I had so much fun this weekend, talking and sharing with folks who all had one thing in common: writing.
We had a Great Lakes workshop and, of course, plenty of wonderful food…thanks Kathy Rouser for organizing, but most important was being in a room full of writers.
We can all appreciate our spouses at home eating leftovers again when a deadline is looming, or missing an evening out with friends because we’re behind—again—and have to catch up. Or watching Dancing With the Stars all the way to the end and then having to miss the confetti-filled finale because of a contest you’re expected to judge at the last minute.
Bouncing ideas off spouses is wonderful if you’re prepared for the answer you might get, “Stilted!” My husband must have been told that in college on a paper, because it’s his fave expression when I ask. And while they try to help and make suggestions, it isn’t the same as asking someone who also writes. Why?
Because other writers get us. They understand all of the crazy! And let’s be honest, there’s plenty of crazy in a writer in spite of protestations to the contrary. It is that very crazy that translates to the page, making a writer who he or she is. The voices in one’s head that will not be quieted until their story is told. The looks a writer gets when walking down the street for exercise, but who is talking to themselves working out dialogue for a scene. (Hint: always have a contraption on your ear so others think you’re talking to someone on the phone when you scream, “Kill him! Grab a knife. Whatever you have and kill him, now!!!”) See what I mean about someone who gets you?
It is so important to meet with folks who understand you, at least occasionally, because writing, in spite of the crazy folks milling about in your head, can be a very singular experience. Lonely for some, a joyous celebration for others. But whichever category you fall into, you need to be with those folks who, once in a while, sit behind a computer and let the crazies out. Let a world be created which only seconds before didn’t exist.
Yes, times with other writers are special, to be celebrated, because only with other writers can you truly find a place called home.