Wednesday, June 25, 2014
While visiting family last weekend my sister in law, an English teacher, mentioned she didn't know if she could abide the isolation necessary to be a writer. You know, all those hours shut up by yourself in order to find the words to convey the thoughts and feelings that are pushing at the edges of your heart and brain. I agreed with her that writing can be very isolating. On the other hand, with the internet now there are countless ways to connect with not only other writers but readers as well. It could be argued that the internet in fact is more of a deterent - c'mon, we all know how easy it is to become distracted while playing around with social media.
Many authors are planning to attend the National RWA Conference in San Antonio, TX from July 23-26. Many of them, if you asked, would claim to be introverts and enjoy the privacy of sitting in their office creating worlds, expanding plot devices and introducing readers to intriguing characters. If you were to stand off in a corner of the lobby, or lobby bar, during that conference, you'd be tempted to believe all those claims were just so much fiction.
I'm not fortunate enough to attend this years conference but I have in the past. There will be much laughter, many, many hugs and smiles as authors greet friends, many of whom they only see this one time a year. Readers will smile with delight at meeting so many of the authors who have given them countless moments of book pleasure. Everyone will be hurrying from one event, workshop or appointment to another, trying to cram as much information into the day as they can.
When I attended my first National Conference, I pleaded with my friends to not abandon me, that I was shy and couldn't visualize myself on my own. They now tease me unmericifully that I was so very wrong in my assumption. I am thrilled to say I met some wonderful people at those conferences. It's not just about making connections from a professional standpoint. It's about connecting on every level, it's about giving and receiving encouragement, celebrating accomplishments and commiserating disappointments.
I'll take all of that - even if from a distance!