Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Another New Leaf - by R.M. Greenaway

How has the writing life changed me as a person?

As Susan talked about yesterday, the huge change for me is community. As a youngster I had a very small circle of friends, and at times a circle of one - me. Not in a mournful way -- I was content. I grew up, worked, married, and we have a son, and for years that was about the extent of my social life. Again, I was content.
I began to write, though. Probably part of me did yearn for a larger world. So I created these people living exciting lives, people with no choice but to interact, people with problems, problems that I could solve!

For many years, writing in solitude was all fine, until I started wondering if I could actually publish these stories. I dared to imagine being in a room of writers, with things to say. It was just a daydream, of course.

a footbridge leading to an interesting little island - Castlegar BC
Then a couple of years ago it happened, all of it! Now I have friends and associates, far and wide, and have been in rooms full of writers, and joined the conversation! I've travelled, sat on panels, signed books, and talked with people, all kinds of interesting people, talked and talked and talked! Now it only feels like a daydream.

Happiness finds its level, and often I don't feel that much has changed -- except I have these crazy and unrelenting deadlines thrust upon me, a lot of angst and worry, barrels of self-doubt to overcome, and amazing little starbursts of celebration. But there are odd moments where I ask myself, how is it that what I wanted most of all has come true?

Another big change is I can no longer make everything up. When writing for an audience of one, nothing really matters. Writing for a wider audience, I'm stuck with an obligation to mesh my imaginery world with the real one, to be credible, to make my geography line up with the planet, to keep my criminal codes etc. up to date, and be a generally smarter person. The last is probably the hardest, but I'm getting there!



Susan C Shea said...

Your journey should inspire many other writers, who start in isolation and then find energy and happiness in the company of other writers. I hope your post gets wide distribution. (I'll send it via twitter!)

Paul D. Marks said...

There is definitely something to be said for the idea of community for writers, RM. We lead such solitary lives in many ways and I think many of us are happy with that to one degree or another. But it's nice to have that community and sense that we're part of something bigger.

Nancy Cole Silverman said...

I had no idea when I sat down to write my first book the journey I'd take or the people I'd meet. It's been equally as forfilling as the writing itself. And the best part, like my writing, it all just keeps getting better.

Unknown said...

That company includes this gang, Susan. Happy to be included!
Exactly, Paul. It seems any kind of art form gets you out of yourself and into something bigger.
Just what you said, Nancy, I agree!