Monday, May 07, 2007

Being Alone

Posted by Lisa

Being Alone. That’s one of the things that draws me to writing. Some of the time, anyways.

This past weekend, we in our writers' group enjoyed spending time at Grub Street's Muse & the Marketplace Conference. The comraderie, the sense of togetherness. The tangible evidence that this pursuit is not truly an alone journey. That was nice. Meeting, seeing, chatting with the talented writers who spoke at the Muse. It’s inspiring. It’s humbling. It makes it seem possible. That could be me. That could be you.

But when we leave, as we drive home alone or with a friend. We go back to our quiet, or not so quiet worlds. To the spaces where we work, where we plot, where we gather our thoughts and expend our energies.

Being alone is easier when you carry with you an understanding of Gregory Maguire’s approach to plotting which is so like your own. Or when you hear Michael Lowenthal’s deep voice resonate in your memory, sharing his insights, his inspirations.

Being alone is easier when you aren’t alone. When you have met great writers, who have shared their journeys, you’re no longer alone. They are with you, completely, on some level as you work. So there you are, working at home, where you can write in your jammies, or bicycle shorts even. And you can’t do that at a writer’s conference. Or can you?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the plotting methods and your thoughts on the writer's solitary journey. I belong to a writer's group in Toronto. We e-mail back and forth sometimes hourly and feed off each other's excitement at a plot development, help each other deal with rejection. It helps to know I'm not the only one negotiating the wilderness.

Holly Kennedy said...

Actually, you CAN attend writers conferences in bike shorts and jammies, although it might not bode well for your future reputation as a published author *lol*

True story -- I attended a conference once where an elderly guy (mid-60s) arrived for class two days in a row wearing his bathing suit and his bath robe!!

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Holly, I'm rolling! That is too much!


Larramie said...

Shared tales, like Holly's, start my imagination rolling. Am I the only one who wonders what this "gentleman" was writing? ;o)

Therese said...

"Being alone is easier when you aren't alone."

That is so true!

I want to attend a conference in my jammies...well, maybe not a conference; maybe the retreat I suggested to Amy recently. Anyone interested in meeting up at Bald Head Island sometime?

It's a no-cars, no-hotels, serene, quiet island near the NC-SC border. A group could rent a house for a week and never have to change out of jammies!