Talking With Other Writers

I had an interesting conversation with several other homeschooling moms today. The conversation revolved around the things that we tend to worry about and surprise, surprise, we tend to worry about much of the same stuff. You know it's good to talk to others who participate in an activity similar to your own not only for a sense of not being completely and utterly alone, but also because you begin to realize that others have gone through what you're going through and survived.

Whether you're the person making assurances to someone else or that person is making assurances to you, it's a relief to know that at least one other person has found "this" challenging, difficult, hard, etc. This can apply to all areas of your life whether it's being a parent, a homeschooler (referencing what brought this topic up), or as a writer.

Talking to someone who has been through something you are currently struggling with can give you the fortitude to carry on. Or it can show you that it really isn't something to struggle through, but might be kinda funny. For instance, we were discussing cram days, the days in which we try to cram all the work we forgot to get done into one or two days before we have to meet with our CT (something required for those that homeschool through a charter school). This has become a joke between myself and several other families I know. Don't call, try to schedule a play date, or anything else, because I (and my daughter) will be cramming on these days every month.

On the writing end, how many of you have started novels, decided they were awful, got a bright new shiny idea, ditched the awful novel idea and started the new novel idea to then discover that one is just as bad as the first one, then rinse and repeat however many times you can take it?

A lot of you I would guess (based on the number of writers that have admitted it to me). I was one of those as well. Imagine my surprise when I found out this was a common writerly infliction and has a single cure - keep writing that "awful" idea. It isn't nearly as bad as you think. There are various names to describe this issue - I like to call it the bright and shiny new idea problem. Learning that others had this same problem is what finally gave me the tools to work around it. How did I learn others had this problem, I read about it in an article, then I went hunting online and sure enough there were plenty of writers talking about the "this sucks" syndrome and the "shiny new idea" syndrome. Why were these writers published even though they had the same problem? Because they refused to stop and let those two syndromes take hold of them.

What would have happened if I hadn't been able to search out others who shared my passion and learned of their experiences? Would I still be writing the first three chapters of novel after novel? I can hope not, that maybe I would have somehow gotten past it, but who knows.

Reach out to other people that share your passion whether you do it online or in person doesn't really matter. The reaching out and connecting does.


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