Thursday, September 3, 2009

Somebody to UNDERSTAND

Somehow I know that what I'm about to say will resonate with most of you. Profoundly resonate, even.

It's this: The writer's journey, despite a posse of supportive friends and family, is lonely in a way only creative people can attest to--UNTIL YOU FIND A KINDRED SPIRIT. Someone who bleeds stories the way you do, who is walking the journey in a similar place, and who UNDERSTANDS because he is LIVING IT.

That's not such a new concept, really. Any journey in life has its peculiarities to which only fellow sojourners will relate. But there's something about the WOW of having someone speak your language, feel your pain, understand every tiny thing about the writing process that warrants special consideration.

Well, of course I would say that. I'm a writer.

I'm blessed to have found such a kindred spirit, someone whose writing I love, whose opinion I value, whose sense of humor is wonderfully dry and warped and just the thing to make me smile when I need to. Someone whose cynicism at having been rejected eight million times rivals my own. Someone who, regardless of the rejection, presses passionately on.

Mind you, I have other writerly friends, friends who have spoken important and irreplaceable things into my life; friends who share the joyful angst (oh yes, that's what it is) and understand much of what I may babble on about. (I'm absolutely certain that you're ignoring my prepositions-at-the-end-of-sentences, so for the sake of getting this blog post finished, I'm pressing on.)

But when the journey-process-attitude-humor-outlook-goals all line up, to the point where divergence is minimal? Well, that's an immeasurable gift.

That's not to say I'm giving as much as I'm receiving. We are not always to others what they are to us. I'm hopeful, of course, that this is a two-way street, not a throw-the-bum-a-buck-and-pass-by situation.

At any rate, just knowing that those words of oh-honey-I-have-SO-been-there are just a chat box away has been a tremendous source of encouragement as I plough through what has turned out to be the most painstaking and difficult revision process of my life. (No, I'm not being melodramatic. It's really been that hard.)

So to my Kindred Spirit who Didn't Know You Were: Thank you.

And to the rest of you: You are also an irreplaceable part of my Writer Life. I've written countless times how this community has blessed me, enriched my life. That remains true, and I expect that it will continue to be so.

Oh, and the novel? The one that's killing me even as it produces life (in itself and in me)? I'm pressing through until it's done. Don't let me forget that I've told you that. I need the accountability.

I really do.


  1. You're writer . . . the writer's life is a lonely life filled with unbelievable characters, worlds, and moments that will make you (and hopefully readers as well) laugh and cry, get angry, get happy, and so many other things. I treasure the day I began finding writing blogs! I treasure the friendships I have formed, and will form, as I traverse the blogsphere leaving comments, here, there and everywhere.

    Most of all, I treasure that I am not alone in this incredible, often angst ridden, journey I take every day as a writer.


  2. Okay, major typo . . .First sentence should read: You're right . . .


  3. So true, Authoress. You need that writer soulmate to get through the loneliess of this process.

    And I"m with you on the accountability thing. I actually sent a letter to my brother that I'd written in the voice of my characters, charging him to make sure I finished the book because they needed to know what would happen next in their lives. It worked.

  4. Wordver: Boinglu

    I'm not sure what that means, but I'm sure it means something.

    The writer's journey, despite a posse of supportive friends and family, is lonely in a way only creative people can attest to--UNTIL YOU FIND A KINDRED SPIRIT.


    That's not to say I'm giving as much as I'm receiving. We are not always to others what they are to us.

    I think the beauty of these sorts of things is that you often don't know you're that person to the other -- what they are to you, that is. Like with most awesome relationships, you feel like the luckiest one out of the pair, and cross your fingers you can be even half as good as they are. I feel that way about my husband, and a few very close and special friendships. I didn't do anything to deserve them, but man, I'm glad they're in my life.

    Now I need to find a tissue, because this really did make me cry a little.

  5. I don't notice being lonely until I read something like this, and then I realize how alone I am, except when I'm not. Does that make sense? I like being alone. But sometimes I like NOT being alone. Reading this makes me smile, reminds me of all the folks out there who move me and don't know it. :)

  6. It's this: The writer's journey, despite a posse of supportive friends and family, is lonely in a way only creative people can attest to--UNTIL YOU FIND A KINDRED SPIRIT.

    What a great post. Your website itself is like that -- an inviting coffeehouse full of conversation and encouragement.

    About writing a novel: sometimes it's wonderful, and sometimes it's like chopping rocks. I get together with two other writers about once a week, socialize for 20 minutes, and then write in silence for several hours. I've also found sharing chapters by email with another writer to be a huge help.

    Keep writing! I want to be the first in line to read your story.

  7. Write on, sister.

    Yes, it can be lonely, that's for sure. To have a few close writer friends is so very important.

    Thanks for this post. I'm glad you have someone you can connect with.

  8. Great post, Authoress! Kindred spirits are hard to find, but more valuable than almost anything.

  9. Authoress, I love to read these personal heart-felt posts. They touch me a lot!

    I know you have been so busy, but know I'm a click away if you need. I'm in the trenches of revising and rewriting and editing. It's just a tough place to be! I understand! And yes, it's absolutely wonderful to have those kindred spirits. I have several that have made a huge impact on me lately. It leaves me speechless!

  10. I have to say, thank goodness for the internet writing community. Writing is so much less isolating. Thanks for giving us all this blog as a soft spot to fall.

  11. Awesome post!

    My kindred spirits are 2 folks I'll likely never meet in real life. They've been amazing mentors, guides, friends and sounding boards since I started this "writing for the real world" business about a year ago. Hugs and a bottle of good wine to both!

    Thanks, authoress - this is such a great place for writers :)

  12. This is so true -- the writer's journey is a lonely one. Unless you are writing or have written, either a novel or short story or poem, you don't know the difficulty, the angst, the elation of writing. Commiserating with fellow writers can be such a mood-booster and motivatior. It's like a form of illness that only fellow sufferers can comprehend. :D Except a good illness. Maybe "obsession" would be a better term. I don't know a single writer in my real life. The one writer I did know (my best friend) moved away and now I don't even have her. *sniff*

  13. I'm so glad you found a kindred spirit. We all need those.

    You've had a tremendous impact on the writing community with your contests and words of wisdom over the years.

    It often feels like WE are the slacking bums who need to be thrown a buck and passed by.

    So if it helps to keep you accountable, know we are watching you (and not in a scary stalker kind of way) and expect you to keep going on your novel.



  14. It's hard to find people who understand what writing a novel entails. Never mind getting published.

    I'm glad you found a kindred spirit.

    Your blog is a real nice spot for writers.

  15. SO true...kindred spirits are a gift that is rare, precious and like air to a writer. Glad you found yours.

    And hang in there with the novel...when you finish your work on it, the joy you feel will surpass the frustration you live right now!