Beyond me and my keyboard

When I’ve pictured writing, I’ve pictured a solitary occupation and for me my writing has been solitary. For a start, no one knew I was writing to begin with and I’ve had to write outside work hours so it’s just been me and the keyboard for company.

Taking an interest in what writers do to help me on my publishing journey, I’ve discovered that for many it isn’t always a solitary occupation. Many writers have critique partners to help them improve their manuscript or are part of writing groups where they write together i.e. in the same coffee shop side-by-side. They may or may not read each other’s work but they spend time in other writer’s company for inspiration and motivation. There are even retreats writers attend to band together for support.

I think I might need to step outside my room soon and see if I can be more involved with other writers, maybe find myself a critique partner that can help me polish up my next manuscript and build up a support group because I think I really need one 🙂

Do you write alone or with others?



37 thoughts on “Beyond me and my keyboard”

  1. When it comes to things like poems, I’m always with others. If not, I’d be in a place with inspiration eg. surrounded by nature.

  2. Alone. But if I actually completed something (oh god…I am dreadfully stalled)…then I would try to search for a critique partner, etc…
    conferences and retreats and stuff I can’t afford; just not realistic. I’d love to take courses if I could, but again, its not going to happen.
    I have to try to just read and write (but i feel that is not enough). I could start a blog to connect with other writers, but I struggle with a full focus on books/writing or a more general blog. I don’t even know what I’d write, but something I guess.

    I have a long ways to go before I even consider seeing critiques or a social group because I’ve never to complete or truly even find my genre/voice. Maybe I first need that social stuff to inspire/unblock/give me advice-direction….but it seems to be more sensical to first write the damn stuff and then seek it.

    You may not feel it, but you, my friend, are far more accomplished than you think 🙂

    (p.s. what is your typical writing time ? curious!).

    1. You should start a blog for sure! I agree, I think it’s important to write first and then seek advice. I’m sure you can do it, keep trying!

      Thanks for your support! Do you mean time when I write or how long it takes me to write?

      1. Hey, yeah…I want to start a blog about writing dreams..but it almost scares me to do so (I worry about “exposing” myself…particularly when I haven’t completed anything..I don’t feel like a writer …hard to explain). Not sure if a general blog would be silly though. (as a side note…how much time do u spend reading blogs — writing or nonwriting…i get sucked into nonwriting blogs…jeepers).

        I mean morning or night? everyday? couple of hours or this or that? I’ve tried morning….i almost feel early early morning when it is dark is best for me, but hard to drag myself out of bed…i find after 6 pm i’m useless and tv is my only possible activity (lame, but i’m brain dead)…but then when its late late and i’m exhausted and actually lying in bed, i have a million scripts and scenes floating through my head – but too exhausted to get up. Trial and error I guess..but interesting to know the patterns and routines of others.

        Any MUST-read writing blogs you would suggest for me to read as a NEWBIE? (again, I have a lot of nonwriting blogs that i follow…not sure if that is bad habit or good..needs to change maybe, but I have those interests too).

      2. I think that sounds like a great blog idea. Don’t be scared, you can stay anonmyous and just see how it goes.

        At the moment I write mostly at weekends as I have a full time job and a long commute. I tend to write when I’m inspired and write as much and for as long as I can. I’m not very good early or late either, you just need to find a time that works for you. Good luck!

        Have a browse through my blogroll or check out the blogs of authors you like.

  3. We either write together or write our separate entries and send them to each other for a second set of eyes. It helps when someone else is able to point out things I didn’t notice before.

    At work we do the same, give it to at least two others to review.

  4. Solo, solo, solo.
    I don’t like collaborating. I don’t like noise (other people’s ramblings). I’d rather not have anyone see my work until it’s done. Just because I know how raw it is, and feedback is (so often) on things I already know/recognized and plan to deal with in the next review.
    Write-ins can be fun. It has to be the right group of people, I guess. I’ve done a few with NaNoWriMo. I may have been more okay with them because NaNo is so casual and free-feeling. Hahaha.
    Conferences and retreats? I haven’t been sold on them yet. I just don’t see the benefit. I guess I’d have to go to one before I can really rule them out, but my current financial status has taken care of that for me.

  5. Vix, join a crit group ASAP! It has made a huge difference in my writing and I’ve made some terrific friends! Finding the right group isn’t easy but when you do it’s like winning the lotto!!!

  6. Writing . . . solo.
    Re-Writing and Editing . . . an extra set of eyes (and ears) may boost the end result.

    Finding the writing critique group is paramount.

    If all they do is pat one another on the back and tell each other how brilliant they are . . . it’s more of a boost for the ego than it is for the writing. 😉

  7. I tried co-writing and it didn’t really work out. I write on my own. But when it comes to critiquing and revising, a second pair of eyes can definitely help!

  8. I always write alone my friend and luckily I have
    no issues with that whatsoever…

    Hmm… A Solitary Vampire Perhaps? 🙂

    Have a great day today…


  9. Oh wow, I’ve never even thought about writing with other people. I’m so overly critical of myself I think I’d be embarrassed about what everyone else thought of my writing the whole time, haha! It’s a great idea for growing your skill, though!

  10. Ms. Vix if you do want to look “outside your room” one place you might look at is LinkedIn.com, the professional web site. Their are groups of all kinds including several writers groups covering different purposes. You can meet and interact with all types of writers in their online discussions. ..if you have any questions give me a shout. just a thought. I think you do a great job.

  11. I took an Aritcle and Essay workshop in college, not realizing at first that “workshop” meant I was going to be writing personal narratives and then printing copies and handing them around the room to my fellow classmates to critique. Every week, two people would take their turn reading their essays and then everyone in the circle would offer suggestions and critiques, and eventually hand all of the copies of the essays back to the writer with their comments in the margins. The first time I had to sit there and read my story, I felt terrified! But a lot of people offered some positive comments and suggestions. Of course, some people didn’t like my story and only had negative things to say, but I guess one person’s writing is never going to appeal to EVERYONE. Putting your writing out there and getting feedback can be scary ,but I think it’s worth it. I’m not too sure if I could handle communal writing though. I don’t even let my husband look over my shoulder whie I’m writing an email!

    1. That sounds scary but I’m sure it helped you developed. I think it’s easy to fear showing our work but like you say not everyone can like it, everyone has different opinions even on Bestsellers!

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