Do you have to be a loner to enjoy a life as a writer? Most writers don’t leave the house in the morning and go to the office to work with other writers. There’s no water cooler, no lunch brigade, no one to talk with when a break from work is needed. That is until recently. While no one waits around the corner to have a chat, there are plenty of other writers hanging out in virtual break rooms. Has social media created the virtual writer’s office?
I’m a social person – I thrive on human interaction. But when I write, I enjoy solitude (even if it’s in the form of headphones drowning out the noise from a crowded café). After a few hours though, I crave a break. With the click of my mouse, I can hop on to Facebook, post a comment, and within minutes – sometimes seconds, someone responds. I am not alone. I scroll through my page and catch up on the latest – what my friends are working on, what they’re reading, a new trend in publishing, or a witty cartoon about the writing life. Move over to Twitter and I can join a chat, reply to a tweet, or browse for interesting content. Before I know it, half an hour has passed and I have to resist the temptation to spend too much time “socializing” and get back to work.
I have been astounded by the support and camaraderie I’ve found through relationships built on Twitter and Facebook. Much more than merely channels for self-promotion, social media can be a gateway to unlimited new friendships and alliances – if you want it to be. I’ve received support, advice, encouragement, and help from friends I have never laid eyes on. Because of these relationships my books have been reviewed by newspaper editors, bloggers, and other authors. I have established a wonderful network of associates and mentors.
As for face-to-face interaction – conferences, workshops, and book events still fit the bill nicely.
The writing life is unique to each writer. It can be as solitary or as social as one chooses. As for me – I choose social. My friends all around the globe enrich my life – and I look forward to making more every day.
Image courtesy of BrianHolm / FreeDigitalPhotos.net