We spend hours with our noses in books, shut in dark rooms with our laptops, staring off into space "researching."
We can be lonely. Cut off.
I'm an extrovert, and I love people, but for some unfortunate reason, I'm also very shy. I was never the type of person who has tons of friends or makes them everywhere she goes. I've always had one, maybe two friends if I'm lucky at any given moment, and it's difficult for me to meet new people. I long for friendships, but my shyness makes it hard for me to go out there and find people with interests like mine. I'm baffled how those non-shy people do it, and usually stand around, desperately hoping one of them will find me and introduce me to everyone else at a party.
Things rarely happen to you when you sit there waiting for them.
When I started writing, I finally realized "I shouldn't be doing this alone." Every site and blog I read was talking about critique groups and writer buddies who lift you up when you are buried under the Rejection Pile. So, I pulled up my bootstraps, and said "I'm going to be social, dammit!"
I didn't know where to start. I wanted to chime in on forums and blogs, but I had all of these worries, these doubts constantly swirling through my mind.
I'm not fun to talk to.
If I'm not interesting enough, no one will notice me.
If I'm too forward, people will think I'm psycho.
I'm too boring.
I'm too weird.
I'm smiling like a Killer Klown from Outer Space in my profile pic.
Someone will think I'm internet stalking them if I comment too much.
I'm not part of the group. I'm intruding on the others.
So now you know: I'm a little nutty.
However, here's the secret I learned from manning up and getting myself out there: Everyone else is nutty too. And it's okay :)!
We're all obsessive and hermity and strange, and we are all one big community of people who are following the same dream.
The second I realized that I was not alone was the second I realized that I loved getting to know other writers like nothing else. I've met some amazing people who have not only helped me shape my novel, but have just made me feel like, well, part of the gang in this secret world of writers.
The connections that bring us together as a community are the greatest thing that social networking/blogging has given me these past few months. I have friends with the same goals who help support me, and I them. If you're not trying to connect with other writers, I strongly encourage you to be bold and reach out. No one will bite you. I've discovered that fellow writers are some of the nicest, most genuine people I've ever met :).
(Just make sure you're balancing your networking time with you know... actual writing time. Heheh.)
So, to wrap up this rambling, thank you, all of you for making me feel so welcome. Thank you for sharing your knowledge for me. Thanks for just being funny and sharing your opinions, and making me feel like I'm not the only crazy person out there.
Also, if you feel unconnected and wandered here checking things out, feel free to email me any time at legacyoftheempress(at)gmail(dot)com. If I can help you get connected with some other writers, or be that connection for you myself, I'm happy to know you :).
For the rest of you, I'd love to hear your stories and about your road to getting connected.
How do other writers play a role in your life?
Are you shy like me?
Do you have beta readers or critique buddies that have changed you for the better?
What's your story?