Monday, February 7, 2011

A Sense of Belonging

We can all agree the work of writing can be a solitary journey. You sit behind a computer pounding your heart and soul, molding a story you have to tell. Some of us plot and develop detailed character sketches in advance of beginning the actual story; others possess a slight plot, maybe just an idea, and get onboard for a ride, following the story where their characters take it.

The entire journey of writing, of finishing a novel, is exhilarating. I finished the first draft of my own novel in November. I’m very close to completing my second. Obviously, much work lies ahead. A first draft is simply that.

So, we write and write and write…alone. Yet, our worlds are hardly devoid of human contact. We mingle with each other virtually through Twitter, Facebook and blogs. We attend conferences and writing workshops, seeking relationship – some kind of connection – as much as we seek to learn & grow as writers.

Belonging.  That’s what we seek. A place with like-minded people, immersed in a similar journey. I won’t pretend to speak for every writer out there. Everyone possesses their own goals or agendas. For me, a sense of belonging is paramount.

It’s been a very slow road for me. I’ve joined an in-person crit group and an online group, both of which failed. My focus has turned to bonding via Twitter and commenting on blogs I enjoy reading.  Writing is in my bones; something that has to be done. But friendship is what I ultimately seek. Walking a lonely road, without encouragement or insight, is a difficult road. I’m still looking for what I term a writing mentor but I’m willing to wait and see one grow organically.

Do you have the need to belong to a writing community? Do you already have a group of fellow writers how encourage and challenge you?


  1. Well... yes... She just came to my blog one day when I was complaining and told me to snap out of it.

    She is definitely my favorite writer ever.


  2. I sometimes feel like I'm alone in a crowded room. But there are a lot of other people in the same position. Maybe even MOST people in this room. Everyone's willing to help in some way, even if it's only directing you to someone else. I have mentors who barely know I exist, and I'm okay with that. It's just like college. I'm still part of the community. And so are you, Kirk! Keep it up!

    And snap out of it! ;) (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

  3. Misha and Ben - Thanks for being part of my community. I appreciate your contributions.