It’s been said that writing is a solitary vocation, and while that’s true in terms of sitting at the desk doing the actual writing, it is far from the truth in terms of community. As I’ve made my way down this merry path of writing, I have repeatedly been surprised by the kindness of the writers I’ve met.
Today, I sat with my friend Sherrie in our favorite restaurant, talking about writing. Sherrie is a very talented writer, and as we conversed, it occurred to me that three years ago, I never would have believed I’d be where I am today. Three years ago, I was struggling with my first novel, plugging along with no real idea what I was doing or how I was going to do it. I did an awful lot of talking about writing, but very little actual writing. Most of all, I didn’t know a single person who shared my interest in writing. Today, it occurred to me that now, almost everyone I know is a writer. So much so that at times, I feel over-saturated by the topic.
But I don’t take it for granted. I’m very lucky to know so many other writers who have helped me along the way by giving me their time, advice, and friendship. This reality was fully cemented for me when, a few weeks ago, I was offered my first contract on a book. I had so many uncertainties and was so overwhelmed by the whole thing, I hardly believed it was real. Somehow, at that exact time, I made the acquaintance of Tamara Thorne. Tamara Thorne is a horror novelist~ and not just any horror novelist, but one of the novelists whose books I used to read which inspired me to be a writer in the first place. Not only was I meeting one of my heroes, but I was getting to know her. She was very kind to me and told me a lot of things that made the whole thing easier.
This is how it’s been all along for me. So many writers have come into my life at just the right times, clearing the path for me and easing my mind, making it impossible for me to overlook the almost “cosmic” synchronicity of it all. In a world that is supposedly dog-eat-dog, I am fortunate to say that somehow, I haven’t dealt with any of the nastiness and competitiveness everyone said was ”out there” waiting for me.
While it may be true that writing is a solitary activity, it’s also true that no one writes a book all by themselves. I’m lucky to know many great writers who also happen to be good people. I have to conclude that most established writers remember what it’s like to begin in this business, that they remember how tough it is, and because of that, they take a particular kindness to the beginners. This is something I did not expect~ and it’s become one of the predominant things I love about this business.