When I tell people that I write, that working on a novel is my only job, they often ask, “Don’t you get bored?”
I have no shortage of things to do. Unfortunately, many of them have nothing to do with my writing. It can be much easier to clean the house from top to bottom than to sit at my desk and figure out how to fix the scene that’s not working. (Sometimes I can figure out how to fix the scene while vacuuming, but not always.) Writing is hard work, but for me, it’s never boring.
What I think people really mean when they ask if I get bored is, “Don’t you get lonely?”
Yes. Every day.
Writing is a solitary activity and I often miss the companionship of coworkers. Maybe it wasn’t smart to move to a city where I knew no one and isolate myself at home with my characters.
I made friends with neighbors, with other students in my modern dance class. I joined a couple of book clubs. I found a place to volunteer once a week. But still, I worked at home alone with no colleagues.
Then I discovered San Diego Writers, Ink. It’s a tremendous resource for writers looking for classes, workshops, salons, writing groups and more. I’ve met so many other writers, published and un-published in novels, non-fiction, short stories, poetry and essays.
I met a writer who moved to my neighborhood and we started a small writing circle that meets twice a month. We share our work, our struggles and our successes and we offer one another support and encouragement.
I found She Writes online and met more writers in the virtual world. It’s a diverse and extensive community of writers who are delighted to share what they’ve learned about writing and publishing.
Now, I have colleagues, other writers who understand that bored and lonely are two different things. Now, when I’m at home writing by myself, I don’t feel quite so alone.
If you’ve found or created a writing group, what’s your story? Or have you found other ways of dealing with the isolation of writing?