At the recent My Book Therapy Deep Thinkers retreat, we watched the movie, About a Boy. We dissected the movie to find the necessary elements for a solid story spine. In the movie, Hugh Grant’s character narrates the beginning and says, “Every man is an island.” The character worked hard at maintaining his island status until a young boy horned his way into the man’s life. By the end of the movie, the man realized how much he wasn’t an island at all, and liked it that way.
While at Deep Thinkers, I reunited with old friends and met new ones. Sitting in that gorgeous Cedar House, I listened to the brainstorming, laughing, and prayers mingling in the room. We came together through My Book Therapy, created by Susan May Warren to give writers a Voice and a sense of community.
Writers are not islands. Writing can be a solitary occupation, but it’s only as solitary as you choose to make it.
Even if you live in an area where writers are as few as three-dollar bills, the Internet allows us to stay connected to one another. The Ponderers are spread out from east to west coast, yet when something exciting happens, or I need prayer, they’re one of the first I go to.
Whether you’re new to writing or a veteran, get involved. Join writing organizations like ACFW or My Book Therapy. Participate with other writers in group blogs like ours. If your budget allows, attend a retreat or conference. I’m pretty sure you’ll walk away with a new friend or two.
English poet John Donne wrote: “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”
Writing takes an investment in time and money to be successful, but you also need to invest in relationships, if for no other reason than to let you know you’re not an island, but a continent connected to other writers who understand the sting of rejection, the excitement of muse, and the thrill of the first sale. Together, we can encourage and lift up one another as we forge ahead on the paths laid before us.
Your turn: How do you keep writing from being so solitary? How have your writing friends changed the way you approach your dreams?