Recently, fellow blogger Rebecca Thorne wrote a great post about combating loneliness. After having read Rebecca’s post, Alice got to thinking about loneliness and, in particular, the loneliness of writers.
A lot of work today is done in teams. But, unless you’re a screenwriter, writing still tends to be the effort of a single monkey, tucked away in her lonely cell. But, we writers sorely need that which all monkeys need: other monkeys. Which is not a given these days for anyone, writer or not.
More than that, for a writer, not any monkey will do. A writer monkey will need another writer monkey.
That’s why writers are so eager for writing groups. Or if they’re not, they should be. Writing groups are essential for writers. And not because of the chance to give and get critique, share techniques, create networks, or the like. The main reason is to simply be together.
There’s an ugly, persistent myth that links art with madness. Part of it may stem from the fact that adversity is handy fuel for creativity. But another part could be that many artists have toiled for too long without the support of their peers.
Loneliness will drive anyone mad, like the British fella who went to Antarctica for solitude and was afflicted with depression a few months later.
Shared experiences alleviate the pain of existence. That is why writers need writers, just like fighter pilots need fighter pilots, plumbers need plumbers, and biochemists need biochemists.
So, my fellow writer, if you’re not already part of a writing group, join one! If there isn’t a group nearby, create one. If the prospect of creating such a group feels terrifying, do it anyway. If you can’t bear the nearness of other fleshbags, go virtual. But, for the sake of your sanity, create it.