This week Kathleen O'Reilly joins us to talk about the importance of hanging out with people who just "get it"....the craziness of being a writer, that is! Take it away, Kathleen!
Here at the Pink Heart Society, there are a lot of writers that hang out and chat, and it’s wonderful to have that sort of common bond, because, well, to be frank, being a writer is like living a vacuum from the rest of the world. You’re in your own bubble, and sometimes, sadly, you can get lost in your own bubble.
I’m an introvert. If I spend too much time mingling at conferences, I start to panic and have a tendency to go hide. However, I wander around a lot online because for some reason, for me, online is safe (contrary to what I tell my children). I can communicate much better through my written words than my spoken words, and it’s easier to seek out those whom you have a bond with. You see, the loneliness of writing is a bond. Definitely.
I get lost in the worlds that I make. I get lost with the characters that I create, and it is only through zealous list-making that I function at all. And I must say, I do a great imitation of someone who functions well in the real world. We went on a road-trip this past month, and I was mulling over a story, working out plot possibilities in my head, like examining a mobius strip, turning it over, bending it a bit, trying to see what changes in the way it appears. My DH kept trying to coax me into conversation, but I was being pulled back into the bubble with my mobius strip. Eventually, he looked at me. “Plotting?” I nodded, and after that, he left me alone.
As an author, the month the books hit the shelves is a huge splash of cold water to the face. Sometimes you are glad you’re yanked out of your bubble, and sometimes you’re not. It’s at those times, when emotional peaks are soaring, or God forbid, things are tanking, that you need to seek out other writers. No one else but a writer understands. You need to whisper your secret dreams and your darkest fears and not be alone inside your little bubble. These things need to get out. Family does not understand. Friends (of the non-writing persuasion) will not understand. To the rest of the world, the dreams and fears of a writer are the most trivial of things, but for a writer, when the world ‘gets’ a scene, or when the world bonds with a character, it’s a high that’s been most likely, a year in the making. That’s some highly fermented wine. The converse is true as well, and no one else but a writer will understand the pain when a dream gets popped.
If you don’t have your writer friends, find them, making them, seek them out. You will need them for your own peace of mind.
I love writing. I fought against being a writer for a long time, but I have now accepted my calling with quiet resignation. However, without my writer friends, I could not survive. I could not function. There are stereotypes of addled and confused writers who get lost in their bubbles, so remember the first rule of writing. Always avoid the stereotypes. Find a friend.
If you have a friend experience you’d like to share, feel free to comment. I’ll be giving away a set of Shaken and Stirred (Book 1, out last month), and this month’s book, Sex, Straight Up (Book 2, out this month) to one lucky winner.
Kathleen O’Reilly is the award-winning award of almost twenty romances, enough to know she’s an author, but not enough to be cocky. Her latest release is Sex, Straight Up, a Harlequin Blaze (and Book 2 of her THOSE SEXY O’SULLIVANS trilogy). www.kathleenoreilly.com