Two Different Worlds: Solitude versus Community

In a recent post, I wrote about the different worlds of creating our stories and marketing them. Today, let’s take look at another aspect of the two worlds of writing: the world of our writing community.

Solitude versus Community

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo be successful in our writing, we need to meld these two opposing aspects of the writing journey.

Writing is a solitary process. Just me and my laptop. And it can be fun as I join my characters in their world and follow them through their story. But there comes a time when that isn’t enough.

We need other writers, other professionals in the writing world, to get better and to get published.

We can’t stay in our writing cave no matter how comfy and cozy it can be. And some are very cozy. And safe. And secure. But, if we stay there, we’ll never learn how good we are and we will never learn how much better we can be.

Critique groups, writing partners, conferences, workshops, webinars are vital to learning and growing as writers.

Sharing our writing with our community presents us with challenges on so many different levels. One of them is the clash between our subjective view of our work and our need to also be objective about it.

We form emotional bonds with our stories and characters. It’s only natural. And often this means our perception of our Teacher and Student Discussing Paperwork can be skewed and we can miss things that will actually improve our story.

We need to exercise our objectivity muscles. Especially in receiving feedback and recognizing the value in the opinions, ideas, and suggestions of others. Discernment is a subset of this muscle group. Being open to hearing others and separating the wheat from the chaff of their comments.

We have to have confidence that we have a good story and we can tell it well.

But we don’t know it all. Our work is good but others can help us make it better.

So, we take those tentative steps into our writing community, welcoming feedback, and praying for the wisdom to gather the nuggets that will comes our way.

How do you approach seeking feedback on your work?


4 Responses to Two Different Worlds: Solitude versus Community

  1. Tina Boone June 18, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    My approach to feedback is through my critique partner. I’m so thankful for her and for the group of writers who have shared their stories, lives and experience with me throughout the years. It’s wonderful to have people to bounce ideas off of and who inspire confidence. I hope to do the same in return.

  2. Henry June 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    Thank you, Tina. I love your attitude about critiquing.

  3. Darlene July 17, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    I think reading this is a hint I need to do what you’ve suggested and find a group of writers. I think there’s a group that meets in town here!!
    You asked how do we approach getting feedback. Tentatively for sure! One step at a time. Whew!!
    Thanks for the encouragement to go one step farther…

  4. Henry July 17, 2014 at 2:02 am #

    Thank you, Darlene. Appreciate you stopping by. Praying you find the right writers group.

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