers’ conferences are wonderful opportunities to remember that, as writers, though we write alone, we are not alone.
Last evening, I was treated, without hyperbole, to the most beautiful author talk I have ever had the honor to experience. Terry Tempest Williams is one of the most genuine and present people I have ever been in a room with. More to the point: it’s nearly impossible to leave the room without falling in love with her and to be left wanting more. (If there were even an iota of insincerity in her, I would laud her brilliant marketing plan.)
But Williams’ essence, her stage presence, her offering a jacket to a student who remarked on the overpowered air conditioning in the auditorium, were all 100% real, an attribute which lends all the more weight and credibility to her statements on the life of a writer.
Generally, in lecture halls, I like to attempt to play the role of attentive listener. (This frequently means I am day dreaming or mentally listing all the things I could be getting done if I didn’t have to sit still.) Attentiveness was not an issue here, though. It was as if Williams’ ability to be in the moment brought her audience into the same Zen-like state.
Half-way through her musings and stories, I needed a pen and notebook to jot down the treasures she was passing along to us. I knew I would need to come back to these nuggets for further reflection, and I knew that I would need these words of wisdom on a rainy day of writing.
“Work hard,” Williams said. “In the end that’s all it is. Nobody’s going to write for you.”
“Learn to live with paradox,” she said. “Protect your solitude.”
More sage advice from Terry Tempest Williams here ==>>
How do you combat feeling alone as a writer? What do you think of Terry Tempest William’s words?
Writers are solitary creatures. We are incredibly adept at making stories from the world around us, but sometimes I find that it’s hard to engage with those stories. It’s so simple to feel isolated, like you’re the only one who has ever had the struggle of not finishing a chapter, not getting your word count in, and getting stuck on another round of edits. It’s so important to find a community where you can share these feelings, get advice, and feel supported by others like yourself.
In the podcast with Sharon Galluzzo, she talks about the importance of finding a team to support you in your goals. About how each person should have a specific role and if you don’t have those people in your life, writing is a million times more difficult. It was really inspiring to hear how a best selling author still needed a supportive group to push her toward her goal. I think that’s why I love the http://www.writing-gym.com so much. The idea of a community of writers who are able to learn from, support, and assist each other is one that resonates very strongly with me. It’s so easy to feel discouraged when you feel like you’re going it alone. Sometimes just a little bit of encouragement from a friend on the site, or watching a module to get my creative juices flowing can make all of the difference.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Andi. I can totally relate to having a project go just so. That said, it’s a great experience to find people you can truly get into the writing flow with.
I am glad you are loving the Writing Gym. For people who haven’t heard of the Writing Gym podcast, can you tell them where to find it?