You are not alone in the world. One of the reasons that I started this blog was to engage with other writers. Writing, a solitary pursuit, can be isolating and I needed to connect.
It is easy to get so lost in your own internal world that you start to believe that no one else could possibly understand how you feel.
When I started writing, I hid behind my edict to “write! write! write!” I quickly found myself disconnected and uncertain if anyone starting out in this career had experienced similar feelings of isolation.
When embarking on a new adventure, it is easy to feel like no one has been in this same place as you before. When you are challenged or confronting an obstacle, you start to feel like Tom Hank’s character in Castaway, clutching your computer’s mouse like he desperately clung to his volleyball side kick. You wonder if anyone in the world could possibly understand what you are going through?
Yes. Of the 7 billion people that populate this earth, many before you have and many after you will face the same challenges that you face.
At any given time, someone is a little better off than you and someone else is a little worse off than you.
I started off a bit voyeuristic in my efforts at connecting with the writing community. I would visit blogs, but never comment. I attended my first conference, but did very little networking. I still had a hard time believing that anyone was as “green” about being a writer as I was.
While your life experience is uniquely your own, there are people who have had similar experiences. They get you. This tiny piece knowledge can bring solace when you are alone at your computer with a brain filled with tumbleweed instead of elegant and witty prose. It helps to know that when a best selling author says that they received 200 rejection letters before they found a home for their book, you can still be successful after you’ve received your 200th rejection letter.
Even better, there are many writers out there eager to share their experiences with you.
I finally started making connections and have found myself blossoming in my identity as a writer.
Some who have found success want to pay it forward and encourage others who are struggling to find their place. Other writers are exactly where you are and are also searching for some camaraderie. Still others have just cracked open the door to the world of writing and are looking for any connection to get to help them open the door a little wider.
Life is a marathon. Someone is in front, someone is dead last and there is a big heap of folks in the middle.
One day, you may find yourself leading the pack having achieved unprecedented success in your endeavors. At other times, you are struggling to finish and wondering if anyone has felt as pathetic as you do at that moment. Most of the time, you are somewhere in the heap. And you are certainly are not alone.
So plug in!
Reach out to other writers at conferences and on their blogs. Read about others’ experiences and gain support and insight from their shared experiences.
In life, know that while your life experience is uniquely your own, other people have had similar experiences and can be a valuable source of support and understanding.
How has getting “plugged in” helped you in your life?