I’ve spent the last hour sitting here sipping my steaming coffee and reading blog posts. I do this every morning – try to catch up on what work fellow writers are doing. Yesterday, as I was going through this process, I was struck by the sense of community that I feel with people I have never met, people who live halfway around the country and halfway around the world.
I am shy and introverted as are many other writers. I am most comfortable at home with a book or my computer. The only people I ever really hang out with are my husband and my close friend (and a group of friends on Sundays). But other than that, I spend my days attempting to be a hermit. Since I’ve begun writing again, however, that keep-to-myself attitude is changing a bit. My friend and I go to the coffee shop every Monday where we have met an honest-to-goodness published author. He’s the cutest, sweetest old man, and we always chat with him and keep him updated on our work. We’ve become friendly with our favorite barista as well, even inviting her to go on outings to the park with us. She’s a writer as well, so we immediately felt a connection with her. Now, I want to go on conferences, and yesterday, I took a huge step in opening up. I signed up for writerscafe.org and writing.com. I added the prologue of my first novella and am allowing strangers to write reviews of my work. You have no idea what a step that is for me!
I don’t think I ever would have started speaking with strangers, writing a blog, or uploading my work on the internet if it weren’t for the fact that the writing community is so supportive. Everywhere I turn, someone has a pat on the back and a reassuring word. That’s not to say that everything is of the “you’re a special snowflake” variety (which I hate). It’s a “you work hard, you’ll succeed” message with a “here’s a tip to help you on your way” added in there. I love it. I love this community, and I am full of warm, fuzzy feelings for you people whom I have never met. Stay awesome!