Writing Is Not So Solitary

Writing Is Not So Solitary

It is often said that writing is a solitary pursuit. We picture the great authors of our day hunched over a typewriter alone in an office facing a window overlooking a stunning view. Well, that’s what I imagine at least. It’s not completely false. I tend to do most of my writing alone in my office, but that’s only one part of the equation.

We write for others

At its most basic form, writing is a relationship between storyteller and the reader. Even when we are merely writing a journal entry, we are writing for our higher-self or future-self. When I sit down to write, I often imagine the person who is going to read my book or blog and think of what it is they need from my narrative to make their day or life better. It is always imperative to keep your reader in the forefront of your mind as you write.

We rewrite with others

Whether you believe Ernest Hemingway who said, “The only kind of writing is rewriting” or E B White who said, “The best writing is rewriting,” or John Green who said that, “All writing is rewriting” the message is obvious: nothing is done in one draft. I am always grateful for the many people who are part of my writing team. My blogs get edited by my virtual assistant before they are posted, and it gives me an opportunity to fix any arguments that don’t make sense. I have a structural editor who helps me shape the first draft of my book and whose refrain it seems is always, “add more emotion!” Also, my literary agent is a huge influence on my book and the person I can count on for the white-hot truth. Her help with my rewrites has elevated my work beyond what I thought possible. You can look around your writing journey and find many players in your world as well. Do you have a trusted friend who reads your first drafts? Do you have a writing coach holding you accountable to getting the words down on paper? You see? Writing is not so solitary, is it?

We write with friends

What prompted this blog post is a client of mine asking if we could do a writing session together to hold her accountable to her writing. That meant we both got on a Zoom call and sat there and typed away on opposite ends of the country, both getting our work done. You might also meet up with a friend or two in a coffee shop and sit there together and write. It’s the same principle as taking a friend to the gym. It gets us out of the house and doing the work. This is also the master plan behind the writing retreats I host. They get us all in one location with the sole goal of writing, relaxing, and enjoying the company of other excellent writers.

Don’t write alone. Join myself and other writers on a fantastic writing retreat in the mountains this May. It will give you the time away you need to focus on writing your book as well qualified support, accountability, and a stunning view!

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