Monday, July 18, 2011

Writer on a Journey = Writer still at Home

I could have stayed in Oregon, where the livin' is easy, and the writers are friendly, but nooooo, I had to return for...


Seriously, talk about much ado about nothing. Although the fleet of helicopters recording the non-event were major-annoying, since I live quite near the 405.  Hey!  Some of us are trying to sleep over here!

Back to Oregon...  I blew $10 playing learning a little bit about Texas Hold-'Em poker.  Spent much cherished time with family.  Made sizable progress on crafting project while stuck in airport as flight was delayed umpteen hours.  Picked up new Twitter follower @AllegiantSucks after posting about ordeal.  (Must say, while wings may be falling off ancient airplanes, causing mechanical delays, it was delightful to fly in said planes where seats are not scaled for anorectic midgets.  Loved that leg room.  And butt room.)

And, I met fab new writer friends: USA Today best-selling author Maisey Yates (pronounced as in Macy, not as in Daisy, I found out), Lisa Hendrix, both of whom have written incredible books that I have read and loved, and Vonna Harper, whose book is in my Kindle queue, and several other fine writers, like Robynn Sheahan, Cynthia Rogan and Brooke Younker.  Because we all Tweet, and because Maisey and Lisa tweeted something about Oregon to which I responded and the next thing you know, I got to be an honorary Rogue Writer during my brief visit.  (Though I will be back!)

Pilgrim's Progress via Wikimedia
This is how writers roll.
The vision I can't get out of my head is, oddly enough, Pilgrim's Progress. (If you've never read it, and you write, you need to.  It's one of the earliest novels in the English language.)

When we writers journey physically, there is always someone at the new location who "has our back."  We usually need only to open our eyes and say hello.

When we journey mentally or on the interwebs, there are thousands.

Sure, there are a handful of peeps who might be jealous, or seek to trash us, but mostly, writers seek to help one another through this crazy journey that is writing.

In Pilgrim's Progress, Christian was a spiritual journeyman, seeking to reach the Celestial City.  There are many who seek to discourage or distract him, a Slough of Despond (every writer worth her/his cartridge ink has gotten mired in that once in a while), Difficulty Hill, and, of course, the Valley of Humiliation.

I have personally spent so much time in the Valley of Humiliation  - critique group edits, agent rejections, publisher rejections, etc. - that the VOH feels like Cheers, "where everybody knows your name."  I have my own barstool there.

After Christian's journey in Part 1, comes that of his wife, Christiana, and what is interesting is that while he faced most of his obstacles with few companions, for her, it is a communal effort.  As it is for most writers.  We might write alone, but we float ideas off others, we rarely edit alone, and when published, hopefully our readership consists of more than just us and our families.

In any event, writing is all about sharing the journey.  Whether you just started reading blogs today and barely allowed yourself to think, maybe, you could be a writer someday - or you're J.K. Rowling with a literary backlist of Goliaths surrounding you, we are all on the same path.

If you're thinking of PAUL Bunyan - FAIL.  Photo by  Ray Crucet.
PAUL Bunyan is the guy with the big blue ox, Babe. 
JOHN Bunyan is the author of Pilgrim's Progress

Some may be farther along the path than others, but all writers aspire to write well.  All writers share the goal of longing to communicate thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

Isaac Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 books and over 9,000 letters, before dying of HIV (something I did not know until researching this piece).

What I did know, however, was that even Asimov understood (and experienced) multiple rejections of his work.  He also experienced the highs and joys of having a work accepted, and published.

Plus the simple thrill of getting the friggin' thing done, after however long working on it. (Whether it's months or years, it always feels like centuries, doesn't it?)

All writers, back to the first scribbler of a symbol on a clay pot filled with wheat or olive oil, share this weird and wonderful fellowship.  We write.  We use symbols to describe events, people and ideas that may or may not have ever existed.

Where ever we go, where ever we live, we are joined together, with those writers who came before us, those who will follow, and those who share the path at the same time.

Our path is awesome and scary and frustrating and joyous.  And I love it!

What are your experiences with other writers from other areas?
Please share, in the comments, below.

(And if you want to click that +1 button, or Retweet this, that would  be fine, too.)

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