What was I doing here?

Zero to Hero today challenged us to write the First Blog, the one we thought of when we started our blogs. I don’t have one of those. I was worried that I was doing it wrong, but I took the wise decision of reading before I started writing, and discovered that The Writing Catalogue and The Flibberatic Skeebles didn’t have that proto-post either. I wasn’t alone. That’s a good start.

I suppose I did have a post I wanted to write, but that’s the “OMG I sold a book!” post, which I can’t write yet because I haven’t even finished a book yet. The editing is still waiting for me.The point of starting a blog was, rather than the posts, the comments. I love a community, especially a writing community. When I lived in York I had an amazing writing group in the NaNoWriMo peeps, who congregated in a cafe in the historic Shambles, drank tea and ate cake, complained about our characters and, ever so occasionally, wrote things. During November we wrote all the time, but we met for the rest of the year as well and had a break from writing and work and families with people who understood that writing was not an optional part of that balance.

And then I moved away, and I left them behind. I came home, and now I have to bite my tongue when my mum completely ignores anything I say about writing, and every time she suggests I get a job neither of us wants. My brother gets it, a bit, but he’s a scientist and engaged, and doesn’t have much time for his big sister’s flights of romantic fancy.

What I want to do with this blog is find people who understand. I’d like to find people who write fantasy and gay romance and occasionally smash the two together, gleefully, at high speeds, and watch either world or people fall apart. (It’s usually the people. I build my worlds well, and my people always have some fairly major flaws and fragilities.) I’d like to find people who sometimes want to put the manuscript down and talk about the best way to make a cup of tea, and then pick it up again and argue about the likelihood of a matriarchy in a world where the gods pop in for the aforementioned cup of tea.

Writing is, I’m told, a solitary effort. In my experience, it’s at its best when it isn’t. Now, more than ever before, writing can be a life of a thousand candles, burning at both ends, each lighting their own little area but all lighting together.

One day, I’ll get to write that celebratory post, and then another and another and another. For now, though, I’ll just keep my little candle burning.

9 thoughts on “What was I doing here?

  1. “OMG I sold a book!” – Wouldn’t that be an amazing thing to say.

    And when you’ve just written a few pages you’re particularly proud of and no-one in the house wants to read it or, even worse, they do read it but don’t suddenly turn round in a burst of enthusiasm spouting praise and instead say, “aww, that’s nice..” in a condescending display of epic fail. That’s solitarianism. I hear ya.

  2. Alexandra, I can so relate to the sense of being alone as a writer, of talking about writing to your family and having no response. Hang in there! – the world needs your voice. One thing I have tried is “meetup.com” for writing events in my area, which has been mostly positive. I have also found that connecting with just one other writer – a writing “buddy” – has gone a long way to motivating me and reducing my sense of aloneness. Just a thought! – and great post, by the way! Very heartfelt and connecting.

  3. A namedrop AND NaNo in the same post?! Gay romance and fantasy? I can do that. I probably have done that … and if I hadn’t deactivated my dA account before Christmas I could link you to some …

    Always happy to talk writing! World building, characters that frustrate and/or won’t leave you alone … all of it. Oddly, it isn’t something I’ve blogged about … yet.

  4. Firstly, NaNoWriMo rocks!!! I do miss those conversations about the best way to stop your characters from running away from your carefully crafted plot. Finding people that understand your need to write is huge as it means that they get it. It means they will answer when you wonder just how you would scale a wall that appears to be polished smooth. It means that when you are smiling at your blank page, they are smiling along with you. And that acceptance is invaluable.
    I look forward to reading that post when you sell your book.
    P.S. If the gods are Matriarchal then the people will be too, hence them popping in for tea. Clearly it’s better to have a cuppa than be worshiped from afar as you get a better relationship that way. 😉

  5. The ACT of writing is definitely a solitary effort but that doesn’t mean we writers are solitary creatures. Far from it, we are the most sociable people around, ever curious, and always there to lend a good ear. After all, how else would we get our ideas?

    • This is very true. Never miss an opportunity for a story. I do love writing in company, though. The inexplicable swearing at people who aren’t there doesn’t half lift the mood.

      • I’ve been known to do that when I’m not even writing.

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