I was talking to a family member a couple of days ago and she asked me if I ever got lonely, or felt isolated, when writing. It was a fair question. I spent years working in an office, and enjoyed the banter and the company of my workmates (or at least some of them) so it was reasonable to assume that working alone might be a shock to the system. Well, not to mine. I love it. But her question got me thinking. And you know what? I don't believe that I do work alone. Let me explain.
Some days I tap away in the café at the gym. After a swim, I get a coffee, open the laptop and away I go for around 3 hours. I enjoy the buzz that goes on around me, and I know so many people there that I often stop for a chat. At home I'm physically alone, but I'm hooked up to social media, so I might have Twitter conversations, or be contributing to threads on closed Facebook groups in between bouts of writing. The joy of social media is that it can be switched on or off at will - not something so easily done with that annoying colleague in the office! I concede that it would be very easy to become isolated, so connecting with other authors via genre-specific groups is so important. I won't use the word networking (although I have) because I always think of grey suits in a shabby room... And no, before you ask, the groups I'm talking about are not about promo but about letting your voice be heard, showing some personality and being sociable - after all, it ain't called social media for nothing.
I've joined a couple of LGBT author groups in the last day or two, and I'm having a blast: getting good advice from fab authors who have bigger and better names in the genre than I do (or at least for now, ha!), sharing experiences and hopefully making friends. One that looks great fun, and will be trying out next weekend because postings are only allowed at the weekend, is this:
So, coming back to the question about whether I get lonely working alone, the answer is that I don't have time to get lonely, when I'm part of this great genre that we all love.
A E Ryecart
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